As always, the start of a new year brings with it the opportunity to start fresh. However, too often, we throw out all our success in favor of moving on to the newest trend and freshest advice.
A few years ago, I stopped starting my year with the newest diet and the latest fad in self-help. It has worked wonders! Instead of flitting from one thing to the next, I have managed to develop real habits that feel like they will last a good, long while instead of only a few months. I’d love to offer my tradition – in hopes that maybe, you too, will find a way to incorporate some new intention into your new year.
Every year, I give myself a theme. I have had the “Year of Gratitude” and “Year of Conscious Living.” Both served as threads to remind me of my intention for the new year. Within those threads, my husband and I set certain intentions for ourselves- no deadlines, no must-dos, just things that we each hoped to prioritize in the coming year. For example, in “Year of Conscious Living,” we made a commitment to composting and buying sustainable beauty products. My husband explored making his own products and I did my yoga teacher training. We didn’t do either of these immediately, but when the time was right. In “Year of Gratitude,” we prioritized travel and family time, making sure that our family extended beyond the walls of our house and into our larger community. My husband practiced his Spanish and I took advantage of some incredible work opportunities that came my way. We made the list together and this list lives on our fridge all year. From time-to-time we check in. How are we doing? Are we living this year as we intended to live it? What could be our next steps?
I have found that these intentions, rather than the “lose thirty pounds in thirty days and “drop three jean sizes,” work better for me. They give me something to meditate on, to think about, to keep in the back or front of my mind depending on the time. I’m still debating whether this year is my, “Year of Power” or “Year of Acceptance” or “Year of Possibility”. All of these threads resonate with me for different reasons as I think about some upcoming events in my life. I’m thinking about switching careers and I’m starting at a new yoga studio. My husband is committing to some introspection. Our best friend, who is a part of our family, wants to figure out what to do with his life. I think about whether the intentions that make sense for me also makes sense for my family. Having a shared intention is beautiful and communal. I love being united together under one umbrella. We can support each other, check in with each other, reflect together.
I hope you are well in 2019. I invite you to set an intention for this upcoming year. Whatever it is, I hope it leads you to happiness, fulfillment, and wonder.