How to Make Your Flame Burn Brighter This Year

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. –Joseph Campbell

How to make your flame burn brighter this year

Goal free living, follow your intuition. follow your blissNew Year’s Day is when we start thinking of how we’d like our lives to be in the coming year.

We review our accomplishments and make resolutions.

Most resolutions don’t last very long

Studies show that most resolutions don’t last past the month of January. More than 77 percent of people who say they want to lose weight never do.

Why do we keep making resolutions?

We believe if we don’t set these goals we won’t accomplish anything at all.

This is what I’ve always believed about myself too. I’ve always been afraid I’d be a lazy do-nothing without goals to aspire too.

Changing the game plan

Leo Babauta has written extensively about not setting goals and going “goal-free.” As proponent of “following your intuition,” what some people might call their “bliss,” this appeals to me a great deal. I’ve just been too scared to do commit to it.

This year I’ve decided not to make any New Year’s resolutions. I’m not making them because I want to experiment with living the way I’ve been dreaming of my whole life. I want allow my intuition, my bliss, to lead me through each day of the next year. I want to see what unfolds when I truly follow my own advice!

I started doing this to some degree in 2009. That was the year I realized how short our lives really are and how they can change overnight. It was the year my father died. The night before at the hospital he was blowing kisses to me and the next morning he was gone. Poof! No more.

From that day forward, I became more and more aware of how out of alignment I was with my intuition and my bliss. Part of the reason I started Powered by Intuition was to not only share my knowledge of intuition and help others but, to help me stick to following my intuition as well. The saying is you teach what you most need to learn and I’m no exception.

Honoring your intuition is honoring your bliss

Ever since I was a kid I dreamed of being a writer. My daydreams were always the same. I saw myself getting up early without an alarm clock, going for a walk and then writing at my kitchen table on a yellow legal pad. In the afternoons I’d play and do whatever struck my fancy.

This lifestyle appealed to me because it allowed me to be spontaneous to do what I felt like when the mood struck. As a writer and an intuitive I need and crave free time to just be, dream and “feel.” You can’t be a good intuitive if you don’t have the time to do those things. Constant busyness, at least for me, saps me of that vital “being” time I need to connect to my intuition and my creativity.

How to make your flame burn brighter

While in meditation this morning I asked my intuition to confirm whether not making goals was the right thing to do. What I heard was this:

“It will make your flame burn brighter.”

I had my answer but, as is typical of me I wasn’t satisfied. I needed more “direction.” A Virgo rising will do that to you. I decided to go out for a walk. Walking is one of the best activities for generating flashes of intuitive insight.

Eureka! Here are three steps that will make your flame burn brighter this year:

1. Allow your intuition to do its job. The job of your intuition is to guide you to toward your highest good from moment to moment. Your highest good is your bliss, that “thing” that makes your heart sing.  If you’re in a dangerous situation the job of your intuition is to guide you to safety because that is your highest good at the moment. Always listen with your “inner” ear and you’ll be led in the right direction in every situation.

 When you’re going in the right direction you have an air of peace about you that others can sense. You’re calmer and more relaxed. Fortunate coincidences occur more often because you’re aligned with the pulse of life.

2. Choose an overarching theme for your life, rather than making goals. Your theme could be social justice, freedom, spontaneity, education, creativity, charity, philanthropy or compassion to name a few. Choosing a theme rather than aiming for specific accomplishments makes life more fluid.

For example, my theme is freedom. Everything I do this year will move me toward freedom in some way or I won’t do it. This theme honors my intuition and my need for freedom from routines, clocks and cubicles.

When life is fluid you go with the flow. You don’t spend your time and energy “trying” to make things happen. You allow life to take you to where you’re supposed to go instead. Going with the current instead of against it allows your energy levels to stay high.

3. Serve others with the special gifts and talents you’ve been blessed with. The reason you’re interested in certain subjects is because they are innate. There is nothing outside of you that doesn’t already exist within. In other words, you wouldn’t be attracted to do, learn or explore certain things unless you already possessed the ability within you.

You have your own unique gifts and talents to contribute to the world. When you fail to make your gifts available it leaves a little hole in the fabric of society that only you can mend. You must share and serve others with those gifts and talents. Serving and sharing circulates positive and creative energy. The more you give the more is returned to you.

When you follow your intuition to your bliss you will find your true purpose.  When you find your true purpose it will be an absolute joy to share it with the world.

Sharing your joy is what will make your flame burn brighter this year.  

**I’ll be giving you periodic updates of how my new adventure of “goal-free” living is going.

What are you doing about resolutions this year? Have you made them or do you plan to fly with me without goals?

