I’m starting this year in a different frame of mind. As past years came to a close and new ones began, I would start the same way, fretting about my lack of writing progress and my determination to change that.

As I sat down to ponder the new year, I read through previous journal entries about my writing, my frustrations and my life. The words teemed with self-loathing and unrealistic pressure. I failed before I ever started.

The events of 2014 led me on a different path than the one I imagined at the launch of the year. For the first time in… well… ever, I feel like I’m in a good place. I’m in an accepting place. Not accepting the shortfalls in my life, but accepting me.

I decided I want to embrace a motto. It’s something like this: Desire, Not Obligation. Since the words just found me today, I haven’t had time to make it catchier, but the thought and intention are powerful, all the same.

I want to do things because I want to do them, not because I’m obliged to do them. I want to write because I want to write, not because I feel that’s what is expected of me or because I want published. If I just enjoy the writing process, it’s OK.

I want to train for another 5K, but if I don’t start training until tomorrow or Monday or next week, it’s OK. January 1 is not a magical date. I haven’t failed, just because I didn’t spend the first day of the year running.

I want to visit my family more, not because I feel obligated to do so, but because I want to. My grandma died this past year, and that loss reminded me how short life is. Yes, she was 92, but that’s not many years when you think how long the world has been in existence. I miss her everyday, and I want to spend the time I have left loving, laughing and spending time with my family.

Since my husband has decided to kiss me more this year, I think I’ll kiss him back more. That’s not an obligation, it’s my desire. Imagine if you make that one conscious decision in your relationship, how much more loving your connection would be. We get caught up in the busyness of life, but if we choose to do one simple thing, kiss more, how will that transform our lives?

I want to continue supporting a healthier lifestyle for myself, not because I want to lose weight or because I have an unrealistic body image, but because I really like the way I feel when I’m drinking more water and using homeopathic remedies to gain control of the Hashimoto’s.

I want to book lots of shows for my sons, not because I’m obligated, but because I want to see them succeed. I desire for them to reach their dreams.

I choose this year to attract positive abundance into my life. And my actions will manifest that.

I’m going to be happier this year, because I’m going to give me a break. I’m not going to be so hard on me. I am not perfect. None of us are. So why don’t we allow ourselves to not be perfect?

Peace is so underrated. That’s one thing I strive for day in and day out. I desire peace in me and in my life. I don’t always find it… rarely, actually… but I feel it now. Maybe the secret is finding peace with yourself.

Perhaps if I repeat, “Desire, Not Obligation,” this year, maybe, just maybe, peace will come around more often. Maybe it will even move in for good.