How to Set New Year Intentions for New Beginnings
It's a new year, and now that the holiday craze is over, it's time to focus our intentions for the future. It is going to be even more important to organize our thoughts and set our intentions this year than most previous years - as many of us have to rethink and restructure everything we do.
I often remind myself when I am facing an obstacle in life that if it was easy, everybody could do it.
Setting intentions is not as easy as making resolutions. We all want to exercise more or eat healthily or save money more effectively. But setting intentions will helps us achieve our goals and resolutions by focusing our energy on our innermost self.
Finding Your Intentions
First, I start by taking a walk in nature to calm my mind and focus my thoughts. While many people can meditate sitting in a Buddha type cross-legged pose, that does not work for me. I find myself in a meditative state when I swim.
To set my intentions for the year or just the month ahead, I imagine where I want to be and who I want to be in the near or distant future. I then try to visualize my passions and values by answering the following questions: What brings me joy? What gives me purpose? What is it that I seek?
Write It All Down
Once I've visualized my intentions, now it's time to put them into words. I think about the past year, and write down everything that went well in my life, and everything that could have gone better. I am a believer of trying things and if they do not work... I try something else.
I try not to focus on the things I cannot control and what others are doing, but instead I focus my thoughts on my own path to sustainable happiness. Then I write out what I have visualized for my future. From this, I then write mantras that can help me focus on my new intentions throughout the year.
For example, maybe I didn't stick up for myself or my ideas in the workplace over the fear of rejection. If I wish I could be stronger willed and conquer those fears, my mantra might be "I am a Warrior"
Or, maybe I had a falling out with a friend, and I wish I could have had the will to forgive and forget, so my mantra might be "I am capable of forgiveness."
You can have as many intentions as you want, but I like sticking to a few a year because it helps me stay focused.
Intentions Are Not Goals
Goals put pressure on us to achieve them, and typically have some external outcome or effect. Intentions are a way to focus on our innermost desires and passions to allow us to grow into the best versions of ourselves. They don't come with a to-do list or a game plan, they are merely planting the seeds of who you wish to be, so you can let the universe do the rest.
Acceptance doesn’t mean not to strive to be greater. There’s a subtle but essential distinction. If you strive for more without accepting yourself in the absence of what you think you lack then you will never have enough no matter how much you gain, and you will always feel “less than” because your worth will be dependent upon whether you gain what you think you lack.
By accepting yourself right now, as you are, you can and will still strive to grow, but that striving will come from a place of wholeness, not a place of insufficiency. And when you truly can believe ‘I am Enough’, you will absolutely be pulled toward growth and expansion because that’s human nature. But you will do it from a place of power, not a place of powerlessness. And that is the secret to lasting, true growth and progress.
Good luck to you all in the new year and beyond! If you are curious, what is my mantra for this year... I have been wearing my She believed she could, so she did silver dog tag necklace a lot lately. ;-)
I wholeheartedly agree with the difference between goals and intentions. After making through a year without my husband, I feel like a passed a huge milestone. My intention for the new year is to be content. Not blind acceptance because I can affect things, but to be content with my life and not to keep looking for something better, but appreciate where I am now.