P.S. My best selling book, “The Intuition Principle” will help you carve out a path straight to your dreams. Follow this link to pick up your copy.

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  1. I actually lost a lot of weight the moment i decided not to set a weight-loss goal. I just “knew” I needed to change may eating habits. I did and it worked. I wanted a healthier life. I lost weight as a result. Amazing how things work out.

    I will pay more homage to my intuition…I will follow my gut. I spent a good part of my life letting people talk me out of what I loved doing and missed a great many opportunities. I am taking your advice. :o)

  2. Oh I LOVE this, Angela! Thanks for sharing those words with us, even if they weren’t enough for your Virgo-ness. 😉

    I had some intuitive flashes right before the holidays, spent my holiday break really following up, and I swear, my flame is a frikkin’ bonfire right about now, no kidding!

    Such wisdom. Thank you, as always. :-)
    Patti Foy recently posted…Turning Over a New Leaf :: A Fresh New BlogMy Profile

    • Patti,
      I’m so glad to see you!
      Happy New Year dear friend.
      Wow! Your flashes of intuitive inspiration sound like they really lit your fire.
      That’s awesome! (Don’t you love when that happens?)
      Can’t wait to see what comes next,
      Hugs to you,

  3. Hey Ang,
    My word for the year is create. Instead of having a goal on what to do next, I will wait until I’m finished with one project, ask for guidance and then decide the next. I’m burnin’ my flame baby.
    Tess The Bold Life recently posted…How to Eliminate Excuses and Fear in 2012My Profile

    • Hi Tess,
      Create – I love it! That sounds like an excellent plan.
      Finish one thing and then allow your inspiration to lead you to your next project.
      You are sooo wise!
      I do believe your flame is going to burn very brightly this year.

  4. Hi Angela,

    This is an important message when it comes to setting goals and trying to make changes in our life. Whatever time of year it is and whatever the goals may be, having something meaningful and engaging is crucial. When our purpose and mission for life is clear decision making becomes easier. We no longer have to set tedious goals because we are in-line with what we’re supposed to be doing. I feel I’m getting closer and am excited about this year!
    Joe recently posted…How to Be a Champion in the Game of LifeMy Profile

  5. Hi Angela,
    I like the idea about overarching themes. It sounds more to me like Intention Setting.
    I am not against goal setting nor not setting goals. To me, what’s more important is the Intentions connected to our goals/actions. I guess the more we look inward and understand ourselves, the more we are aware of ourselves, the more we know what our Intentions are. My hunch is, when you are conscious, you could dance between having goals or no goals, and still get a great deal done and live the great life you have always wanted to live.
    I think it is good to try out different ways to see which one works out better for ourselves.
    Looking forward to hear about your experience, Angela.
    Joseph Ch’ng recently posted…Are Your Goals Achievable?My Profile

    • Joseph,
      You have described what I am trying to achieve perfectly.
      It’s really about our intentions. I specifically didn’t use that word though because setting an intention sounds a lot like “setting a goal.” I chose the word “theme” instead.
      My “theme” is freedom.
      If I live with the consciousness that everything I do must move me in the direction of continuing to feel “free” I will also achieve a great deal but without having to make great big “checklists” and check things off when I complete them.
      I’m so glad you understand! Thank you for adding so much to the conversation here. I truly appreciate your input.

  6. Darling Angela,
    I am so happy you are now joining my ‘no new year resolutions’ club too! I’ve been part of this club for many years now. As you said, I have been following my bliss and believe me there is no feeling like it in the whole entire universe…the feeling that you are being guided by The Divine. Surrendering to The Divine will makes for better happier and more content living.
    Noone says dont make plans…but learning to trust your heart and living intuitively makes you stress free and happy happy happy all the way :)
    Thank you for this beautiful post dearest A! I needed to read this to be reminded…that I was on the right track.
    Sending you lots of 2012 LUV,
    Zeenat{Positive Provocations} recently posted…Lets Make 2012 a Positive Living Opportunity-NEW Positive Living Handbook and Spiritual Healing contest winners announcement!My Profile

    • Zee,
      Really? I didn’t know that you were not a resolution maker. I see I am in great company then!
      I have not always followed my intuition. I’m great at advising others but no myself!
      This year I intend to change all that and live by my intuition 100 percent!
      No resolutions and no specific goals. I will choose to do things that bring my joy in the moment I am doing them.
      I will also only do things that contribute to my overall need to feel “free.”
      I spent way too many years punching a clock and sitting behind a desk or in a cubicle doing something I really didn’t like very much.
      I’m glad to hear how this experiment has worked out for you! That makes feel even more sure about what I am doing.
      It also gives me courage. I’ve wanted to do this for years and years but each time I began – I never finished. I would go back to listening to my rational mind and all the “shoulds.”
      Thank you Zeenat. You have inspired me too.

