If you are anything like me, you always want to make a resolution you will succeed at, but 2 weeks in revert right back to your old ways. Newsflash - this happens to almost EVERYONE. I was sick of this mentality but did not want to give up on the idea of a fresh start and a better me.
Last December my brother, Chad, mentioned a great idea to my family that I have adapted to my life. You think back on your year and then think forward to what you want with the next year. One way to tackle this is to keep a journal of reflections on your life, the good, the bad, and what you want to change. I like to take this journal with me where ever I go to jot down my daily thoughts.
For 2019, I decided on the word “Growth”. I have a tendency to get stagnant and wanted to keep a goal in mind that I could apply to my entire life. Here are some reasons why a mindful intention for your year is more useful than our traditional idea of a New Year’s resolution.
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1. It can apply to your whole life
Instead of just focusing on fitness or another numerical goal, you can apply your intentional word of the year to every aspect of life! This is a way that you can add positive changes all around, which is more effective in the long run.
2. It makes you reflect back on where you have been and where you want to go
Taking a look back on your year is a great way to understand where you want to go. Self reflection is important in realizing the parts of you that need growth and where you are already shining. This is a great activity to start that process.
Start a journal and keep track of areas of your life you are excelling and those that need some work. Be honest with yourself, everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
1. What brought you happiness last year?
2. How can you add these things into your life more?
2. What did you accomplish?
3. What did you learn?
4. What do you want in life?
5. What was a major source of stress/struggle for you?
6. What qualities do you admire in others that you wish you had more of?
3. It does not require any gym fees
The great thing about setting a mindful intention for the year is that you do not have to buy new equipment or get up early for a run. You can work towards your year goal in every action you take and word you speak. It does not require much but self awareness and a willingness to work on yourself.
If you please, you can also use the money you save on that gym membership and put it towards your intention. If your word is "Giving", maybe take that money and donate it to the shelter or your favorite charity.
4. It opens up discussion with your friends and family
Setting an intention for the year is even better if you include your loved ones. They can comment on your year and help you direct your new intention to get the most out of the upcoming season. Although we know ourselves best, we may not address the things we need most. OR we might be a little to hard on ourselves in areas of life we are already excelling in. Friends and family know you better than anyone, let them be a part of bettering yourself.
Here are some great getting started questions:
1. What did I talk about most last year?
2. Do you think I need to work on _____ (fill in the blank with your perceived weaknesses)
3. How do you feel about last year?
4. What do you think you need most right now?
5. It is a goal that you won’t drop after two weeks
The problem with most New Years resolutions is that they ask too much of you too fast. Changes in life need to be mindful and graceful, not quick and forceful. The reason you drop your weight loss plan is that you focus on the actions rather than the intentions. You force yourself into working out everyday at 5 am and your intention, if ever thought out, gets lost in the agony, anger and lack of sleep. But setting an intention is fluid and allows for downfalls without making it feel like the whole plan needs to be scrapped.
Some intentional words to get you thinking:
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