Set Intentions for the New Year
At Mindful Touch, we love December because the last couple of weeks always hold the promise of a new beginning in the form of the incoming New Year, and bring with them reflection on the outgoing year.
This year has been another one filled with uncertainty, but we’ve made it through. The world around us has changed dramatically over the last couple of years, and the uncertainty has made it difficult to create solid goals for the year to come.
Because of this, we’ve found it important to revamp the way we prepare for the year ahead, and have turned to setting intentions for the year instead of creating resolutions we will just abandon by Valentine’s Day. We invite you to join us in this practice for this New Year.
What is intention setting?
Intentions help us channel our inner strength and focus, and give us purpose. While resolutions serve as goals or end results, intentions are broader ideas on what we want and how we want to be. Intentions are more of a statement on how we intend to improve our lives and carry less pressure than resolutions.
Intention setting helps create a roadmap to guide us through a specific period of time. When it comes to setting intentions for a new year, this will act as a guide in how we act and respond to life’s happenings during the year, rather than giving us a specific thing to achieve by the year’s end. In essence, intention setting is more about the journey than the destination.
It will take a little bit of soul searching and introspection to find your motivation and inspiration. Intention setting requires more focus on what’s important to your heart and your soul, rather than materialistic things.
How to set an intention
You’ll want to be in a positive headspace when setting your intentions, so take some time to reflect on the year you just had. Sit quietly with a journal and jot down some positive things that happened in the past year; don’t focus on things that didn’t happen or goals you didn’t meet, but rather on what you learned.
Next, reflect on what’s important to you, what in your life inspires you, and what sparks feelings of passion and purpose in your soul. Write your passions down and use these to inspire the intentions you set. Even if your passions are things that you aren’t sure what the result or outcome might be, include them. Listen inwardly, your inner voice will guide you towards finding the intentions that are right for you for the next year.
Now, write down your intentions for the year. These might be practices like “I will practice daily self-care through meditation and yoga” or behavioral shifts like “I will be more compassionate towards others.” Remember, intentions are inner guides, not inflexible goals to achieve. Don’t write down “I will lose 20 pounds,” that’s not an intention. Instead, you can try setting an intention like “I will focus on my whole body health by eating well, exercising, and getting eight hours of sleep.”
Keep in mind that setting intentions should be a practice in positivity. Rather than setting an intention for something you don’t want to do, try to flip your intention into a positive alternative, instead. For example, if you want to stop being so self-critical, instead set an intention to practice more self-love or to allow yourself grace.
Create a mantra
Once you have your list of intentions written down, come up with a couple of words or a phrase that summarizes or incorporates the things on your list. Start each day by stating your mantra as a reminder to yourself, write down your mantra and carry it with you, and repeat it throughout the day.
Check-in with yourself
Throughout the year (or other period you’ve set your intention for) check-in and ask yourself “does my behavior align with my intentions?” Only you know the true answer, so be honest with yourself, and if the answer is no, try to adjust your attitude and behavior so you can get back on the correct path.
Share with a friend
Pick a friend who you know can help with accountability and share your intentions with them if you feel comfortable doing so. While intentions are personal and meant to keep us responsible to ourselves for our actions, a trustworthy friend can keep you on the right path by giving you a nudge when your behavior doesn’t align with your intentions.
Massage therapy can aid your intention setting
A clear, relaxed mind is an important starting point when you’re setting intentions, and the calming environment at Mindful Touch creates the perfect conditions for achieving the mental clarity necessary to listen to your inner guide. Book a relaxing massage therapy session with us before you sit down to set your intentions for the year to be sure the path you’re setting is the right one for you.
I encourage my clients to practice self-care in a way that prioritizes their health needs (this includes mental health!!!). Our bodies need good nutrition, exercise, rest, and relaxation to thrive. When you incorporate all of these pillars of health into your daily life, the best of you will flow out into the world to your loved ones and others.Read More