Did you set intentions for the New Year?
If you did, you’re not alone. As 2018 came to a close many of us hustled about and thought about what we would like to accomplish in the New Year. Some of us set goals, while many of us set intentions. Bur regardless of what word was used we were all hoping that at the end of 2019 we would feel a sense of accomplishment by having push past our comfort zone and achieving something new.
But it’s only January 24th. We're only three weeks into the New Year and those intentions that we set are causing us to cringe with disappointment.
Something happens that first week of January.
We’re excited and filled with joy at the possibility of what may come. However, we’re still recovering from the over-indulgence of food and drink that occurred over the holidays. We're recovering from not having had any time to ourselves and having had the need to put everyone else's needs in front of our own. From running from one event to another. From having had to subject ourselves to people whose values don't align with our own.
The holidays are exhausting and the pressure that we place on the New Year can be as well.
Our bodies and minds crave silence. Extra time spent alone. Stillness to reconnect with our thoughts and for some of us perhaps detox. What we don't need is to go full speed ahead into having to change everything about ourselves. But this is what we do. Full speed ahead into the New Year as there is so much work to do. Some of us have to lose twenty pounds, go back to school, find a new job and eliminate debt. And if it's ever going to happen we MUST START it all TODAY!
The New Year makes us insane! I mean CRAZY!
We change our eating habits, cut out alcohol, increase our exercise routine and immerse ourselves into our work. And then after one week we’re burned out. If we’re lucky we’ve lasted a few days. A week at most before we GIVE UP. I mean give up on everything. And then we start hating on ourselves for being weak. But we never take a step back and look at all of the unnecessary pressure we were placing on ourselves to begin with.
We end up doing the exact opposite of what we intended to do and then we mumble to ourselves about how much we failed.
Intentions are meant to make us feel a specific way and those feelings are not meant to be negative.
Let's dig a little deeper.
Do you know the difference between goals and intentions? Intentions are the exact opposite of a goal. Intentions indicate a greater motivation from within to feel differently then you already do. They focus on the end result and that is how we would like to feel. I suggest changing the dialogue that repeats in your head by setting intentions that are focused on how you would like to feel.
Say the word intention out loud.
The word itself ignites a fire within.
Here’s an example of changing a goal to an intention. Instead of I hope to build $1 million business I intend to build a business where I am financially stable and abundant. And another example, instead of I hope to gain 100 clients, change it to I intend to work with an abundance of clients that are open to the services my business provides. The simple process of changing goals to feeling based intentions rewires your brain to recognize that once your hopes and desires are achieved you will be filled with feelings of joy and positivity.
When 2019 comes to a close how would you like to feel?
Most of us would like to feel happy, joyous, confident, loved, and powerful or financially secure
(yes there are many other feelings that can be inserted here).
Did your goal or intention that you set for 2019 end with a feeling that you desired?
Did the process of achieving it match the feeling?
If it didn’t match a feeling that you desire then that intention might not be right for you. Here are some examples of intentions that we should not make: intentions that are fulfilling the need of a family member, spouse, business partner or friend but never our own.
We should not continue to reuse or repeat intentions every year. If years have repeated and the same intention continues to show up on the top of your list you should probably acknowledge that this intention does not align with your values. Yes, it may have at another time but today it is not important.
Move away from the old as it will continue to bring negativity into today.
Once you have set your intentions you may experience some internal conflict. Your inner perfectionist may come out to haunt you. You'll overthink what you're doing and you may even stop. Don't let your inner critic keep you from the places you want to go. Keep going. Don’t wait for perfect as perfection does not exist. Moving forward is the only action that one can make.
A simple trick to silence the inner perfectionist is to set external deadlines. If you’re scared that you’re not good enough or that you’re not ready, nothing will set your ass on fire like having to meet with a client next week. So go ahead, book an appointment with that trainer you’ve been dying to work with. Or make an appointment to meet with that academic advisor.
Nothing will get you going more than knowing that you have a meeting in 3 days. I promise you. You can finish a project that should have been completed three years ago by simply setting external deadlines.
Get on it with it now. Put your heart into it.
You’ve got this.
And one more thing, these are your dreams and desires and not those of someone else. They’re your first thought in the morning and the last thought you have at night. Don’t ever let someone else’s opinion or judgment stop you from working on what your heart desires. Believe me, the less concerned we are with the judgment of others the more time we will have to focus on following our own hearts and desires.
Just remember, you’re never too poor, young, old or imperfect to chase after your dreams. There is no guarantee, that when we do, they’ll turn out the way we envision them to be. But the only thing scarier than not chasing our dreams is spending our days wondering what would have happened if we did. So let it all go and look deeper inside. Therefore I must ask you,
What are your dreams and desires and what do you intend to do in 2019?