With the end of the year comes the opportunity to reflect, to assess where we are in our personal and professional lives, to determine what’s working for us, to set goals for the coming year, and to identify the steps we need to take to get where we want to be.
We pause to take stock and, with our newfound clarity, we set intentions for the coming year. I use the word “intentions” rather than “resolutions” for a reason.
Resolution vs. Intention
So often, we discuss our resolutions, rather than our intentions, but there are some important differences between the two:
A resolution is a promise that you make yourself. It requires will power to succeed and often involves a pass/fail dynamic. Frequently, our resolutions are about changes we have failed to make in the past but hope we will find the strength to “tackle this time around”. For example, you might make a resolution to lose 25 pounds in the coming year….but what if you lose 15? 15 pounds is quite an accomplishment and should be celebrated, but there is still the nagging feeling that we have failed at keeping our resolution.
An intention is an overarching change that you plan to implement in order to manifest a desired goal. An intention differs from a resolution in that it is about doing more of something, or less or something, or doing something differently…all in pursuit of a desired outcome.
Defining Your Intentions
First, identify a goal. It might be to open a small business, or to land a role in a local theater production, or to enjoy a more active lifestyle. Goals about living your best life, no one else’s opinion should come into play here.
If your intention for the New Year is to create a more energetic, fit body, this is what you will put your focus on and plan activities around. Remind yourself daily of your new intention morning and night by creating an affirmation. For example, if an energetic, firm body is your intention, a good affirmation would be “I am so happy and grateful now that I am enjoying vitality in my strong, healthy body”, you can even post a picture of the body you would like to create on your bathroom mirror so that you see it each morning. These things help you to create the feeling of already having your desired outcome. When you start your day this way, you will find that you will begin to do things that help you move toward your goal with much more ease. We begin to make subconscious decisions that move us toward our goals when we remind ourselves of them often. Drinking more water, inviting a friend to join you at an exercise class, parking a little farther away at the mall so you get a few more steps in, all start to become automatic as our brains desire to close the gap between our reality and our “visualized” new reality.
What if your goal is a more peaceful life? Try setting intentions including deepening your meditation practice, reducing the amount of time you spend with a challenging family member, and changing the radio station in your car from rock to classical as often as possible.
Vision Boards, Journals, and Affirmations: The Best Tools in Your Kit
Once you have defined your goals and set your intentions…you’re on your way to success! Keep it up with three great tools:
Create a vision board. A Vision Board is a place to attach pictures and words that represent things you wish to accomplish in your life. Post your vision board where you will see it daily in order to remind yourself of what you want to manifest in your life. This turns your subconscious into your advocate and begins to bring opportunities into view that you may have been unaware of before now.
Start a journal. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a notebook where you can write your affirmations and gratitude daily. You will be amazed how quickly begins to bring changes.
Practice daily affirmations. Speak of your goal in the present tense, as if it’s already a reality. Let yourself feel the feeling of already having your desired outcome. “I am so happy and grateful as I enjoy perfect health and wellbeing” or “I am peacefully enjoying the view from the balcony of my new vacation home in Palos Verdes, California”, etc. This may sound funny to some people, but I assure you that any high achiever you can think of has used daily affirmations to get them to that high level of success. I challenge anyone to find a biography of a highly successful person that does not advocate the use of affirmations.
Enjoy! These tools can be a lot of fun and watching things begin to manifest for you is such a wonderful process. I wish amazing success in this upcoming New Year!
Do you need help defining your goals for 2018 or clarifying the intentions that will help you get there? Contact me and let’s talk about how I can help you get where you want to be.