A few weeks ago my boyfriend Thomas told me about a friend of his who had spent the entirety of 2017 doing a new personal experiment every month. He mentioned that his friend, Sarah Natsumi Moore, was rebooting the 12 Experiments for 2019 and that she was inviting people to join in. He was going to do it, he said. Would I be interested in joining, he asked. The premise is to do one experiment per month for a year and see what happens; to try something for 30 days, reflect on it, and share your experience. It didn’t take very long to decide that I would like to do my own 12 experiments. You are now reading the introduction to my year-long experiment, which hopefully will give me some concrete goals and intentions for 2019. I love the element of limited time for each experiment. It is just one month, after all. I could do anything for a month. At the same time, it’s a whole month! A lot can happen in a month.
2018 slipped by at a breakneck pace. I have found myself with a to-do list that is nearly identical to the one I had at the dawn of this year. It often feels as though I am treading water, tiring myself out, not making noticeable progress in any particular direction. Without previous comforts like the regularity of a higher education schedule or major life events, time has begun to extend out like the West Texas horizon, endlessly flat with hardly any landmarks to be found.
I attended my 10 year high school reunion recently and was struck by the variety of lives my classmates are living, all of them different from my own. I’m willing to accept that some of that is chance, but more so it felt like concrete proof that our lives are the result of the choices we make and what we prioritize. I want to spend 2019 digging deeper into that which brings me joy. I’d like to let go of all the things that obstruct my growth. I want to recalibrate my priorities, cultivate confidence, and deepen my relationships. I want to create and share and elevate and collaborate. And on top of all of that, I want to share this journey to empower myself and you, yes you, to live more intentionally.
Potential experiments in no particular order:
A Month of Yoga a Moving Meditation: Reconnect with my body and breath
A Month of Singing: Find joy in making music everyday
A Month of Writing A Page A Day, I wrote a page every day for a year once and then fell off the wagon. I was really improving as a writer and felt as though I was finding greater clarity in my thoughts.
A Month of Letters: Write to all the people I have been intending to reach out to.
A Month of Decluttering, Making room for joy: I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up on vacation a few years ago. I was so inspired, but by the time I got home I gave away a few things and then gave up. I think I’m finally ready to let go of some extra baggage!
A Month of Digital Detox: no social media, no tv, no movies
A Month of Frugality: Buy Nothing Extra
A Month of Guitar: Play everyday
A Month of Cooking: Learn new recipes and eat at home.
A Month of Reading: Dive into other worlds, read a couple of hours every day!
A Month of Performance: Live or post it
A Month of Finishing: Do those things that have been on the to do list forever!
A Month of Generosity: Be more generous than you think you can be. Tithe, donate, volunteer, help out, go above and beyond for others.
The format as laid out by Sarah, is to reveal the next month’s theme a few days before the 1st. Write about why you chose this theme: hopes, fears, rules, expectations, etc. Then give some updates throughout the month on how it is going. At the end of the month, reflect on how it went and introduce the next month’s theme. If you are also interested in experimenting, you can get more information here!
A list of people around the web trying out their own experiments in 2019!