In a ‘New Year, New You’ mood? GREAT. Then don’t make resolutions! If you really want to make the upcoming year a transformative one, then surrender the how of it. Instead, go deeper and set an intention.
Intentions are the powerful act of saying to the universe, ‘this is what’s important to me, and this is what I want. Show me what you got!’ So instead of focusing our mind on carrying out all these specific actions (like we do when we make New Year’s resolutions), we open ourselves up to infinite possibilities that might come throughout the year. We give up trying to have control over every little part of our lives and instead just declare what really matters at the end of the day – then we can trust our inner guidance system to steer us toward what’s right, at any given time. Intentions can effect change by aligning us with our deepest values.
So: what really matters to you, now? What exactly do you want for 2019? Here’s the thing: Only you know. It might take some prompting your brain to uncover what it is you want for your year ahead – esp. after being at the tail-end off a hectic 2018 and still potentially being in holiday mode… but pre-New Years is a potent time to get clear. Give yourself the gift of aligning yourself with your best possible upcoming year before it starts.
Here are 7 ways to nail down your perfect intention for 2019!
Look Inward, Not Outward
Carve out some time to get quiet and tap into your intuition to receive your intention for 2019, rather than look to any other source. For this, rituals are awesome – they create containers for our higher self to speak to us. A self-guided ritual should have the following components:
– A designated space (maybe your bedroom floor, or your meditation mat – wherever you feel comfy), and a certain allowance of time
– A sequence of activities you perform in this space (journaling or meditation, for example)
– An overall idea of how you want to feel when you’re done. In this case, you’d like to feel clarity on what your 2019 intention should be
Before you journal or meditate, ask yourself what you see for your year head. Know that the desire will imply the strategy. Devote as much time to this as you have, but finish by journaling your thoughts into a sentence or phrase you can use like a mantra.
For example, if you know you want more love in your life, and you suspect you can achieve it by managing your anxiety in whatever way you support yourself in doing this, you might distill that down into a sentence like, ‘I support myself in loving me unconditionally so I can feel safe around others.’ This is your intention. Repeat it to yourself often.
Or Look Outward, Not Inward
If your intuitive knowing is absolutely nowhere to be found right now, then look to someone who really inspires you, for a clue. The people we admire are mirrors for us. It’s said that we recognize those qualities because they are in us, seeking to come out – that’s why we’re able to see them so clearly in another person. What makes you so obsessed with your favourite person on the internet, for example (Their drive? Poise? Passion?) Rather than continue to aspire to those qualities, embody it in 2019. What would your version of that look like? What can you do now, and this year, to demonstrate it?
Reflect On That Past Year And Identify What Was Awesome
If some really amazing successes stick out to you about 2018, consider which of your core strengths played a key part in making it happen. Where did you believe in / invest in / love yourself more fearlessly than before? What really helped you moved the needle most in 2018? Whatever it was, devote 2019 to blowing up one or two particular skills.
Reflect On The Past Year And Identify What Sucked
If your 2018 was filled with a bunch of bullshit and you can barely even see through any of it, except you do know that you just want less of that in 2019, then start there! Whatever didn’t feel good, whatever made 2018 suck, write it down on a ‘not welcome in 2019’ list. Be ruthless about what you allow in, starting with your firm idea of what is absolutely not. Kick it off with a thorough house cleaning / social media cleanse / fridge overhaul, if you feel called.
Think Long-Term: What Must You Accomplish Before You Die?
Death-bed perspective is a fast way to realize what’s ultimately important to us. Morbid? Yes. Effective? Yes. Begin with the end in mind, when looking ahead to 2019. What do you want your legacy to be? Brainstorm all the ways you have it in you to contribute to it, this coming year, and beyond.
Think Short Term: Intend To Be Intentional
Rather than trying to lock down one overarching intention for the entire year, be pragmatic and intend to be intentional in 2019. That means, commit to setting a new intention every week, or every month, or whatever timeline works with your life. If you’re at a place where you have solid daily rituals (like a meditation, or tarot or journaling practice), making intentions a regular-occurring practice might feel best. This is about being fully present.
Let Go Of The Future. Entirely.
Let go of any idea that setting an intention will yield any specific outcome at all. What if all you have, and all you’ve done, is enough? The thing is: When we release any specific hope for our future, we force ourselves to remember what it is we’re actually grateful for (even the small things), how much power we really have to create – and, yes what we do, really want. Sometimes, the best intentions come from a place of being totally content. Totally present, totally accepting of what is. Try starting there.
Happy New Year!
(Story by Contributing Editor, Kait Fowlie)