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Q&A: How to set intentions for the Winter Solstice

We’re coming up quick on the New Year and while I’m a big fan of setting intentions and “resolutions,” I wanted to do something different this time. And of course, I thought I’d bring you along with me too 🙂

If you didn’t already know, I’ll tell you that TOMORROW is the winter solstice! The Winter Solstice marks the official first day of winter for the Northern Hemisphere (usually) and is also the shortest day of the year with the least amount sunlight. Why does this matter? I’m going on a hippie tangent but it’s kinda cool, so go with me…

With the shortest amount of daylight comes the longest night. And, in theory, with more of the night brings more time to contemplate, reflect, and self-assess. This makes it the perfect time to take the time to reflect on really creating a vision for what we want the next year to bring us.

I’m gonna walk you through my personal practice for this time of year that’ll set you up for success in 2018. Grab a pen & paper, unroll your yoga mat, & lets get to it!

For this time, set aside 20-30 minutes. I want you to start with a quick meditation where you allow yourself to reflect on the year. The good, the bad, the difficult— everything. Don’t apply judgment to it, just observe what that feels like. Sit for 5 minutes or so in your meditation.

Then, bust out the pen & paper and write…

First, think about the past year:
What did you learn?
What did you accomplish?
What did you let go of?
What do you still need to let go of?
What are you most proud of?
What are you most grateful for?

Next, we’ll move into what we want for 2018. Write clearly, write in as much detail as you can, and keep this where you can easily refer back to it over the year.

For 2018:
What are you ready for?
What are you prepared to release?
What are your goals in your personal life? Work life? Family? Health/fitness/yoga?
What 3 attainable intentions do you want to set for the new year?
Note: when I say “attainable” I do NOT mean to keep your dreams or intentions “small,” but to consider the actions you’ll need to take for each. So, writing “live in peaceful bliss every day” would be considered unattainable. But writing “maintain a daily mindfulness practice so that I can find moments of peace regularly” is a MUCH better way to document that intention. Our intentions have to come with action, otherwise they’re hollow. So think about what you desire, and then make your intention behind it something you can actively DO on a regular basis. So, try not to write, “Get my handstand,” but instead, something more like, “do _____ class 3x a week and my handstand homework drills on days between,” or whatever applies 🙂

I’m doing this with you later today! Let me know how it goes & I’ll be sure to catch you up on some of my intentions too.

Over to you! Care to share some of your intentions? How do you feel about “Resolutions” vs intentions? Do you usually make any?

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13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ayala

    December 20, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Liked this a lot! Planning on doing this tonight.

    1. Avatar

      Erin Motz

      December 20, 2017 at 10:51 am

      awesome! let me know how it goes!

  2. Avatar

    Joanne

    December 20, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Coming back to this later! Sounds like a good plan-

  3. Avatar

    Jennifer

    December 20, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Love this! I need to think about these types of things more often and it was great to reflect and think about goals for the new year.

    1. Avatar

      Erin Motz

      December 20, 2017 at 10:53 am

      i feel the same way! i try to do something like this monthly & set intentions every month… sometimes i forget though, haha

  4. Avatar

    nicholas

    December 20, 2017 at 11:52 am

    This i a really good idea and is will really help plan my year . Just what i needed thank you🙂

  5. Avatar

    Shayna

    December 20, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Thank you for this! I needed some framework and will definitely use this practice tonight. I would love more videos like this.

  6. Avatar

    Katarina Lundkvist

    December 20, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    I loved this. So good to write everything down, the good the bad . New intentions and goals .

  7. Avatar

    Kate O'Callaghan

    December 20, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Not usually a big fan of New Years resolution S, but definitely love the idea of letting stuff go from 2017 and moving forward to something new! 🙂

  8. Avatar

    Emma

    December 21, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Loved this type of video! I’ve been trying to spend more time journaling, reflecting and setting goals, but sometimes I need someone to really walk me through it (haha). Thanks so much!

  9. Avatar

    Adriane

    December 22, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    My intentions for the upcoming year are to 1. practice yoga and/or meditation every single day and begin incorporating Kettlebell 2x a week 2. Have a real meal on the table for everyone 5x a week and 3. Invite someone new to our home for a meal, coffee, or to play at least once a month!! Looking forward to seeing yours!

  10. I've really missed journaling! • Pork-CHOP

    January 2, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    […] to do a review of Project 365 round 2, but for today, I’m setting up my yearly planner. Bad Yogi Erin Motz once shared some prompts that she uses to start and end a year so I just added these as two pages into my […]

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