Creating an Intentional & Amazing Year!

Setting New Year’s Resolutions is a long-standing tradition. The new year is seen as an opportunity to start anew, refresh, re-align, re-set and either re-commit to our goals or create new ones that will set our course for the upcoming 12 months. I absolutely believe that setting INTENTIONS and GOALS is a powerful way to start the new year and a powerful way to take an active role in making our dreams come true!  Whether you are making resolutions or creating intentions and goals, the critical two ingredients for success are: integrity and accountability. Here is a guide to help you get started!

Create Intentions for the year that will inspire you, thrill you, enhance you, and bring about your very best self! Intentions are defined as an “aim, plan or purpose”. You are setting a course for yourself with clarity that is aligned with your values, beliefs and aspirations. Intentions can be viewed as a guide for living a conscious and joyful life (1). Setting your Intentions allows you to create a path for yourself that is focused on how you will live your life as you set goals for yourself. Intentions are your internal compass. Intentions are most powerful when you read them and connect with them each and every day. They set the course for how you live your life day to day (2).  

How to Write a Powerful Intention Statement: You can either write an overall Intention statement or break your Intentions down into categories, such as financial, health, family, career, hobbies, spiritual. Here are some sample Intention Statements that reflect purpose, values, and aspirations:

General Intention:  My intention is to be purposeful and present in all my endeavors this year. My intention is to live a life of health, peace, courage, kindness, and determination in all my affairs. My intention is to stay open for feedback, be creative, and daring. My intention is to show up with my family, friends and colleagues as my authentic self, sharing my truth and my vulnerability.

Health Intention: My intention is to live my life fully and be healthy, physically, emotionally and spiritually. My intention is to eat food that nourishes my body. My intention is to limit sugar and fat in my diet and increase protein, vegetables and fruit. My intention is to eat three meals a day. My intention is to exercise regularly. My intention is to meditate regularly. My intention is to participate in regular spiritual, therapeutic or educational classes throughout the year.  

Create Goals for the year that will inspire you, thrill you, enhance you, and bring about your very best self! You may want to start a separate journal (choose one that inspires you!) specifically for your Intentions and Goals for the year.  I use Google Docs so I have access all the time, but I use color and add drawings to make it inspiring and joyful.

How To Set Powerful, Effective Goals:  Goals are the action steps you will take to live out your intentions. Goals state the specific outcome and include the action steps you will take to be successful. Goals are most powerful when you set specific dates by which you will have successful completed them. Once your intentions are set, break down the action items you need to pursue in order to realize your intentions. Look at your intentions and break down your year into quarters (or months) and then set goals to meet your intention by the end of 2017. Each week, you can write down the action items you need to accomplish to your monthly or quarterly goals. The key is to break the BIG, sometimes overwhelming and fear-triggering intentions into smaller, quite do-able actions.  

For example, if your Intention is to eat healthier and exercise regularly, your action steps might include an overarching goal: “I will be exercising 5x/week by March 1, 2017” and “I will cut out desserts and added sugar by February 1, 2017”. Your goals are then broken down into weekly action steps designed to help you reach your goals:  1) exercise 3x/week for 30 minutes minimum; 2) eat a serving of fruits and vegetables for at least 2 meals/day; 3) no added sugar x 3 days/week. Next month, you will increase your exercise and number of days in which you are changing your diet until you reach your ultimate goal.

Integrity:  When I think of integrity, I think the best, day to day, definition is ‘doing what you said you would do and being true to yourself in the process.’ Keeping your word is paramount for a life of integrity. One of the things that sets people up for a year of distress is when they set resolutions and goals and then don’t stay true to their word. My hope is that everyone reading this blog will not only write down their intentions and set goals but, more importantly KEEP THEM this year!  When you live from integrity and stay true to yourself and your word, I promise you, your life will change in a powerful way!

For more support around keeping your word, I highly recommend you check out this social movement: Because I Said I Would ( I read about this and started using the principles of this program 3 years ago and it changed my life!!  

Accountability:  Your Intentions and Goals are much more likely to be manifested when you have support and are held accountable by those that want the best for you! When you take responsibility for all that you experience and all that you create in your life, your world shifts. When you share publicly with others what you intend to do, what you are doing, and what you have completed, your world shifts. You will experience a compelling sense of empowerment, clarity, and energy. First and foremost, hold yourself accountable. Tell yourself the truth about your actions and keep your word. Second, be accountable to others. Choose someone who has your best interest at heart and share your intentions and goals. Ask for support, check-ins, and encouragement. Being transparent with our actions has a way of ‘holding our feet to the fire’ in a way that being quiet, private and secretive will never do! I participate in an accountability group each week to help me follow through and I have been amazingly successful!

If you haven’t already started, go for it NOW! Set your intentions, create your action steps and set your goals. A fun way to express your ideas is to create a ‘vision board’ (3,4)! Be willing to be EXTRAORDINARY, PURPOSEFUL, and CREATIVE. Then, SHARE, SHARE and SHARE some more!
Have fun and I wish you an AMAZING 2017!