It’s easy to make a list of New Years Resolutions on a sunny December day, imagining that the next year is somehow going to be different from the last. Setting intentions for the New Year are an opportunity to dream and to reflect on how life is going, but too often these intentions are quickly forgotten, leaving behind disappointment and feelings of inadequacy.
Rather than waiting until the end of the year to reflect, as we come to the beginning of February it is the perfect time to look back at the last month and see if we have been doing what we need to achieve our goals and stick to intentions for 2014.
Below I will share some of my 2014 intentions, and what is going well and not-so-well, along with some practical strategies that can be used to help you live up to your new years intentions, whatever they may be!
Prioritise healthy - for me this includes both physical health and mental/emotional health. Initially I planned to commit to daily exercise with no exceptions, but then I read this: 25 new years resolutions every person should actually make for 2014.
One of the points really resonated with me was:
"Don't feel guilty when you genuinely don't have time to exercise"
This was totally revolutionary to the way I was treating myself - sometimes even after a huge day in the hospital (I am currently on university placement and the contact hours are sometimes ridiculous) I would end feel so guilty for not exercising despite my feet aching and barely being able to move from the couch. The easy solution I had planned was to get up and exercise first thing in the morning, but with that meaning waking up at 4am this week - I decided that it would be better for my health to have that extra hour of sleep.
Now this is not to be used as an excuse to avoid exercise all together, and sometimes when you are busy and stressed it is when you need to exercise the most, but it is more a way to give yourself a break and say 'hey - it's ok to listen to your body and do what it needs' and some weeks that will be by going to bed early or getting that extra hour of sleep in the mornings.
With very little time for exercise I decided to focus on healthy eating – as hard as it is to eat a nourishing salad instead of buying takeaway, for me it is all about planning and preparation – cooking a cup of quinoa and boiling eggs to quickly add to some leafy greens and make a complete meal, rather than staring in the fridge and wondering what to eat.
Prioritise relationships - with my lover, my gorgeous friends and my family. Rather than committing extra time to relationships (which we have already ascertained is very limited in my life) this year I am focusing on the quality of the time spent with people. This means putting down my phone and looking into my lover's eyes. This means taking 5 minutes to call my grandmother for a genuine conversation about how life is treating her. This means forgetting about checking in on facebook and instagram-ing every moment and instead having a belly laugh with my girls. This means making a genuine effort to remember people's names, approaching new people with an open heart and listening to what they have to say.
Focus on how I want to feel - I have just purchased Danielle La Porte's Desire Map to delve more deeply into this idea, but the basic premise is: rather than ‘goal setting’ focus on how you want to feel upon achieving a goal. For genuine happiness and fulfillment you should do things and make choices that reflect the feelings you want to achieve.
Want to feel calm? - do things that make you calm, whether that is yoga, running, floating around in the ocean or laying on the couch in front of the TV.
Want to feel inspired? - surround yourself with things that inspire you, ditch the news and celebrity gossip for uplifting and spark-creating blogs/books/artwork. (Some of my fave inspirational blogs include Gala Darling and In Spaces Between)
Want to feel confident? - choose that feeling over nerves and negative self-talk. Surround yourself with people that boost your confidence rather than tearing it down. If you are lacking confidence at work, choose a hobby that works with your talents where you can really excel - whether you choose to run a marathon (or even a fun-run), are a gun in the kitchen, can knit like the best nana out there or count yourself as a great listener or fabulous friend - own that, remember that feeling, and do more of it!!
Did you have intentions set for 2014? What have you done so far to head in the right direction?