Back in my 20s and 30s, I was that bubbly, highly optimistic, and slightly annoying friend who was always working on a goal.
Always looking for ways to make improvements, strive for better; even if it was far out, not realistic, or highly unlikely to succeed—it did not matter.
The thought of working on something and moving through the action steps to complete it kept me on track, balanced, and gave me joy like no other. I would also get serious, laser focused, and if I met my goal, I felt like I could tackle anything life threw my way.
The New Year’s season was no different for me. When January rolled around, I welcomed a new, healthy challenge with open arms and a determined spirit. The very thought of working on goals kept my vibration high, and eventually, flew into soaring mode.
When I reached 40, however, that’s when everything changed for me. When I eagerly started a strict liquid detox and then started an intermittent fasting routine, I failed miserably. The next year, I tried to stop eating sugar cold turkey.
Whether it was giving up a bad habit or trying to start a healthy new one, they all had one thing in common: they never had any chance of succeeding.
New Year’s resolutions never worked for me because I was more concerned with the outcome. I never gave it the time and effort it deserved, nor did I realize that I needed to apply a present mindfulness along with the future in order to succeed.
Looking back, I believe I was more attracted to the notion of proving to myself I could do it more than anything.
I was also one of those people who had always been interested in supporting other people’s goals. As a school counselor working in education for many years, I absolutely (and still do) love putting energy into supporting others. The energy in someone’s transformation can be an amazing experience to witness, not to mention their radiance from their new level of confidence.
Regardless, it got me thinking about how we can move forward positively without focusing so much on the outcome, and more of the intention and steps to get there. To master anything, it takes lots of practice. Practicing an ongoing, mindful, intention-setting routine can be the missing ingredient in our journey to change.
An intention is an idea that you set to carry out. Your purpose and stating what you would like to accomplish is your intention. Unlike goals, however, there is no endpoint in mind. You are consciously choosing to improve your circumstances. Your success is not based on the outcome, but rather on the thoughts, words, and actions that you set into motion.
Wayne Dyer said, “Our intention creates our reality.”
For this New Year’s, what if instead of concentrating on the goal, we focused on the intention?
In setting positive intensions, ask yourself, “If I could have my life look any way I desire, what would it look like? Ask yourself what matters most to you and how you want to be in all areas of your life.
Setting intentions creates the bridge so that you can manifest what you want most in life. Words have incredible power and saying them out loud can produce amazing results if you believe in them.
Start by silently stating your intentions to yourself in your daily meditation, prayer, when taking a walk or exercising, while in the car, or even in the shower. You can practice intention setting at any time of the day or anywhere. There are no rules, but it’s important to stick with it.
If any of these resonate with you, feel free to use for yourself:
I will accept myself as is, flaws and all.
I will acknowledge my fears in order to release them.
I will achieve my goals I set forth.
I will be grateful for my gifts.
I will accept blessings given to me.
I will practice self-care.
I will send love and encouragement out.
I will be open to change.
What are some intentions you will set for the new year? I’d love for you to share yours!