Setting your intentions for the New Year
Resolutions are a common tradition in the New Year, with a famous track record of fizzling out by Jan 31st or never happening in the first place.
Recently, a client of mine mentioned how she successfully achieves her intentions for the New Year using an annual meditation and daily affirmations.
Before I go into the details I want to share why I appreciate this practice.
In my experience, resolutions are a tradition that lack depth and execution.
By definition a resolution is a formed decision to do something. Fitness, weight loss , family time, and even finances are among the top 10 resolutions created each year.
Over the years, I feel as if resolutions have grown to be more of a negative connotation than a positive practice. As if you’re expected to not follow through.
Intention, on the other hand, is an aim or a plan.
The word intention immediately punches me in the gut. It’s a visceral feeling that immediately internalizes. It may be because of my practice with qigong and meditation but I immediately think about mind and body.
An intention should come from a place of compassion and awareness. Compassion to meet yourself where you are and the awareness to know what you want and how to achieve it (or at least where to begin).
In my opinion, an intention gives you direction while a resolution states a problem.
When it comes to making a transformation or a permanent change, there has to be a deeper connection other than a list of things you tell people you want to fix.
For me, I find that there needs to be a connection , a belief , and a vision behind what you want to happen.
Setting intentions I believe is a deeper way of achieving what you want. What you really want.
Now, here’s a great way to help you set these intentions for the New Year or any time:
Enter your space
To start, you want to be in the right state of mind. Find a place and time where you can sit down and focus. Think of it as a meditation, where you can find a sacred space for you to relax and get in the zone. Take your time and settle in.
Gratitude and release
Reflect on all things you are grateful for in the past year. It's important to shine light on all the good that has happened to you and especially for you.
At the same time, find the courage to release whatever you don't need. In order to move forward you must shed whatever may be holding you back or whatever you may be holding on to that no longer is serving you.
Take your time and be patient with this step.
Be specific and keep it positive
Next, each intention should be specific as to what you want to attract. You should visually see what you want and see yourself obtaining it.
As the law of attraction states, positive thought creates positive results. So make sure when setting your intentions speak with a positive tone and energy.
For example , instead of “I intend not to gain more weight” try saying “ I intend to manage my diet better and commit to my training routine “
Below are ways to reframe the common resolutions mentioned earlier:
Fitness → I intend to train 2 to 3 times a week
Weight Loss → I intend to manage my diet better and commit to my training routine
Family Time → I intend to set the time every week to visit my family”
Finances → I intend to budget my spending and save 10% of my earnings
Write it down and share with a friend
Now that you have set your intentions, it’s time to put pen to paper because writing it down makes it official. We can think about our intentions all day long , but writing it down makes it tangible and gives you something to look back on.
After writing it down, share it with a friend or family member and have them read it back to you.
Two things happen at this moment, you get to hear your intentions out loud from a different perspective and increase the accountability factor.
This step not only helps you connect to your intention more strongly but It also builds your support system to make sure you get it done. The path towards self improvement is not easy and having people on your team can make all the difference when times get bumpy.
Plant the seed and let it grow
Think of your intentions as a seed you are planting. You want to make sure to water it just enough with daily affirmations and positive action. But at the same time, let it go and give it room to grow and manifest.
Reflect and reconnect
Now that your intentions have been sent out into the universe, take the time to reread them. Sometimes we may lose sight of where we are headed, so use this time to reflect and reconnect yourself with your intentions. You can do this step as often as you feel necessary.