I don't do New Year's resolutions. I set New Year's intentions instead and here's why…
We're halfway into January, the very beginning of 2017, and already I see that the 'New Year, New You' crew is starting to thin out at the yoga and fitness studios. While I have mad respect for people trying to take on new habits, there is a part of me deep down inside that wishes they wouldn't. So maybe that's not exactly true. The truth is, I wish people would be less harsh on themselves with strict resolutions and choose instead to put their overall physical, mental, or spiritual health as a priority. It's your dedication and the intention within the resolution that matters.
So rather than putting your time and energy into kicking off a 'healthy lifestyle' for the first few months of the year, why not use that energy to set an intention to help slowly shift your life throughout the year? (This year it could make a huge difference for the world around us, so think about it!)
Five years ago, I lost two of the most influential people in my life, Drake and Cathy. I was beyond depressed. I was angry, I hated everything and everyone that came my way; I was short tempered and a truly horrible person to be around. As the New Year started to loom, I knew it was an opportunity to change something but had no idea how to go about it. So rather than start the year off with a resolution that may have ended in failure, leaving me even more depressed, I decided to set an intention. I wanted to make sure that whatever I chose to do would be something that I wouldn't be hard on myself for. I was unsure of myself so I chose something super simple: to just say yes to opportunity. I knew Drake and Cathy would want that for me and so with them fueling my intention, my journey of yes was set.
The best thing about Intention setting is that you can start anytime, you can put it away when you aren't feeling it, and you can come back to it always! My intentions over the last five years have been simple things that I come back to each day, week, year, breath, moment to notice my personal shift, to reset when needed and to see the change in my life as I grow.
My Past Intentions:
2013: Let go of expectations
2014: Be kind
2015: Take the leap, follow your heart
2016: Be honest - always speak your truth, but do so in a kind manner (see 2014)
My 2017 Intention:
EXPLORE MORE - obviously, travel more often and explore the world. To me this also means to explore myself more, to push my comfort zone, to become more vulnerable, to share more of my authentic self with others and to explore the people around me in new and exciting ways.
Pick something about your life you want to change. Take a moment to look back on you recent interactions with yourself and with others. Do you like what you see? How can you invite change? Do you really want to change?
Keep it simple! Start small, find a simple phrase that you can return to over and over, one that sticks with you to help fuel your desire to keep the intention growing within.
Write that shit everywhere! NO JOKE! I don’t do it as much as I did when I first started but I wrote it in my notebooks, in lipstick on my mirrors, had sticky notes that I posted around my house, I thought about my intention of saying yes during every moment of the day!
Put it into action, whatever intention you set, it’s not an intention until you start acting on it - so say yes to that date, that trip, begin a self-care ritual every Wednesday night, be kind when you look in the mirror, take the chance to explore by trusting a friend to use your cc info to buy that $460 flight to Morocco, explore the people in your community - let them show you a whole new world (Aladdin theme song chords playing). Whatever your intention, take one small step to put it into action and let it unfold from there!
In one moment, I shifted New Year's resolutions from the typical resolutions that I had made in the past to intentions that have allowed me to create "life changes" to become the best and most authentic version of myself. It hasn't been easy, it takes daily work and dedication and there are days when I want to be a total trash panda and not put in the work, but the shift in my life has been SO worth it. When I look back on who I was years ago and who I am today, I see so much growth, challenge, and change and it makes me so proud to be who I am.
It’s never too late, 2017 is still just getting started and the rest of your life is before you! Whether you’re inspired right here and right now to set an intention or maybe you’ll feel inspired months from now, I invite you to take a leap of faith in yourself. Set an intention and start your own journey to explore more, to say yes, to do whatever it is you need to to find and create the most authentic life you can for yourself! We’ve only got one chance to make our lives count, but countless opportunities to reset and make it our best!