An intention is a direction we want to pursue in order to work towards a particular end result. Building intentions, rather than resolutions, is my preferred method when it comes to moving from one yearly chapter, into the next. Finding a mindful way to reflect and then move forward in a positive, self aware state, will hopefully ensure that those tricky resolutions which often last just a few weeks, are a thing of the past and no longer leave you feeling like such a failure.
(If you haven’t checked out Part 1 of this series, then go do this now so you can try practicing the first part of my method).
In order to introduce the second part of the process, I think it’s a good idea to begin by focusing on the feelings you want to cultivate more of in the New Year. This might be something like confidence, excitement, achievement, happiness, or a more regular state of calmness for instance.
Next think about what kinds of things you need to do in order to feel this way. Think back to when you’ve felt this before as a helpful reminder.
What was going on for you at this point in time?
What were you doing?
What did it look like?
What did it sound like?
Next, ask yourself:
’How can I use this information to help me understand what actions I need to do more of in the New Year?’
‘What mindset do I need to adopt in order to bring in more of this feeling?’
Creating intentions that are built on how you want to feel and consciously bringing these habits/actions/behaviours into the New Year ensures you are staying true to what’s really important. It keeps your intentions in line with your values and allows you the time to check in with your version of reality. Do these actions really make me feel the way I want to feel? Or am I looking to adopt new habits simply because I feel I should?
Notice I’ve made a real point of looking at what ‘more’ you can do. I think the basis of formulating any good intention, is to notice what you can do more of, with what you already have. As mentioned in Part 1 of this New Years blogging series, building your New Year intentions from a negative stance isn’t the best grounding for a positive step forward. Think of actions that can enhance your life, rather than ways of cutting things out or changing things at an unachievable and un-realistic level.
As in Part 1 of this series, I will offer myself as an example. As 2017 folds over to 2018, I want to make a conscious effort to stay emotionally balanced and find more moments of calm and clarity, whilst continuing to grow and learn. These are my 2 main intentions – encouraging emotional stability and growth. These when achieved, lead to positive outcomes and help me to work towards personal and work related goals.
All of the below, are actions/thoughts which I’m currently doing where possible in my day to day life. I hope to continue to make these a part of my life as I move into the New Year, in order to achieve my intentions of building more balance and promoting more personal growth.
Practice yoga or stretch – 5-6 days a week.
Read before bed.
Invest time (and money) in learning and broadening my current skills. Continue with personal and business related education.
Continue to move my body in a mindful way through exercise.
Continue to practice intuitive eating.
Make time for self care – walks, baths, face masks, early nights etc.
Make time for friends and family and stay present when in their company.
Use social media mindfully. Use it with purpose, rather than procrastination.
Paint and write when inspired as a form of expression.
Practice kindness. Make it a habit to do nice things for people.
Build a journaling routine.
Stay grateful. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge the people and the things that have helped me and bought happiness each day.
What do your intentions look like?
What would you like to do in order to work towards this?
What actions / behaviours do you want to incorporate more of in 2018?
I look around each year as January approaches and notice that we all seem so excited, so consumed by the idea of ‘starting over’, as if we have never been presented with this opportunity before. Just remember, you don’t need a New Year to make changes and to build intentions. You are human, perfectly able to adapt, redirect and grow at any moment. Only you can control your actions and thoughts and that in itself, is a wonderful thing.