Around this time of year, we start hearing a lot about New Year’s resolutions, however I have always found that they have a negative connotation. When I think of a resolution, I often think about what I am ultimately going to feel like I failed at by March. You too?

In fact, take a moment right now and say “New Year’s resolution” out loud. What sensations do you notice in your body?

Resolutions have a very “all or nothing” spirit, and I prefer a more gentle approach. I gravitate more toward the work intention, which is defined as an aim or a plan.

I like intentions because they feel more compassionate. It is inevitable that over the course of a year that we will have off days, but when we do we haven’t failed, we simply pick right back up where we left off. We continue with our plan. It feels a bit more fluid.

In all of my private and group coaching sessions the past few weeks, we have been discussing this very topic. I decided along with three intelligent, enlightened, and beautiful clients that I work with to set two kinds of intentions for this new year.

One intention should be action oriented, and one more mindful.

Action oriented intentions can be something you want to do, like:

drinking a certain amount of water every day
getting a meditation in every day
having one on one dates with your spouse and/or kids each week or month
exercising a certain amount each week
changing an eating habit
getting to bed earlier
picking up a new hobby or language
reading a new book every month
putting your fork down between bites when you eat
using your mindfulness tools in the midst of stress so that you can be less reactive

Mindful oriented intentions can be a mental pattern you want to change or internal shift of some kind like:

forgiving someone
bringing more self-compassion into your life
bringing more compassion for others into your life
looking at situations from alternate perspectives
letting go of a relationship that doesn’t feel good anymore
accepting yourself as is, because you are good enough now

There truly is no right or wrong intention to set. I’ll share mine to get you started. My action oriented intention is to get a shorter second meditation in each afternoon. I have ben wanting to do this for a long time, and no more excuses. Even if it is just five minutes in carpool line, I really intend to commit, and take my practice to the natural next level.

My mindful intention is to look at all situations from a loving perspective. I want to realize, and be honest about, when fear or judgment is blocking that so that I can grow and become an even more loving person.

How about you? Let me know in the comments what your intentions are. I’d love the opportunity to learn from you, support you, and join in your enthusiasm.

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