Setting Intentions For The New Year In Ten Steps

Setting Intentions For The New Year In Ten Steps

January 1, 2019

Happy New Year mamas! Isn’t there something invigorating about a clean slate and fresh start to the year? As we move forward with hope and optimism for what lies ahead, I thought I would share some words of wisdom regarding setting intentions. In my yoga class this past Saturday (the last one of the year), my amazing teacher shared the following thought regarding much of the “new year, new you” messaging we are bombarded with. For her, “new year, new you” incited a visceral reaction. This is why:

The brokeness and pain of our past are a part of our story. We shouldn’t push it away. The cracks are what allow the light to shine through.

She told us that instead of eliminating our shortcomings and starting over, we should remember that these are the things that make our journeys uniquely ours and make us beautiful. While we should always challenge ourselves and strive for growth in the new year, we should not bury the person we have been up until this point. Which is why I have found it essential to review the past year – the good, the not so good, and the downright ugly before setting intentions for the future.

Review The Past Before Setting Intentions For The Future

I began by looking back at 2018 and determining what I accomplished and did well. Then I focused on what didn’t go so well – areas where I struggled, areas of challenge, and areas where I completely dropped the ball. After this I identified areas where I would like to grow and challenge myself in the new year. Then I took a look at things in my life that I would like to completely let go of. I thought about what my life would look like and how I would be if I could just let go of the things that are holding me back. After this, I contemplated what I would like my life to be like in the new year and what I would like to create in the year to come. Finally, I re-read my notes and identified themes. From there, I set one intention with a few goals pointing back to it.

Why did I focus on setting intentions instead of making resolutions and what the heck is the difference?

For me, setting an intention this year felt more focused and more authentic. Instead of scrambling to master a ton of different areas of my life in one year, I decided to incorporate this intentional foundational element of living and being into every moment of every day. My intention is a constant form of practice – just like anything we strive to get better at. Not a one and done accomplishment (the way resolutions feel to me) but rather a growing, changing, evolving practice that will continue throughout my life.

How should I go about setting intentions?

There is no one right way to do this, but I found Leo Babauta’s Sacred Bow Challenge helpful and  inspirational. Here are some of the questions and steps I incorporated in setting intentions for the new year:

Ten Steps For Setting Intentions

Ask yourself the following and write down your responses:

1. What went well last year? What did I accomplish?

2. Where did I drop the ball? Where did I struggle?

3. Who would I like to be in the new year? How do I look, feel and behave?

4. What do I dream of letting go of that could help me become this person?

5. What would I like to build and create?

6. Where would I like to grow and challenge myself?

7. Review your responses and ask yourself, “What themes do I see?”

8. This doesn’t need to be completed in one day. Spend several days or even several weeks writing and reflecting.

9. When you’re ready, create an intention or intentions that feel authentic to you for the year and any sub-goals that point back to this intention.

10. Optional: Follow these steps for you as an individual, your career, and your role as a mother.

Now that we’ve walked through the exercise together, here is an example from my results.

Setting Intentions For The Year Ahead – MK’s Intention:

I decided to create only one intention for the year based on my responses. I’m craving focus and there was one big theme that seemed to keep leaping off the page. I intend to move from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset.

This intention is the same for my personal life, my role as a mother, and my business.

Why I chose to set this intention:

Just like the quote at the beginning of the article indicates, I noticed a big crack in my life that needed a lot of love and light to shine through. The last part of my year was spent in a constant battle with scarcity, envy, feelings of lack, feelings of being left behind financially, feelings of unworthiness, and a lot of fear and doubt.

-I worried about not being good enough to succeed professionally and personally.

-I worried my family’s income wasn’t enough for the area we live in.

-I worried our home wasn’t nice enough or updated enough and that others judged me because of it.

-I worried my children would fall behind academically and extracurricularly because they didn’t have as much wealth as many others in our community

-I realized my seven-year-old daughter was starting to focus on money and the lack of it because I was in such a negative state.

-I realized I was writing off friends who had significantly more wealth than me because I felt like they were bragging anytime they mentioned a material possession or expensive opportunity

-I realized I was seething with jealousy, doubt, lack and unworthiness the last few months of 2018. Even writing this I can feel the remnants in my heart.

-I realized how serious the feelings had become and that it was time for a big mindset change in the new year.

I am so very grateful for this wake-up call. I am grateful for the ability to recognize my downward spiral and make the choice to stop it. This coming year, I intend to work daily at adopting an abundance mindset. I intend to practice gratitude multiple times a day for the gifts I have received. I plan to retrain my brain to function in a place of abundance, where all my needs are met and many of my wants as well, rather than from a place of lack. I plan to focus on challenging my fears and doubts with a hopeful outcome. I know that this will be a process. I know that if I stop practicing daily I will retreat back to that place of fear and scarcity. But I want more for my life, my children, and my business. Most of all I want everything to thrive.

My Goals Based On Setting The Intention Of Adopting An Abundance Mindset:

1. Practice gratitude and abundance daily (and ideally multiple times a day)

2. Challenge my fears, doubts and negativity by creating hopeful outcomes

3. Develop an optimistic, positive outlook

4. Be aware of and receptive to all of the abundance that comes into my life. Just in the past two days I have received two unexpected gifts of delicious food from neighbors. That is abundance and the appreciation of abundance in action! I have so many wonderful things in my life to be grateful for. And this year I will learn to appreciate them more than ever.

5. Teach abundance mindset to others. Once we learn something we can teach it to others. Through teaching others, we can master it and reinforce our understanding. These wonderful words of wisdom are courtesy of Trish Blackwell’s Podcast #163: Abundance Mindset. I highly recommend that you give it a listen if you have also been struggling with a scarcity mentality. It has been a wonderful tool for me.

Now that we have walked through the approach of setting intentions and seen my example, it’s your turn to set your own! Von also shared how she is working through the process this year here. Regardless of how you choose to set your resolutions, goals, and intentions for the new year, we wish you the best in this process and a year filled with postive growth and abundance!

Related Posts: How To Make New Year’s Resolutions That Feel Authentic

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