When you think “New Year”, what words and images come to mind?
For me, it’s words like goals, dreams, and hopes. It’s also words like pressure, expectations, and failure. I see images of energy; people hyped up at the gym or buying themselves that new juicer for the 20 day detox that they probably won’t finish (full disclosure: that was totally me one year).
While there is nothing wrong with making resolutions within yourself to do better, be better, and achieve more, I think that the idea of working towards something to complete is a little finite, and definitely an anxiety producer. To be honest, New Year resolutions feel like additions to an already long to-do list.
A client I once worked with mentioned that she was taking a new approach to her New Year goal setting process. I was intrigued, and listened as she explained that her new focus was going to be on intention rather than resolution.
A word that has so much depth and vitality to it; and so much more to offer you when you practice it.
After all, what is a goal, resolution, or action if it is without intention?
Intention gives purpose and meaning to that which you are focused on achieving. It is a reminder to be present with your actions and decisions, and to live them fully and according to your value system. If you really want to accomplish effective and lasting goals in your life, focus on things that aren’t more work to do, but are aligned with your true north. Then these desires become passion rather than an expectation or requirement (and are definitely more rewarding).
Your goals are WHAT you are working towards. Intention is HOW and WHY you are going there. Intention is how you show up, how you tune into your inner world, and why you want to do so in the first place.
Find the things in your life that are natural for you to be intentional about. Is it your relationship? The musical instrument you play? Journaling? Yoga or fitness? Comedy? Cooking? It is certainly not bad to focus on challenges and the things that you feel like you’re lacking or want to do/be in the New Year. But I encourage you to find the areas of your life you’d like to be more intentional about. You may find that it’s not so much about finding new goals or resolutions to implement, but more about honing in on areas of your life and relationship that are already there but that you’d like to nurture more.
Best of luck to you with 2018. Now, what will you be intentional about?