The wish notebook

I’d like to introduce you to my favorite wish fulfillment tool.  It’s modeled on and inspired by a number of systems, but the way I put it together is my own.  I just think it’s so simple, elegant, and functional that I’m so proud I have to talk about it.

It’s based on three principles:  What you focus on grows, appreciating what you like invites more of what you like, and changing/improving behavior and thoughts requires that you acknowledge and celebrate successes.

Each page is a little foldout, so that on each split there are three parts: designated Appreciation, Celebration, and Intention.  Every day -for me it’s on the way to bed – I take some time to list the things around me that I appreciate.  This is known to be transformative and it’s a standby tool for life coaches and self-help gurus galore.

Next, it’s the celebration page, to write down all the ways, even the tiny ways, that you moved in the direction of your goals that day.  Research shows that acknowledging movement in the direction of your intention reinforces and helps accelerate progress.

Finally, the intention page is for jotting down what you want more of.  Not the next day’s to do list, but what you want to do and be more of in general. Floss.  Eat more vegetables.  Be nicer…

The celebration and intention pages complement each other really well because making the notes of what you want to do are easily referenced to trigger remembering micromovements you might have done but forgotten.  Also, the intentions can be general, but the celebration will be specific and real.

Without getting all goal-oriented about it – which is a often a set-up for failure because it is often so hard to meet all our “goals”- this gently reinforces the progress we do make, however small on some days, and that encourages us subconsciously to make more choices leading to where we want to go.  It’s total magic, really.

Because I’m like that, I made a proper little book of all my blank pages, each one folding out so there are three equal parts.  I made the cover out of a greeting card, punched the holes with my leather punch and wound a spiral wire out of an old calendar through them.  I do not recommend this method – it is not time effective.  But it worked, eventually, and I love my little wish notebook.

It’s not the notebook, though, but the practice.

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