I begin each new year with two intentions, which I hold closely with me throughout the year. They influence my decision-making, help me focus, and serve as a reminder for what is most important to me throughout the year. I loved my 2017 intentions: create and nourish. So much so that I considered bringing them back for a second round. For the past month, I have reflected about those intentions and potential new intentions, and have ultimately decided on the following two: strengthen and release.
Strengthen: This intention rose to the surface very quickly. I have a deep desire to strengthen many aspects of my life: my body, my mindfulness and yoga practices, my coaching, my writing, my cooking and baking, my work. The list goes on. I am constantly seeking to learn new things, exceed goals, and strive towards more. This year, I want to step back and focus on strengthening the things that are already incredibly important to me. This doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to create, or learn new things, or find new experiences. It means that I will constantly think about strengthening what I do and what I know, so that I can continue to get better and live better.
Release: For a while, I had the phrase ‘let go’ in my head as my second intention, but it wasn’t quite right. Then on an early morning drive, the word ‘release’ popped into my mind and it stuck. My favorite way to define release is: set free. For me, this year I want to release my own judgements, my intense desire to control situations around me, and all of the anger, hurt, and sadness I still hold on to deep down (don’t we all?). I want to let go of everything that I think I should be doing, and focus on what I want to be doing. I want to release old expectations that I created for myself and start fresh.
When I think of my two intentions for 2018, I am most excited about where they intersect. In order to strengthen my yoga practice, I must release tight muscles and the tension I carry in my body. To strengthen my writing, I must release the fears I have about not being good enough. To release my desire to control everything, I must strengthen my ability to trust others. And to release past sadness and hurt, I must strengthen my ability to forgive. The intersections are abundant, and I look forward to discovering more of them throughout the year.
I am beginning this year with excitement for what is going to come, and I encourage you to uncover your own intentions for the year. Don’t worry about coming up with them today, or tomorrow – take a week or a month to really reflect on what is most important for you in the upcoming year, and start then. When you do have them, please share – I would love to hear.