We all do it. Every December, post-holiday indulging, we set goals. Next year I will lose weight, be less judgmental, fill in the blank. And we think to ourselves, “somehow, this year will be different.”
While goals are important, we have to remember that they are the end result and the most meaningful moment is this moment, right now. Jumping to the end result is a set up for failure. By January 2nd we are disappointed in ourselves which just creates barriers to any sort of significant change we are working towards.
This year, try setting the intentions before the resolutions and skip the goals all together. Sounds radical right? Radical is what it takes to make meaningful change and meaningful change starts with an intention.
Intentions are the threads woven through the tapestry of our journey. They are not simply words, but ways of living. Merriam-Webster offers a couple of definitions that will help you live your life to the fullest in 2017.
1: a determination to act in a certain way
It isn’t easy to make change and determination or discipline is certainly a part of the process. Acting is the secret ingredient and also a moment-to-moment process. Want to be less critical in 2017? How are your actions reflecting that in this moment? Consider how you will support that determination. Will it be through joining Weight Watchers, committing to weekly meditation, or something else that supports the discipline needed to honor your higher self?
2: IMPORT, SIGNIFIGANCE
Whatever it is you are resolving to shift in 2017, make sure it is important to YOU. It can’t be about your friends or family, or what looks good on Facebook; it’s about what feels significant to you. If it isn’t significant it isn’t worth the determination and only you can define that for yourself. Then, carve out the time and space it deserves. Schedule out time for yourself to go to the gym, therapy, or time to journal. Anything worth an intention is worth the time needed to help it grow and flourish.
3: a: what one intends to do or bring about
b: the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered
Life is all about creating or bringing about the next step. The next step is worth your mindfulness, your prayer, or your ritual. Whatever your intentions are, honor them. Write it down, say a prayer, meditate. Get creative with it. You may want to create a collage or set up a mini shrine that reminds you of your intentions. Bring consciousness to the future you.
4: a process or manner of healing of incised wounds
Setting intentions always involves the healing of old wounds. Whether you want to eat healthier, spend less money, or be kinder to others; moving into that new place will involve forgiveness and self-compassion. Without this healing, we simply can’t move forward. So, give yourself space to heal before diving into the next phase. This may mean making amends with someone you love, including yourself. If this task is difficult, don’t let it be a barrier. Consider working with a licensed mental health professional to help you through old wounds. It is the most rewarding process of living your intentions.
So, here you are . . . at the crossroads of a new year. Let go of the goals and work with the intentions. When you miss the mark, remember you are human and go back to those good intentions. Share them with others using #intentionsb4resolutions and help us inspire each other!
Happy New Year!