Intentions vs Resolutions- My powerful process for reflection and inspiration this New Year.
It’s about this time each year when people start to reflect on the year that’s been- the milestones they’ve reached, the joys they’ve experienced and the inevitable low points (cue the annual memes about how crappy 20** was and how next year will be THE year…) It’s also a time when people start to consider their New Year’s Resolutions. You know- those goals that we all set and then forget about 2 weeks later…
I’ve only ever had one New Year’s Resolution that I’ve managed to achieve- it was to stop biting my nails and I set it when I was 9. Granted, it took me 5 years to eventually stop but since then they’ve all been lofty dreams that I haven’t even come close to reaching. For example, a couple of years back I set a resolution to ‘Be Happy.’ Good one Jess, reaaaaal achievable for 365 days straight. That was until last year. Last year, I adopted a very different approach and it changed everything. In this blog post, I’m going to share it with you in the hope that it will be supportive for you too.
The first thing I did- before I even thought about anything I wanted to achieve, do or feel in the upcoming year was sit down and reflect on the year that was finishing. I got out my trusty journal, found a sweet spot in the sunshine, dusted off my coloured textas (who am I kidding, I’m a teacher- those bad boys are never away long enough to gather dust) and asked myself some questions. It’s interesting how quickly we forget the amazing things that we have accomplished, however, this practise left me bursting with gratitude and pride for myself at what an epic year it had actually been! And remember, even our hardships are a chance for growth- there’s no need to label things as ‘good’ or ‘bad’- this is simply a reflection and a chance to learn from our experiences.
Here are the questions I asked myself:
What are the 3 best things that happened this year?
What have I achieved?
What have I learned?
What are the top 3 biggest lessons I’ve gained?
How much have I grown?
What do I want to let go of from this year?
Describe this year in 3 words.
I’m grateful for…
Giving yourself the time to answer these questions openly and honestly, will be so helpful for you to bring clarity to what you want the next year to look like. Speaking of which, you’re probably wondering if now is the time that we set those ‘all-important’ New Year’s Resolutions. My response is to gently invite you to lose those words from your vocabulary. A resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to begin the new year feeling rigid and stuck. I want to be feeling excited by the experiences and opportunities that might come my way, and I want to be open to what The Universe has in store. Hence why, I now set intentions. Even the word intention feels less forceful and more flowing. (I encourage you to check out Danielle Laporte’s work on creating your Core Desired Feelings for more on this topic.)
Here is my process for gaining clarity on the year ahead and setting my intentions:
What are 6 words to describe how I want to feel next year?
What are my Health intentions/goals?
What are my Career intentions/goals?
What are my Financial intentions/goals?
What are my Self-Love intentions/goals?
What are my Relationship intentions/goals?
What are my 3 Core Desired Feelings for this year?
What is one word that I want to guide me and describe my year?
Handy hint: Be very conscious and careful of the word you choose to guide your year. This year mine was ‘Kick-ass’ and upon reflection, I can see how that led to a lot of action-orientated decisions being made, with a whole lot of DOING and not as much BEING. Lucky that I’d chosen the 3 Core Desired Feelings of ‘Authentic’, ‘Present’ and ‘Playful’ too.
I’ve yet to sit down and begin this process for myself in 2017, but I’m super excited to do so next week! At the moment, I’m leaning into the word ‘Expansive’- but I will let you guys know what I end up choosing. Remember that when you decide to do this, it’s important to show yourself a bit o’ love by setting up a supportive space where you won’t be disturbed (unless you plan to do this with a partner or friend- which is totally cool!), being kind to yourself and setting the intention of making it fun!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year beautiful people! Sending you all lots of love this festive season!
With gratitude and love,
P.s. If you're feeling like 2018 is your year to shine as the most authentic version of yourself, I'd love to support you! Simply click this link to book a Complimentary Clarity Call. It's that simple!