The start of a New Year can be a bit of a mixed bag.
On one hand, it’s a chance to start again but there can be a lot of pressure that comes with that. It’s as if you only get one chance, and if you’ve already blown your resolution by February, you can feel really bad about yourself.
I believe that we get to start again every day, not just on the first of January each year.
Actually, you get to start again every minute of every day, with every new word, thought and action. It’s a matter of considering the choices you are making and becoming intentional about them. Resolutions can be broken but intentions can be reset.
Every day this year you will get to choose. You will get many choices to make about who you will be, what you will do, what you will say, who you will love, and what you will create. You get to be intentional about all of those things. Isn’t that just amazing when you think about it?
Ten Ways to Be More Intentional in 2020
The Value of Values
Do you know what your life values are? They are the things that you believe are important in your life. They influence all your decisions and choices regarding how you live and work.
This is a great exercise to do to figure out what your values are. It only takes about 10 minutes to complete and it gives you so much clarity about what is really important to you in your life. This helps you to make sure that you are spending your time and energy focused on your priorities as much as possible, rather than getting distracted by what life throws your way.
One Month at a Time
Set your intentions at the beginning of each month. So much can happen in a month and sometimes it is just too overwhelming to plan too far ahead.
In January, you can write a list of all the intentions you would like to achieve by the end of the year and then each month choose a new one from the list. Select one that you are particularly motivated by at the moment or that suits the season of life you are in for the best chance of success.
For example, if you want to focus on your marriage, don’t choose that intention during a month when you know you will be busy and stressed at work!
Less Is More
I’ve written about this before but I’m going to say it again – doing less can make you more productive! Choose one intention each month. One intention that really matters to you.
It can be so tempting to change many things at once but there is a principle of overflow that happens when you set an intention. Maybe you want to move more. When you start getting active, whether it be a daily walk or a weekly dance class, you increase your endorphins and start to feel good about yourself. This can improve your self-esteem, make you less prone to over-eating and make you happier and generally nicer to be around. All this overflow from acting on just one intention!
Write It Down
Several times. On post-it notes even. It doesn’t have to look pretty. Stick them around your house, on your mirror, on your toilet door, on your fridge, on your car dashboard.
They will remind you of your intention and keep you on track.
It Doesn’t Have to Be so Hard
Keep it simple. Don’t make it complicated. Always ask yourself: “What’s the simplest way I could do or achieve this?” Then do that.
For example, if you want to get healthy, instead of overhauling your whole diet and starting a gruelling exercise programme, perhaps think about one thing that you could start doing or stop doing that will help you become healthier.
Maybe drink more water. Perhaps add in more vegetables to each meal or decrease your portion size by serving your meals on a smaller plate. Simple but intentional.
Break It Down
When you set your intention each month, figure out what you can do to achieve it and break it down into smaller chunks.
Maybe you want to have more fun in your life. Write a list of one fun thing you could do each week for the month. If self-care is your intention, plan one activity each day or week that you could do to nourish yourself. (I can recommend a weekly foot soak and moisturising massage!)
Stay in Your Lane
Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Your friend might be crushing it in some area of her life but don’t let that distract you! Don’t second-guess yourself. Stay focused on your intention.
Show up in Your Own Life
Set your intention each month and then show up every day. Show up and follow-through. Keep your promises. And then do the same thing the next day. And the next. It’s as simple and complex as that.
Find Your Currency
Some people are super intrinsically motivated but for the rest of us, it can be hard to stick to something we have started, even when we know it’s good for us!
Find a way to stay motivated. What’s your currency? Maybe it helps you if you are accountable to others. Tell a friend each month what your intention is and ask them to check in with you to see that you are still on track.
Perhaps you are motivated by reward. If so, set your reward that you will earn if you stick to your intention.
A long soak in your favourite bath salts with a good book on Sunday night is a great incentive to help you stick to your intention all week!
Be Your Own Cheerleader
Each day that you set out to be more intentional, be your own cheerleader. Tell your inner critic to take a seat and speak to yourself with words of kindness and encouragement, as you would to a special friend.
If you slip up and have a bad day or even a bad week, don’t be hard on yourself. Treat yourself with tenderness. Dust yourself off and remember that you get to choose again the next time you’re in the same situation, sometimes a few minutes later, sometimes days or weeks later. It’s not all or nothing.
You Can Do This
This is your year to be intentional about creating the life you want, one month at a time. Let 2020 be the year that you show up in your own life, embracing what matters most to you and celebrating the amazing human being that you are.