I didn’t set any new year’s resolutions this year.
I don’t believe in them, and not in the way I’m 87% sure Santa Clause isn’t real, or because I’m afraid I can’t stick to them, but because they feel rigid and absolute, and I always feel like I’m setting myself up for failure.
Historically new year’s resolutions have always focused on things I no longer want to be doing and therefore are all about removing and lack. eg abstaining from alcohol, losing weight, cutting out sugar, when really our future projections should be about filling up on the good stuff and adding beneficial habits into our life.
So now, instead of resolutions I set intentions. What’s the difference you ask? Well, the latter is a choice that you make, it’s changeable, easily shifted and open to interpretation. The former is not.
You can read more about the difference between new year’s resolutions and intentions here.
I set my 2016 intentions this year on the last night of 2015, but there is absolutely nothing stopping you from setting them today, or tomorrow or next month. There is no rule book that defines the time of year you must sit down and set intentions, so don’t let a silly day on the calendar make you wait another year.
Setting New Year Intentions
So how does one go about setting new year intentions? Well, I am so glad that you asked!
This is a little ritual I’ve done for the last few years and it works a treat. You might like to give it a go (or find something that resonates with you).
What you will need: A pen and a notebook or piece of butcher’s paper. If you really want to step it up a notch, a candle and some white sage.
Set the scene: I like to be at home alone with some quiet background music playing, some nagchampa incense burning (because it’s my fave), a freshly pot of chai tea and my chosen candle. I’ll often begin by sitting in a still seated meditation for 10-15 minutes to get myself into a good headspace but you can skip this if it doesn’t feel good for you.
Pay homage to 2015
Whether 2015 was full of successes and triumphs, failures and lessons or a combination of the two it’s important that we pay it the respect it deserves.
So I like to write down the following:
- My 2015 successes. It’s important to include the small ones among all the big successes. eg teaching myself how to use audacity to edit my podcast. Often we’re so quick to jump onto our goals for the next year that we forget all that we’ve already accomplished.
- My 2015 lessons. I am all about making mistakes. The more we make, the more lessons we learn and the more evolved we are as humans on this planet. But if you’re not actually learning those lessons then what’s the point? So write down some of the lessons that you learnt over the past year through both your mistakes and triumphs and set the intention to learn from them going forward.
Intentions for 2016
The power of setting intentions lies in focusing on what it is you want to feel in 2016 without placing too much emphasis on the intricacies of how it’s possible or even the outcome.
For example you might say “I intend to feel more abundant in 2016”. For you feeling abundant might mean acquiring lots of cash money, it might be brimming with love, or to you abundance might feel like having lots of ‘things’, but instead of focusing on those specifics just focus on creating that feeling deep inside when you think of what it feels like to have abundance in your life.
This all might sound a little vague, but in fact the opposite is true. The number one rule of manifesting is to be able to truly feel what it is like to already have the thing that you desire, with out focusing on how you will attain it.
And the beauty of setting intentions rather than resolution for a new year is that they give us the ability to shift and change them if they’re not working for us, without feeling like we’ve failed or given up. Woo hoo!
To inspire you here are some of my 2016 intentions (notice I have abandoned specifics):
- I intend to be of service to others.
- I intend to feel more love in all aspects of my life.
- I intend to nourish my body and mind.
- I intend to be kind to myself and others.
- I intend to feel successful in my business ventures.
- I intend to feel fear and push through it rather than retreat.
Practical goals for 2016
I’m all for setting myself little practical tangible goals too, but the trick is to not get too tied to them, and to commit to not feeling like a failure if they’re not achieved by a certain on the calendar. It’s also important to have a look at what has prevented you from achieving these goals in the past.
For example one of my practical goals this year is to get up into headstand in yoga. Before I can attempt to nail this goal for the year it’s important to work out why I haven’t been able to get up in the past. I worked out it’s because I’m shit scared of a) falling on my face b) dislocating on my shoulder (which is absolutely not going to happen) and c) that I’m just not strong enough.
Now that I know what’s been holding me back I can set some new intentions around achieving this practical goal.
The fun bit
Now that you have set your intentions it’s nice to close the practice. I like to read over my notes, and then sit in silence for a few minutes and just absorb all of that energy that has just been created.
If you have some white sage, light it on your candle. I like to use it to clear any stale energy left hanging over from 2015. I walk around to each room of the house I also do a sweep over my entire body. The magic of burning white sage is in the negative ions that it emits (similar to that of running water or salt lamps). These ions bind to the positive ions in the air and in our personal aura and cling to them, which neutralises them.
It’s really important to check in with your intentions on a regular basis. I like to review them monthly and make sure they’re still working for me. Checking them on a new moon is a really nice way to create a regular practice, plus you get to harness all of that new moon energy.
If you need help with your intention setting, book in for a session with me and we can devise a 2016 game plan. If you struggle with accountability you might be more suited to a 3 Month Program where we can really focus in on creating some serious shifts in your health, happiness and overall outlook.