Why Setting Intentions Can Work for You in the New Year
“The idea is to live your life in a way that makes you feel lit up. Alive. Full fledged. Beautiful. Know and find what nourishes you inside out, bones to skin and then build your world from that alone. All else is not part of your revolution. Or your ultimate evolution.” – Victoria Erickson
In the last few days leading up to the turn of another trip around the sun, I’ve been thinking a lot about what this year has brought for me and my family, and where I want my life to go in the next year. I checked a lot of boxes in 2018. We booked a trip, started a home renovation, went to the Dells….and while I am thankful for all of it, if I’m being honest, trials outweigh triumphs this year. So when I look ahead to 2019, despite my disappointments of the last 365 days, I envision adventures, rewarding challenges, new and unforeseen relationships and a deeper understanding of who I am and what exactly I was placed on this beautiful earth to do. What will be absent from both my head and my heart this year are resolutions. Although well intended, they give us no room to grow. Resolutions are finite and this year I have no room for limits.
What I will make all the time in the world for this year is to set and follow intentions. And this year, my primary intention will be BRAVERY.
Bravery can take on a lot of different meanings. For some it means trying on new ways of thinking, taking more risks, facing a buried burden. And while I have rarely shied away from the new and unknown, the majority of my life has been more or less locked in a box of preconceived notions about me. I’m scared to question my limits. Ironic, isn’t it. But I have a feeling I’m not alone on this one. And rest assured you aren’t alone either.
When situations scare me, whether it be a yoga class or a yearly check-up for my kids, I become resolute that the outcome will be less than ideal. Almost every time, I tell myself,” I’m strong, I can handle it. Give me more. Try to break me. Bring it. Because you can’t.” But what is finally sinking in, is that walls have two sides. They can’t break in. But what’s worse is that I can’t break out. And it’s going to take bravery of the boldest form on my part to undo this way of thinking; Bravery and time. Another reason why resolutions won’t work this time around.
When we set an intention for ourselves, we allow room to stumble and on the flip side, we make room to stretch our limits to meet new goals. No doubt, come January 3rd, my intention of bravery will be interrupted to pay a bill, lose my temper, binge-watch Netflix (insert excuse here…). Old habits die hard. And intentions, as significant to our evolution as they may be, understand this.
Confession: I cried and cursed a lot this year because of the way things did (or didn’t) work out. I was passed up for a position that I really wanted. So I resolved that I wasn’t the right fit and narrowed down my vision to only focus on the field in which I had the most experience. I grew apart from a friend, and resolved that this happened for a reason, that we were no longer the same people and resigned that we would no longer be close. My daughter and I butted heads pretty much nonstop for what seemed like every. Single. Day. Again, I resolved that my parenting wasn’t up to par and resolved yet again, to tighten my grip. Just typing this is exhausting, so I can imagine how much your brain must hurt reading it. But this is exactly my point! My resolutions were completely useless and accomplished absolutely nothing accept for constraints, frustration and heartache.
The good news is here, that I am an eternal optimist. Often against my better judgment. I cannot express enough how excited I am to embrace a different way of looking at my future. The most beautiful part of setting an intention is that you are creating a path for chance and circumstance. We all know the most meaningful experiences in life happen when we allow ourselves the flexibility to look another way or into a different light.
I ask that you allow me to break down walls of false truths regarding limits on potential. I ask that when the going gets tough (and it will) that you stretch my comfort zone to allow room for insight and faith. Give me the wisdom to look at others’ point of view as my own so I can be brave enough to come to a friend’s side rather than staying safe on my own turf. Allow me the perseverance to build my daydreams into a reality that includes travel, physicality, vitality and gratitude for both the big and small (even when I have to squint my eyes to see it).
And last but not least, I want to leave behind 2018 thanking each and every one of you for being exactly how you are, as you are, in my life. If this year has been hard on you, you’re not alone It will be okay. If you had a year was everything you’ve dreamed, I wish you even more of what has taken you this way.
Farewell resolution. Welcome intention. I’m ready.