  7. You commented last year on a post I wrote on The Course Of Miracles’s thought system. I’m still reading the text for the second time and stopped the workbook after my mom died. Somehow it all changed for me then. I’m much less spiritual now.

    I never do resolutions because I always break them but rather sometime in January I find something I’d like to try and do it for it awhile to learn from it. Last year it was Pilates and I’m still doing it. It has helped my back tremendously.

    This year I will be marketing my new children’s book “Annie’s Special Day” and making plans with goals around that each week. It’s not quite published yet but will be done soon by the publishing house eTreasures.

    Good luck with your experiment. I hope it’s as valuable as you seem to think it will be. We’re all a product of our mind.
    clarbojahn recently posted…Annie’s Special Day! Coming Soon!My Profile

    • Hi Clar,
      Thank you for your good wishes about my “experiment.” I truly appreciate it very much.
      I’m interested in what you said about not being as “spiritual” now after losing your mother.
      I’m curious as to why you’re less spiritual now? Would you care to explain what transpired that caused you to put down the ACIM workbook you were going through?

      Pilates is supposed to be wonderful for you. That’s great. I like your honesty about not doing resolutions because you break them soon afterward.

      Congratulations on your new children’s book! Please do come back and let me know how it’s going. I have a very active Facebook Page for Powered by Intuition where I encourage authors to stop by and mention their books. Please feel free to do so.

      I hope you have a wonderful 2012!

  8. This resonated with me because I have read so many blogs lately about people’s goals in 2012. I have an “idea” of what I want to do, but mainly I know how I want to “feel,” and I want to be present…to live on purpose…today! I’ll know what I need to do each day to live the life I want.
    Tonya recently posted…Happy New Year!My Profile

    • Tonya,
      This is wonderful! I’m so glad to hear it. I think if you choose something like “how you want to feel” that’s your “them” for the year. Everything you do should contribute to making you feel this way.
      To be fully present and live on purpose sounds like a marvelous way to go through life. We should all take a lesson from you. I believe if you do this you’re going to have a year of enormous growth in your spiritual awareness. I’d love to know how it’s going and what you’re learning along the way.
      Please do come back and update us.
      All my best in 2012.

  9. Hi Angela,
    I love getting inside your head and seeing your thought process! I come here to get coaching on following my intuition, something I really want to master LOL. For this year I’m not doing resolutions but Intentions. I feel setting intentions leaves more room for my intuition to guide me and for the universe to jump in and support me in achieving what I want. It feels magical this way! I set out a number of Intentions in a special book where I chart the highlights of each month. It’s a sort of a retrospective book – a way to look back quickly on an entire year. But this year it occurred to me to include my Intentions, as if I could write the year out the way I want it to be – before it begins!
    So I did and now I trust and listen and move into action that feels right. I’m excited to see how it all unfolds and to see how your goal-free year goes! Happy 2012! It’s going to be interesting!

  10. Angela,
    I love this idea of following our intuition – because it knows so, so well, doesn’t it!

    For the last several years, I have not made New Year’s Resolutions, and instead have focused on having one word be my theme for the year (much like your theme for life…). This has been such a good, good process for me – as it becomes something that connects at a deeper level.

    It’s good to be here today…and soak in your words as I start this new year…
    Lance recently posted…Focus and SucceedMy Profile

    • Lance,
      Happy New Year to you!
      I love that you haven’t made resolutions.
      I also really appreciate your sharing that using a one word “theme” to follow for the year has worked.
      That makes me feel a whole lot better.
      I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know you this year.
      Hoping 2012 brings you everything you dream of.

  11. I love your overall theme for the year, Angela. It’s amazing how we can loose sight of our intuitive desire for freedom. I’ve spoken to many individuals in their mid twenties that feel resigned to a life that is far less than they’d expected. I believe this feeling of resignation is the same dull ache that a wild horse feels when penned in a corral and conditioned to forget his former freedom. I heard a horse trainer say that no matter how much you train a wild horse, he still yearns to run free through the meadow. I imagine if the horse could speak, it would say, “My life will never be as good as it was when running free.”
    rob white recently posted…When Two Hands on the Clock Meet on TwelveMy Profile

    • Rob,
      Happy New Year to you!
      I love that: My life will never be as good as running free.
      That’s it.
      Too many rigid rules and routines breaks our spirit just like it breaks the spirit of a horse.
      I wonder if I can live by just following my “senses” instead of following all these conventions?
      That’s the experiment now let’s see what happens?
      Thank you for visiting and commenting Rob.
      I’m so glad that I’ve gotten to know you.

