Every year in December, I review the year that is coming to a close and make notes of all my accomplishments, my trips, and experiences that stand out making that year memorable. They are not all good. They are not all planned, but they are all important.
Then, each January, I spend time planning my goals and dreams for the year to come. I set intentions, I creatively push myself for what I think I can accomplish - even if it doesn't feel right in the pit of my stomach - I write it down anyway.
January 2016 arrived and I decided to skip this part.
Instead, I spent time reflecting on the past year and took note of the things that I accomplished and that I didn't plan, or intentionally set-out to do.
Like running for example. Last January, I committed to building a healthy body and mind. I never for one second would have believed that I would do that through running. I HATED running. I loathed running... I couldn't run. Everyone who knows me, knew that fact about me.
Guess what?! I ran 5 races last year! I ran well over 200 kilometres in 8 months! At my last race in November, I placed 4th in my age-group! To this day, I can't really say why or how I started running, all I know is that it was meant for me to do, and doing so strengthens my mind and body each and every time I do it. I may not like it when I start. I complain every time I run - especially in those first 10 minutes or so but.... stress drips away as I sweat through each kilometre and I LOOOOOVE how I feel after a run.
I would have never, in a million years, planned to be a runner - BUT - it happened.
I share this experience with you because this year, I have decided to set intentions vs goals. I've decided to choose how I want to feel and let nature takes its course and guide me where I need to take action.
I want to invite you to give it a try yourself!!
I created these free How to Set Intentions Printables for you to download and print out.
Here's how I hope you use them (feel free to improvise and get creative here...)
- Print as many copies as you'd like here, here, here, and here.
- Grab your favourite writing tool - yes, you need to write with a pen and paper. It makes your intentions stick!
- Grab your earphones, press play on your favourite playlist, light a candle, pour a glass of .... tea.
- Block off an hour to yourself
- Start writing, brainstorming, scribble your heart out!!
- See what comes out. Sit with your feelings for a few minutes.
- Decide what feels good in the core of your belly. Decide in that moment that those are the intentions that you want to see come to life in 2016. The how will come, trust me.
- Believe that nature will take it's course and you will experience some incredible moments this coming year!
A few more things to think about when using the sheets:
Goals: What are you goals? What is it that you'd like to accomplish? Do? Have? write them down then let them go.
Dreams: Go big here. If you could do, have, be anything, what would it look like? Use lots of descriptive, feeling words. How would you feel? Why? Be honest and raw - no one needs to see these but you.
Mind: What makes you think? Grow? What can you learn? Read? Explore? You'll be surprised what comes out here.
Body: Again, how do you want to feel? Forget about how you want to look. But how do you want to FEEL? Strong? Flexible? Pain free? Less stressed?
Spirit: What does that word mean to you? Is it God? Nature? The Universe? What does your spirit need? More love? More volunteering? More meaningful moments with yourself? Do you need a personal ritual? Meditation? I could go on forever in this area.
Adventure: What can you do that makes your heart beat faster? Where can you travel to that allows you to have new experiences, meet new people. I went (indoor) rock climbing for the first time and although it scared the shit of me (I hate heights) I was invigorated afterwards. Best of all, I experienced it with my son and now we have some good memories and a few laughs together about it!
Business: This could also be career. But I like to think that your business, your career, your way of earning an income is your BUSINESS. What do you need out of this area? How can you get creative with earning more money? Where do you see yourself in this next year?
Relationships: I love this section. Really figure out what you want and need from relationships but then think about what you can GIVE in those relationships. How do you want to feel in your relationships. Do you want a partner. A mentor. A friend to rock climb with?! Set your intentions and you'll be surprised who shows up for you.
My closing pieces of advice here on this rather lengthly but important post, set the intentions of how you want to feel, what you want to see happen and let them go. Take action everyday that makes you feel good, knowing that there's lots of great things to come this year.
Also, if you feel like you can't write such personal thoughts and ideas down on paper... I'd encourage you to take the hour. Brainstorm, write and dream. Read over your notes to yourself and sit with how you feel about everything you wrote. Then tear them up, or have a burning ceremony, or shred the heck out of them all!! No one needs to see them, and don't worry, the intentions have been cast. They aren't going anywhere.
Or you can do what I do. Tuck them into your journal, and read them over in December and be amused with how much came to life and how much better the year worked out. Because it's always a surprise at the end of the year. Life just happens that way it seems.
Please let me know if you use the worksheets and what your experience is with them and please feel free to share them!!
Happy intention setting!!