Imagination -- To consider new possibilities and stretch your those fantastical thinking muscles we so rarely use ("Can you imagine what it'll be like to be in a place where it never gets dark?")
Creativity -- To combine ideas together in new ways and craft a brand new trip or itinerary ("What if we...Fish for our own dinner? Take a long train ride from one city to another? Stay in a local cabin along the water? Befriend the locals?")
Problem Solving -- To overcome certain problems when you enact constraints ("Hmmm...how can we get from here to there? How can we do this...but more cheaply?)
Anticipation -- To think ahead to something exciting as a backburner task leading up to the adventures ("Oooh, it's going to be chilly. Maybe I should make sure we both have wool socks for hiking."
Actualization -- To actually see the end result of your planning IRL one day ("Whoa. This is so much cooler than on the Internet.") It's easy to unlock these feelings when you plan for something major, like a trip. But I bet you can do this in smaller ways too, such as setting up a routine around who picks restaurants for date night that month. Or even around redecorating a room of your home. If you're planning to get a new pet, the process of deliberating on where and when and which one to adopt is a process in itself. And for all of my expectant friends out there, the ritualized way that we've been trained to prepare for new babies at home is in itself a pretty sneaky way to "up" the excitement, hype, and commitment for when your little one actually arrives. For me, it helps to know I have something to look forward to at any point, even if it's 6 or 9 months away. Throughout the months leading up to "that thing," I can sit and let my mind wander off to a fantasy-land world where my husband and I are enjoying something new together. And in moments where things feel a little tough or overwhelming at work, planning for any longer break or change of pace can be a really healthy mental exercise. It's still February, so it's early enough this year to set one or two big-picture goals to hit for you and whatever friendship, partnership, or other team you're a part of. I bet it'll make your year even better to know you can hit them by December. And maybe it'll strengthen your relationships along the way, too.
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