I know – it’s not December yet, and I’m already thinking about the one thing I intend to do in 2016. I feel a pull around mid-November to look ahead and think about what I want out of the next calendar year. The last two weeks of December are a combination of dinners, movies, get-togethers and late nights wrapping last-minute gifts. There’s magic in that, yes. But the quiet reflection of what was and the hopeful anticipation of what’s to come is a beautiful space. And I like to sit here, in that space, and set my intention. It’s an interesting concept – to claim something that has so many variables. In reality, we don’t actually know what a year holds. But we can go forth with a mindset that will allow us to ride the ups and downs; settling into that mindset is part of setting intentions for the new year.

The one thing I intend to do in 2016 is shine.

Over the last few years, I have been an archaeologist, digging into my core, recovering evidence of who I truly am. I’ve unearthed bits and pieces: a writer, a musician, a teacher, a Nature-lover and a participant in the circle of giving. With each recovery, each remembrance of who I am and what truly fulfills me, I’ve added to my life more joy and purpose. Launching this blog 4 years ago was instrumental in my quest for an authentic life; as I have been writing content and creating workbooks to help you on your journey, I’ve made enormous strides in letting ME out.

So, now on the cusp of a new year, I hold in my hand these shiny bits of my soul. These sparkly things that light me up and that I hope light up those around me. I am a writer with messages that get people thinking and feeling, and I teach others to use writing as a healing tool. I am a pianist who fills her home with soulful sounds. My kids know I love mossy trees. In fact, I am certain trees will be a part of my legacy. And I try in whatever way I can to give – not because I have more or am more, but because I knowΒ that the shiny bits inside me also exist in every single person out there. And everyone deserves the chance to shine.

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Including me.

I wrote here about how fully stepping into who I am will result in a domino of change, and that change can feel scary. But I think what is even more scary to me is being 90-something years old, on my deathbed, and wishing I had done what I had come here to do. And what is even more motivating, is knowing that I am not guaranteed those 90-something years. On the brink of a new year, when I am reminded of the passage of time, that is the thought that propels me forward.

In 2016, I intend to write more, play music more, get out and experience more, and serve, serve, serve.

In 2016, I intend to shine.

Is it too early for you to start thinking about your guiding word for the new year? I’d love to hear your intention in the comments!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative