I have never been (and probably never will be) big on "New Year's Resolutions". For me, each new day is an opportunity to do, try, or focus on something new in my life. I also never quite understood the idea of a "New Year, New Me". I don't even particularly like the word "resolution". It implies that something about me or my life needs to be fixed or resolved.
I much prefer the word "intention". I would rather intend to try, do, and explore new things in my life. This allows me to detach from the all-or-nothing mindset and any feelings of disappointment that often follow as a result. Setting goals is healthy, yes, but fixating on those goals and allowing ourselves to feel defeated when we don't meet our own expectations is not.
We are always changing, and how we feel now is not necessarily how we are going to feel a few months from now. Setting goals for an entire year based on how we feel right now is not realistic, and we should allow our goals to be flexible and change as we do. It isn't about success or failure; It's about taking the time to get really clear about what we want to focus on and create. By doing this, we automatically bring more awareness into our lives, and that is how true transformations happen.
I found out I was pregnant on January 27th, 2017 and spent the entire year growing and caring for a baby. Pregnancy and birth were undoubtedly the highlights of my year, but looking back so much else happened as well! In February we traveled to Kauai, Hawaii with some amazing friends, and in July we celebrated our first marriage anniversary and had a babymoon in Door County, Wisconsin. I planted and tended to a veggie garden, taught 4-5 yoga classes a week until I was 30 weeks pregnant, and wrote two eBooks. I also traveled to Florida with my parents in August, organized and downsized even more, and we even got the entire house re-painted. What a busy and incredible year!
I was inspired to write down my intentions for this year after reading Rachel Brathen's blog. She sets clear intentions and organizes them into four specific categories: Personal Development, Business, Health & Body, and LOVE. I used her categories as a template to create my own intentions.
The underlying theme to all of my intentions is caring for myself and my son. I recognize my need to take to care of and be kind to myself so that I can be my best self for my son. I think a lot about the kind of environment I want him to grow up in and want to continue to be mindful of my actions, words, and thoughts as he grows. I see reflections of myself in him already, and above all else I want to be the best role model for him that I can be. So here we go...
Intentions for 2018
- Work hard, but remember to relax too (and enjoy it). I work hard and love to keep myself busy, but I tend to over-do it and end up feeling exhausted and drained. It's okay to relax though, and it's okay to enjoy it.
- Journal more. Expressing myself allows me to feel heard, even if I'm just writing in a journal. Writing also helps me to get my creative thoughts down on paper before my mind moves on to other ideas.
- Return to my daily meditation and breathwork practices. This used to be a daily practice for me, but during pregnancy and now in navigating motherhood it has been more challenging. These practices have helped me immensely over the past few years in regards to managing stress and thinking clearly.
- Read new books. I love to read and learn, but it is also the first leisurely activity that I push aside when life gets busy.
- Go to more yoga classes and events. I teach yoga, but I am first and foremost a student. There is always so much to learn. Maintaining my personal practice while teaching is important to me, and going to classes and workshops allows me to focus without the distractions at home and helps me to continue to grow both as an instructor and student.
- Teach more workshops, both related to yoga and wellness. This is something I very much enjoy doing and want to do more of this year. It challenges me to continue learning and pushing out of my comfort zone.
- Blog more. This one goes hand-in-hand with my intention to journal more. Journaling is often more readily accessible to me and serves as a template for my creative ideas. From there, I can organize my thoughts into blog posts rather than continue having ideas come and go without ever making it out of my brain.
- Create new content. I'm not sharing too much about this just yet, but I have some specific things I am planning to create this year and will be updating as I do so!
HEALTH & BODY
- Prioritize daily physical activity. I love to move, whether it be yoga, climbing, hiking, etc. Movement relieves stress, warms up my muscles, and makes me feel good in general! However, since becoming a mother there are days when I feel like I don't have any energy left to spare, even though I know getting up and moving actually boosts my energy and my mood.
- Take better care of my face. This is a tough one to share, but I'm putting it out there anyway. I struggle with anxiety, always have, and one of the physical manifestations of it is picking at my face. I have noticed the effects this has had on my skin over the past few years, and I'm at a time in my life where I prioritize myself care so much. It is time for my face to be a part of that care.
- Oil pull every morning. This used to be a daily practice for me before getting pregnant, and I am ready to get back into the routine. If you are unfamiliar with oil pulling, give it a Google, and read up on it! It's pretty magical.
- Be fully present with my son. I love nothing more than playing and cuddling with my little guy, but still I recognize the urges I have to check a message, snap a photo or multitask while I'm spending time with him. I'm being mindful of these urges.
- Put the phone away an hour before bed and for the first hour after I wake up. I have been doing this for a while now, but want to continue to do so. It goes right along with the intention to be more present, and spending time away from my phone before bed and in the morning gives me the quiet space I need to contemplate and reflect.
- Donate more things I don't need. This is an easy one for me, but I'm writing it here as a reminder to set up a day to drop off the bags of stuff I have packed up ready to go and to continue to be mindful of what I purchase and hold onto.
- Write or say positive affirmations about myself. This one is not easy for me. I am extremely critical of myself, but I intend to become more aware of the tone of my thoughts and how I am speaking to myself so that I can nurture a more positive dialogue.
- Make new friends. I'm a pretty private person, and I seem to be embracing my introverted tendencies more and more as I get older. I am not usually the one who initiates when it comes to socializing, but since becoming a mother I find myself longing for more adult interactions and intellectual conversations.
- Be of service. I set this intention right at the beginning of the year, and within a day I had two opportunities for me to help someone show up out of no where. I intend to continue looking for ways I can help wherever I go.
- LISTEN. Listen not only to others, but also to myself and my own intuition. My heart always speaks first, but my mind likes to compete and cause me to second-guess myself.
It feels quite satisfying to have written all of these out, and I'm looking forward to a year full of adventures and joys. If this type of intention setting resonates with you, I encourage you to try it out! After all...