10 Sustainable, Life-Changing Intentions for 2018

New Year’s has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the idea of a fresh start and a reset button. So many of us start the year off with resolutions that inevitably peter out come February.  Sometimes setting simple, one-word intentions can be a more sustainable way to check-in with our selves throughout our next trip around the sun.  May you have a peaceful, joyful, adventurous New Year!

Clarity: One of the things that contributes to our anxiety is not knowing what we want and not knowing what our values are.  What is blocking getting clear?  Are you numbing out with alcohol or substances? Or maybe numbing out by staying busy and doing your way through life? Slow down, get clear.  If I can get my Tony Robbins on here for a moment: know your outcomes.  If you know what you want the outcome to be, you are much more likely to get there.

Compassion:  Are you struggling with finding compassion for yourself or for others around you?  How might letting go of resentments benefit you? Can you greet a struggle that you are going through with compassion instead of frustration?  We think that if we are compassionate, we are giving permission to “bad” behavior, but I wonder if it is possible to have compassion for the feelings and the context, while still setting boundaries around ours or others poor behavior choices?

Authenticity: How might you benefit from caring less what others think about you?  Of course, we want to have a positive impact on our families, our communities, our country and our planet, but too often, we get wrapped up in what others think and keeping up the pretenses.  We lose what our values are.  We lose who we really are. We don’t speak our truth and get lost in the “have to’s.” of life.  Authenticity is a skill you can practice.  It involves setting good boundaries and saying no to things when saying yes will build resentment.

Presence:  Way better than presents.  What are the things that are getting in the way for you to be in the present moment? Our anxieties often let us spin on all the “this might happens” or “what if’s.” What if you were to just notice more what is happening right now in the moment?  Check in with your five senses more.  Presence is one of my intentions for the upcoming year and one major change I am making is to put my phone away from the time the kids get home from school until they go to bed at least.   Maybe for you, it simply means a year of LESS DOING and MORE BEING.

Connection: What are the ways you already show up for people that feel good for you? Who are the people that show up for you and let’s focus on those relationships.  There is always a little boost when we do something kind for someone.  How can we deepen our bonds with those around us? Perhaps this means setting better boundaries with people.  When we set better boundaries, we have less resentment and more compassion.

Joy:  I have written before on the idea that some of need to learn how to tolerate joy.  We are really good at pushing through and tolerating pain, but tolerating joy is a whole different story.  FOLLOW THE FUN.  When you are feeling good, amplify that, trust it.  Try to turn the mind away from thoughts of “when is this going to end?” Or “when is the other shoe going to drop.” If those thoughts come in, greet them with compassion and gently let them go.

Vibrancy:  What makes you feel really alive? There is a scene in the movie city of angels where Nicholas Cage’s angel character asks a former angel who chose to become human if he can hear the angels singing.  The former angel replies, “I can’t hear that, but you can’t feel this.” And runs naked into the ocean.  That scene just represents so beautifully what it means to be alive.  How can you have more moments that make you feel vibrant? Perhaps this also mean redefining what self-care means.  Sure- perhaps self-care is a bubble bath and a yoga class, but perhaps self-care also means saying no to something, being more mindful of our breath at work and with our kids, or noticing things we like about ourselves.

Adventure:  What would it mean for you to do something that scares you?  What’s an adventure that you have always been dreaming about and how can you make it happen this year?

Abundance:  How are you operating from a scarcity mentality? Are you constantly bombarding yourself with “not good enough, not skinny enough, not rich enough, not young enough, not ­­­__________ enough” statements?  What if you were to decide that you were enough just as you are?  How can you cultivate abundance in your life? Not just with money, but with joy, with love, with presence.  Cultivate so much of these things that you have nothing else to do but share it with others.

Sexy:  How’s this for a surprise ending? It was just getting too serious there for a moment and a little too hippie dippie:-) What does sexy mean to you?  How can you get your groove back this year?  Let’s redefine what sexy means and have it mean being authentically who you are and not changing or modifying yourself for someone else.  Maybe this means finding a good therapist to heal your past trauma.  Maybe this means scheduling a date night or a sex night with your partner on the weekly (or get really crazy and go for the daily:-).  Maybe it means initiating healthy sexual contact more. Or maybe it just means loving yourself more, accepting that you’re human and strutting your way right on through 2018.

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