Hey Loves! As this year begins to wrap up, and we excitedly watch it go, I’ve been thinking about all that has transpired since the beginning of the pandemic. Typically, as a year comes to an end or I approach a birthday, I tend to reflect on everything that has happened to me. Things done well, perhaps things I regret. And though this is not a bad thing, as it gives us an opportunity to look at areas of growth and improvement, I think we can all agree that we have had plenty of time to reflect in 2020.
Rather than relive this year, for my last blog of the year, I’ve decided to look ahead and think about all the possibilities this new year will bring for all of us. Now listen, I am not one of those idealistic people who thinks that on January 1 I will wake up and miraculously things will be back to normal. But I do believe that I can tackle the new year with a little more grace, patience, and optimism.
And no, I am not setting new year resolutions. Because as we all know by mid-February those resolutions are out the window. We want to change everything about us in the new year, but it’s like what exactly is wrong with the “old” you. I mean are you that bad?!?! Are WE that bad? And what compels us to make all these ridiculous resolutions in the new year. Resolutions that aren’t going to stick because they are just unrealistic and overwhelming.
I am not making resolutions this year because I really want to think intentionally about what I’d like to accomplish. I am pondering some bigger picture sort of stuff. Not the usual lose 10 pounds, workout everyday twice a day, give up liquor, sugar AND carbs kind of resolutions, journal and meditate every day, get up at 5! I mean I am exhausted just thinking about it.
They are just silly and resolutions like those set us up for IMMEDIATE failure. And so I’ve been taking my time to really think about attainable goals or intentions (as I like to call them) that have meaning and that will have a positive impact on the three areas of my life : health, spirituality and finances! Not because there is anything wrong with the old me but because there is always room for improvement, right?
I’ve also been thinking about the reasons why we fail at goals and why intentions are more impactful and the ways we can stay committed, maintain and sustain our work.
I found this explanation of the difference between goals and intentions:
Goals are focused on the future. Intentions are in the present moment. Goals are a destination or specific achievement. Intentions are lived each day, independent of achieving the goal or destination. Author Unknown /Google
Isn’t that great!?! This is why so many of us give up on long term goals. The minute we fail at it or fall off the wagon, we give up completely. For example, if my goal is to lose 10 pounds by going to gym and eating healthy, the minute I miss a day or two at gym for whatever reason, what happens? Ya’ll know. We use it to beat ourselves up and come up with a bunch of excuses as to the point? We give up. I know I do. Then I may tell myself forget the healthy eating because what’s the point I am not working out. And just like that goals go “poof”!!!
Intentions are different. Intentions or living intentionally focuses our vision and our thoughts towards an action. When we set intentions, the self-talk is different. The self-talk could sound more like:
“Today I intend to do one thing towards being healthy – take a walk at lunchtime. (For example). If for some reason I miss my walk at lunch time, I could say to myself, “Ok I missed lunch but today when I go the supermarket, I intend to park as far away as possible from entrance.”
Or here is another one: “Today I intend to smile at everyone I meet.” It could be that as I walk into the building, the guy who cut me off, has left a scowl on my face and I barely say good morning. Then someone will smile at me, I smile back and remember my intention. I still have bunch of people I can smile at, maybe someone who really needed it that day. It doesn’t feel as “ugh” as failing at my goal and completely giving up. Tomorrow I can wake and set intentions all over again.
The more you do something, the more innate it becomes therefore becoming a habit. The more intentions you meet or fulfill the more thought you put into reflecting what it is you want to see flourish within you that is going to get you a step closer to your overall goal. We know it takes 21-28 days to create habits. And intentions can change and still guide you to where you want to go.
With all that in mind I am looking ahead and thinking of where I’d like to see myself grow in this new year and then setting daily intentions to create those life-long habits that will help me reach those goals.
Here are some quick ways to get those intentions into your day:
- I keep a dry erase board next to my calendar that I see each morning on the way to bathroom. I jot down three quick intentions for my morning. Smile at everyone I meet, give a compliment. Drink two bottled waters before I leave home.
- At work I jot down some intentions on post its (am and pm).
- I also use my desk calendar to jot intentions.
- As I drive home, I think of some intentions for my evening (share a meal with my daughter, work out for 30 minutes (wherever that may be), meditate before bed.
As you kick off this new year, sit in silence and really think about how you want to grow yourself. Always remembering that there is nothing wrong or broken with the “old” you but that there is always room for better.
I really wish you all a healthy, abundant and intentional new year!
Happy New Year!
I am a 50-year old Latina divorcee who has been on a spiritual journey for, yikes, a really long time. Though I am not where I want to be, each day I do get closer to who I am meant to me.
I co-raised two young ladies and am a grandmother of two spunky, smart and funny kids – Max and Esme.
Education has been my niche for the last 20 years and I don’t know why. I wish someone had given me a career survey in high school or college to realize that #1- I am NOT a morning person and #2- I don’t really like kids, not even my own. So, I am searching for my passion. Not sure what that is yet. But there are a few things I am exploring, writing being one of them (that’s why I am here).
I have issues with commitment, not so much relationships but committing to my goals, putting in the work and seeing things through. But I did commit to making my 50’s the best decade ever. So far so good. I love yoga, traveling and writing; but mostly wine. Yes! I love wine.