I’m not going to take the stance that you shouldn’t have resolutions or set intentions just because it’s a new year. Why not recognize the beginning of a new year as a fresh start and a chance to set out on a new path?
That said, I also don’t think the beginning of a year is the only time you should create resolutions or set intentions. I also don’t think that if you veer off course that you should call it quits and give-up.
I mean, I had a few goals for this year that I’ve already fudged on, but the way I see it, there’s always tomorrow. If the schedule I’ve set for myself doesn’t work, that might be an indicator that it just wasn’t the right schedule for me, as opposed to meaning that I’ve failed at the goal.
I don’t believe in black and white, I think everything has a grayscale. And there are no rules on how to live your best life, aside from doing what feels right to you, to your soul.
Here are a few tips to make intentions that stick and to give yourself some grace when they don’t.
Three tips for setting better intentions for yourself:
1. Go With Your Gut
There may be times when you set goals because you think you should do a certain thing or be a certain way, when perhaps these goals aren’t really what you want for yourself deep down. There may also be times when you set goals for yourself, but that mean little inner critic pipes up before you’ve had a chance to take the leap and you subconsciously give up – even though there’s another little voice crying out for you to keep going.
So, before you set any goals or intentions, set aside some time to really check in with yourself. Run your goals and intentions through your gut and see if they’re a fit or not. One great way of doing this is by writing them down in a journal and reflecting on them, or focusing on them via meditation and seeing how you feel when you’re done.
Either way, your gut – aka your intuition – is boss, and if you check in with it, I can promise you she won’t lead you astray.
2. Be Flexible
As I mentioned, I’ve already “failed” at some of the intentions I set for this year, but the thing is, I don’t see them as “failures”. I see them as an opportunity to change it up.
My hobby is writing fiction, and I had set a goal to write every morning for 30 minutes – which can be very tough when you have a baby and you’re running your own business. So, rather than giving up or beating myself up, I am choosing to reshape my intention to write every weekend, rather than every day. And, hey, if I find some time throughout the week to write too – then great!
For you, when you set your intention, whether it be to meditate every morning, do yoga every night, or work out every day, and you find that you’re not meeting those goals, rather than give up, I suggest giving yourself a bit of flexibility and setting new parameters that work better for you.
3. Revisit Your Intentions Throughout The Year
As I mentioned, a new year is a great time to reset and start something new, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect those intentions throughout the year. Make sure that you spend a bit of time every month to reflect on how far you’ve come, and to look at what’s working and what’s not, and take some time to consider what you want to accomplish or achieve this upcoming month.
Spend a bit of time celebrating what you have accomplished so far. Celebrating yourself is one of the most overlooked and underrated things that we can do. Even if you spent three days achieving your goals, that’s enough to celebrate.
So, here’s to celebrating yourself more and beating yourself up less, because regardless of how well you’ve been achieving your goals or manifesting your intentions, the most important thing is that you try.
The fact that you’re doing something great for yourself is enough. And, much like how our oil cleanser‘s work, your mind also works on the like attracts like premise. So, when you’re approaching each day from a place of joy, more joy will be reciprocated back at you – aka you’ll notice more things that bring you joy rather than things I don’t.
All in all, this is your life and you deserve to live it in a way that makes you feel good. If that means setting intentions on the first of the year every year, good for you. If that means setting intentions at the beginning of every month, that’s great too.
Whatever works for you is right for you. You can set your own rules.