My paper chain practice results


A few weeks ago, I wrote about teaching myself to anticipate good things again.

One of the things I mentioned in that post was using a count-down paper chain.

The Practice

I created a paper chain count-down for our NYC trip, using pages from an old magazine for the links.

I removed one link each day and wrote a wish or desire for the trip on each link. I saved the links to review after the trip.

About half of the wishes I wrote on the links came to pass.  Even though that wasn’t the main reason I used the paper chain, it was fun to see how many things I wrote down came about.

Here’s a story that covers several wishes:

I’d written that I wanted to see nature in the city. I also wanted to see the best of New Yorkers. We hear so many stories of terrible people in the cities, but I wanted to encounter some good, honest people.

On our first day there, Jim and I were walking and saw a fire truck stopped in an intersection. There was a bee keeper in the bucket of the fire truck brushing bees from a stoplight.

We stopped to watch for a few minutes. I love bees and beekeeping, although I’ve never kept bees myself. A few years ago, I helped a friend tend her hives several times and it was an amazing experience.

I was so excited to see this bee keeper capturing a swarm in the middle of the city!

While I watched a woman standing nearby started chatting with me. We watched as the bee keeper took down his hood and she recognized him as the man who ran the honey stand at the farmers market in the next block.

I don’t often strike up conversations with strangers, but it was so lovely to talk with this woman who lived in the neighborhood. I love that she recognized the man from her local farmers market, because she often stopped by his booth.

It really did feel like I’d seen the best of New Yorkers in that moment.


Sometimes it’s good to treat yourself like a child. Making a paper chain to count down days to our trips definitely felt childish to me, but the benefits were worth it!

Taking off each link and writing a wish primed my mind for good things, which helped me see and experience more good things.

The daily practice leading up to the trip helped me focus on the fun aspects of the trip, instead of my worries about travel.

I will be repeating the paper chain count-down in the future. The practice was easy, fun and rewarding!

What methods do you use to anticipate good things?

I’d love to know what works for you. Leave a comment below


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