For years I jumped on the countdown train on December 31st and did what every respectable adult did; I made New Year’s resolutions! I made them on the eve of a brand new year, and I usually broke them as the middle of January approached.

I couldn’t just name ONE thing I wanted to change, no that would be sensible! I listed at least five or six and with the greatest intentions but naive thinking, slowly but surely I couldn’t keep up to the expectation I had of myself. One by one they dropped out of my consciousness only to leave me feeling like I was a loser sprinkled with a dose of not being good enough (sigh).

There is a key word in that last paragraph which turned my world around. Can you guess what it is? The word is ‘intentions’. There is a huge difference between goals and intentions! Goals are future based; something we are always reaching for, whereas intentions are something we live in the present. For example: If you wake up in the morning and tell yourself you have a goal of being a productive and happy person today, doesn’t that sound like it’s just beyond reach – like it’s possible, however maybe not so probable? However, if you wake up in the morning and say “Today, my intention is to be productive as I navigate through each moment with joy!”. 

Can you feel the difference?

Intentions are the way we choose to be as we make our way through the day. Goals are something we want to achieve, which in your subconscious you are already programming it to believe that it’s something you have to reach for because you don’t have it already.

I love journals! The prettier they are the better because they inspire me to write words with a clear and positive energy. If you love journals, start a new one on January 1st, or whenever you happen to read this. Give yourself permission to sit still for the next ten minutes and just think about what intentions you would like to bring to your consciousness at the start of each new day moving forward.  Write one down. Breathe it in. Now, put your pen back on the paper. 

After you’ve been writing for 10 minutes, stop and go back to the top of the list.

Start with number one. Reread it to yourself out loud. How does it feel? How do the words roll off your tongue when you state them with certainty and vigour? Do you feel excited to own this intention tomorrow when your feet hit the floor? Does it feel ‘doable’? If it feels anything less than a “hell yes!”, put parentheses around it so you can revisit at another time. Just stick with the ones that  bring a sense of newness and ‘yesness’ to your mind and your heart.

Take your list, no matter how big or how small, and transfer them onto a post it note or piece of paper and  place in a spot you will see as soon as you get up. Read the list from your journal in the evening before you go to bed so your subconscious can start plotting ways to bring your intentions to life. List them on something visible so you see them first thing in the morning for a refresher.

Check back at the end of each week and see how you lived out your intentions. There is nothing here to make you wrong or bad if the week got away from you and you totally forgot to repeat them the last 4 days! Just like falling off the exercise train, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and begin again. Rinse and repeat for at least one week. I would love to know how this small but mighty little practice makes you feel and if you notice anything different about yourself. 

If you need a little help with setting your intentions, or you want an accountability partner or you simply need someone in your corner to help you navigate through some of the challenges in your life, feel free to schedule a complimentary discovery call to see if coaching is something you would like to add to your life skills tool kit!

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