By: Lindsay Maurer
It’s 2020! We have all made another trip around the sun and even welcomed a new decade! Did you set any resolutions? I get it…we promise ourselves we’ll lose weight, spend less money, or see family more often. We know that once these things happen, our lives will magically transform. But the reality is that most people have given up on their resolutions by mid-February. Why? Because most resolutions are significantly more unattainable than their makers believe—so this year, let’s turn to intention-setting instead.
First let’s define the difference between these two practices. To RESOLVE means the act of finding a solution to a conflict or a problem. In a lot of cases, finding a resolution to a problem is a good thing. Not in the case of self and psyche. You are NOT a problem. You are an evolving, osmotic being in an ever-changing world. An INTENTION is something you plan to bring about, achieve, or manifest. It’s not about resolving any issue, as the word resolution alludes to. An intention is a path you follow for either the present day or another designated time period. When setting intentions, you’re trying to direct your thoughts in a particular way.
How to set your own intentions this year
Find what brings you joy: There is a thought process that states by focusing on the things that bring you joy, you’ll bring more positive experiences into your life. Get out a notepad and write down the things you’re passionate about. What brings you happiness? What gives you purpose?
Come up with a mantra: Once you have your list, come up with a short mantra incorporating some of the things you’ve written down. Your mantra can even be just one word—like patience, loyalty, love, or openness. Here are some examples of mantras:
- I experience inner peace
- I practice self-care
- I move my body daily
- I am disciplined with my finances
- I am gentle with myself
- I celebrate life
- I am fully present
- I connect to my higher power
As an alternative, use the word “choose.” For example, “I choose to express gratitude on a more regular basis.”
Create a vision board: I realize this one may sound silly to most of us but I really mean it! Get out your old magazines and some glitter glue and get after it! A good visual never hurt anyone.
Fill the board with clippings of words, phrases, and images that serve as reminders of the long-term rewards of staying true to your mantra and intentions. Make sure to keep your vision board somewhere you can easily see it every day.
Keep it positive & flexible: Every time you find yourself falling into the trap of negative thinking, remember to think the opposite. As an example, change your self-talk from “I’m not going to live with fear” to “I intend to trust more freely.”
Share with a friend: Find a friend who knows and supports you and tell them about your intention. This is an important step because while intentions may make us more responsible for our actions, we’re all bound to have slip-ups. A friend, mentor or spouse can help get you back on track when you find yourself thinking negatively or are struggling to stay in the present. It gives you a safe space to land when you need help.
Let it go: Say your mantra each day when you wake up then let it go. You’ve planted the seed—now don’t think too much about it! For things to manifest, we can’t hold on too tightly. We need to allow for action and change to occur. If you’re struggling with this step, try meditation or yoga to help ease your mind and put yourself in a state of greater presence.
Keep it simple & notice the ripples: Now that you are actively working with intentions you cannot fail. By setting an intention, you have set yourself up with a positive call to shift, a spark of magic and a manifestation rooted in self-love and backed by action. We live in a sea of cause and effect. If you throw in just one pebble of intention, you just get one concentric pattern. It is very clear but it ripples out and affects everything around it. Watch where those ripples spread and set new intentions based on where they land.
It’s never a bad time to set intentions. Success doesn’t happen to you, you go get it with intention and if you really look at it, all great acts are fueled by intention. Be kind to yourself, allow for slips and failure but always come back to your intention. Follow this simple act and you will see amazing results.
About the Author: Lindsay Maurer is the Employee Wellness Coordinator for Wellness at Family Health West. She is an exercise physiologist and licensed massage therapist with over 14 years of experience in wellness and mindset coaching. She lives in Fruita Colorado with her husband, two children, their dog Stickers and a guinea pig named JellyBeans.