Setting Intentions for the New Year
Happy New Year, y’all! How are your resolutions going? Every December, as we start rolling up the Christmas lights and packing away those ornaments for another year, and then preparing for our New Year’s party, most of us take some time to think about what we want to accomplish in 2023.
Before my breast cancer battle, I spent years writing down my resolutions and it was always a combination of personal and business goals. Sometimes I succeeded in reaching those goals and sometimes I didn’t because, life happens, and I had to learn to be flexible. But there was always a little part of me that felt disappointed in myself when I didn’t reach my resolution goals.
Does this sound familiar? How many of you set a 2023 resolution to get to the gym every day and are already struggling to show up? It doesn’t mean you care any less about making self-care and physical fitness a priority this year, or showing up for yourself, it just means that sometimes you aren’t able to get to the gym.
We can say this about so many of the resolutions we make – whether they are ambitious or attainable – and there is always that little bit of shame and disappointment that comes when we feel like we’ve failed. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
I like to approach every new year with positivity and set myself up for success vs. potential failure. I prefer to set intentions and choose words versus resolutions, and that’s exactly what I did this year. I think it’s because last year was so hard caring for my aging parents. No matter how old you are, seeing your parents leave their homes to move into a care facility, is truly heartbreaking. Regardless of if it’s the right decision for their health and safety, it’s still a difficult transition for everyone. I see how they both struggle, separately, with the effects of aging and I know that I need to be as flexible as possible this year so I can continue to help care for them.
Setting intentions is different than resolutions because it lacks that added stress of needing to accomplish something by a specific deadline. It’s about focusing on what you want to experience and achieve this year and then making an action plan that will help you get to those experiences and achievements.
I started making a list of all the things I want to bring into my life this year. I wrote a few key points under each one of what I needed to do to reach that goal. Having those key points – or actions – helps tremendously because instead of just looking at the ultimate goal, I’m able to see what I’ve already accomplished to get there. Rather than feeling disheartened that I didn’t make it to the finish line, I feel encouraged that I’ve completed certain steps, which motivates me to keep going to get to my goal.
Here are five easy steps to setting intentions this year. It’s still January, so it’s never too late to change your resolutions into intentions and set yourself up for success!
- Make your list – write down all the things you want to see in your life this year. It can be anything from financial/business goals to personal achievements, even things like a dream trip you always wanted to take or a room you’ve been wanting to organize. Sometimes we only focus on the big goals, and we forget that even smaller goals are just as important. Instead of writing “I want to lose weight” you should write “I will practice self-care daily.” If your goal is to buy yourself a Birkin, write “I will be more frugal with my finances” this year. You’re keeping those ultimate goals in mind, but you’re taking the pressure off and setting an encouraging intention.
- Create a plan – this is the action items, the steps you need to take to reach your goal. Now some goals take a lot of steps, so you want to be as detailed as you can, which will just help keep you motivated as you see each task checked off the list.
- Keep it positive – Instead of writing the things you don’t want to do. For example, change “I don’t want to work late and miss dinner with my husband” to “I intend to leave work on time so I can spend quality time with my partner over dinner.” Keeping your intentions positive will have such a wonderful effect on your mindset and help you reach those goals!
- Accountability – this is optional, but I find that when I share my goals with Eddie, my kids, or my close friends, they help keep me accountable and on track. Not everyone likes to do this with their goals, but if you’re a person who needs that extra nudge and encouragement, recruiting some folks to help you on your path to your goals is valuable.
- Check-in – It’s important to check in on your plan to see how you’re progressing. In the beginning, I recommend checking in at least twice to three times a month until you feel confident and comfortable that you’re on track. After that, once a month is enough to check in on your goals.
- Do you set intentions or resolutions every year? What are you hoping to accomplish in 2023? Share your goals and strategies with us in the comments!
Till Next Time,
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