  12. Angela,

    My plan for 2012 is to focus on just one resolution – and that’s to finish the book I started in November. It’s important for me to accomplish this goal no matter if the book is ever successful, or even read by others.

    Happy New Year to you!


    • Alex,
      I’m so excited to hear about your book.
      That’s marvelous.
      I know you’re going to finish it too!
      If I can be of help to you in any way please let me know.
      I’m very glad to know you Alex.
      Best wishes for a marvelous 2012!

  13. Hi Angela,

    I agree and I don’t make resolutions per se. What I do ask for and move toward daily is “greater understanding” and action in alignment with my highest good. I like to get the big picture (as Irving said) and ask for guidance in each step. I guess what I most wish fo this year is to make valuable progress :)

    • Hi Julie,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post.
      Also, glad to hear you don’t do resolutions although, I have nothing against them actually.
      I’ve always used them and they worked well.
      I just want to experiment with going without them to see if anything changes in my life.
      Glad you’re going to be watching the “big experiment!”
      I’m so glad I got to know you this year!

  14. Great post Angela with one of my most favorite quotes! I love Leo’s approach to goals and now yours. I sometimes will tell people about being “goal-less” and they just can’t believe that he really did it. I love where you wrote: “Sharing your joy is what will make your flame burn brighter this year.” There’s no question that when you work to make others happy, you make yourself happier, too. Wonderful post to start the New Year!

    Happy New Year!
    Betsy at Zen Mama recently posted…Have A Positively Wonderful New YearMy Profile

    • Hi Betsy,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed this post.
      I love Joseph Campbell ever since I watched him the PBS special with Bill Moyers years ago!
      I started thinking about following my bliss in the early 1990s – look how long it took to get there.
      I hope this is going to be a wonderful year for you Betsy!
      I’m so happy we got to know one another.

  15. Hi Angela,

    A very Happy New Year to you!!

    I am not a big fan of new year resolutions. But this year, after reading Galen’s post on it, I realized how to make new year resolutions that will stick. I decided to make a resolution that will help me directly to deal with the year ahead. You see, I always divine yearly about my year ahead so I know what to expect. This time round, by making a resolution that is in synch with how the year will turn out for me, I am likely to keep to it. I never like to make unnecessary effort in doing things.

    Now I know my year ahead will have many obstacles which I have to “Bite Through.” While this is not the kind of situation I would hope to see, it is reality and I have to face it. I have a few plans I wish to implement and I know I will have to “Bite Through” obstacles with vigor to reach my goals. Thus my resolution or word for 2012 is “Perseverance.” This is certainly one resolution I cannot get out of.

    In reality, I am more aligned with your views. I prefer to act in accordance with the moment. Since each moment is different, you will need a different set of actions to manage it well. Perseverance may be my main theme for the year, but each obstacle and moment I will be flowing like water to deal with it. At least, that is the ideal I have haha!

    That’s nice, I never knew you were a virgo rising. I have a virgo moon. 😀

    That certainly explains the depth and the thoroughness of your post. I couldn’t have done better myself. :)

    Thank you for sharing this very useful article! :)

    Irving the Vizier
    The Vizier recently posted…Resolutions of the Vizier for 2012My Profile

    • Hi Irving,
      Happy New Year to you!
      I’m looking forward to seeing all the progress you make this year with your new attitude about goals.
      I like Galen’s idea too.
      I want to make it clear that I intend to accomplish a great deal this year but, I won’t be making goals.
      I’m going to do what I’m drawn toward doing instead and see how that works out.
      I’m so happy to have gotten to know you this year Irving.

  16. Hi Angela,

    I’ve vacillated between making goals and not each year, and so I appreciate the idea of letting your intuition guide you. The idea of having a theme for your life is an interesting concept as well, and a good alternative to goal setting, which I agree, many of us don’t follow through with.

    I especially like your line, “The saying is you teach what you most need to learn and I’m no exception.” We fine tune our expertise when we teach others, and those lessons are what we need as well. I haven’t set any New Year’s resolutions this year and I looking forward to seeing where that takes me. Thanks for sharing your inspirational post. Happy 2012 to you!
    Cathy recently posted…Reminder: You Are Not Alone on Your Addiction JourneyMy Profile

    • Hi Cathy,
      Happy New Year!
      I’m not 100 percent certain how I’ll do without goals Cathy. LOL
      I’ve always been a very goal oriented person. God knows I may relapse!
      Then I’ll have to come to you for an “intervention!”
      All I want to do is feel less hemmed in but I still want to accomplish things…’s a bit confusing?
      Anyway, I’m glad you’re going without resolutions too.
      Let’s compare notes sometime.



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