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How to Set a New Year Intention

How to Set a New Year IntentionI’ve got a new source of inspiration for this year’s intentions.
In the past I’ve drawn inspiration from what others are doing that I admire or desire for myself.
Or sometimes it comes from something I’ve wanted to accomplish but haven’t yet.
(I know from past experience I can accomplish big things once it’s an official intention!)
But this year is a new plan.
I’m using a formula to identify a new intention that helps close the gap between my present reality and my desired reality.
Here’s how it works …
Using my imagination I project myself to the reality I prefer.
I just dive right on in and notice what it looks like, what it sounds like, what it feels like.
And I notice who I’m being in that reality.
Once I’ve got a good handle on that version of me, then I do a quick comparison to note what’s different about that ideal-reality me than this present-reality me.

For example, when I tune in to the reality where I’m at the top of my game in my business – where I’m showing up in impactful ways and making the kind of difference for fellow creators that I want to (and having a blast and making a bunch of money doing it), here’s what I notice about that version of me:
She doesn’t complain. She doesn’t blame. She doesn’t waffle.
And she doesn’t second-guess.
She lives by her inner guidance. She is devoted to enjoying herself. And she has confidence in her ability to deliver.
She finds delight everywhere, and she is known for having an easy and ready laugh.
She refuses to struggle. She’s good at letting go. And she has a power of focus that industrial grade lasers would aspire to.
Okay, I’ve got a good handle on that person.
Next I compare that to who I am being now.
The piece that stands out the most is that I have it in me to complain up a storm. That’s the biggest difference.
And sometimes I question my inspiration. Like, I reason it out to see if it makes sense, or I try to find justification for it that someone else will understand and agree with. Even though I know that’s not how we’re supposed to use it.
Also, I could use some improvement in letting go and also enhancing the focus.
But that’s a lot of habits to be working with at once.
So I’m just devoting the first month of 2015 to one new habit that puts me more in alignment with that version of me that lives in my preferred reality.

Which is where my intention to stop complaining for all of January comes from. 🙂
(I’m bite sizing this baby, since committing to that for the year felt a bit overwhelming.)
I’ll reevaluate in February to see if we want to carry that through another month, or switch to a new habit, or something else altogether.
What’s your plan for setting new year intentions? We’d love to hear what inspires you to create change in 2015!

  • December 30, 2014

The Problem With Intentions

setting intentionsIt’s an exciting new year, and many of us deliberate creators have faithfully set inspiring intentions for 2012.

Some of the goals I’ve heard from fellow creators are to pay off debt, find true love, recover full health, lose the baby fat, grow the business, get promoted, travel internationally, get healthy, grow the circle of friends, move to a new city, finish the creative project (books, portfolio, videos), etc.

We’ve got great plans for the new year, huh?!

The problem with setting intentions like this is that by doing so we may inadvertently sabotage that very success.

It may be that a more empowering creative practice would be simply to celebrate what we’ve already created.  And not focus at all on what we want next.

Here’s why:

Sometimes setting intentions amplifies our awareness of what we don’t have.  And that vibration doesn’t allow it to manifest.

The truth is that we don’t have to write it down again, or put it on a vision board, or visualize it in our meditations.  Because if putting more focus on what we want emphasizes our knowledge that it isn’t here yet, that just creates a bigger vibrational gap to the goal.

All we have to do to get what we want is match the vibration of it.  Which just means feel better.  Sometimes that is best done by appreciating what’s already here rather than intending the next good thing.

Loving where you are (or even just accepting where you are) may very well be your best ticket to an even more fabulous 2012.

Which sounds strange to say, because sometimes I feel like a “delinquent creator” when I’m not regularly engaging intentional exercises like pray rain journaling, scripting, or visualizing.

Others have said to me they don’t see how life will change if they accept what it is now.  As if resistance fuels change!

But if your intention is born out of not loving life now, focusing on that intention may just enhance the contrast, not the alignment.

Someone asked Abraham recently whether we should even be attempting to manifesting things because it’s so easy to get attention locked on what’s not here when we do that.  Abe’s suggestion was to let the feeling be the goal instead (i.e. the interest, fun, love, appreciation, passion).

Because if you feel any negativity, setting a goal (or intention) only compounds the resistance.

Well, we would never do that, right?

We only feel excitement and enthusiasm for what we want!

But it’s easy to fool ourselves.

As Abe said to another workshop participant, when you want to “take it to the next level,” it’s a sign you’re not loving the level you’re at.

They said the best way to foster your expanding goodness is to:

  • accept that where you are is perfect
  • appreciate where you stand
  • release resistance about what is
  • while acknowledging generally that there is another level and that it’s coming

… and in that you allow the next level to reveal itself to you.  You won’t break a sweat, and you’ll be filled with inspired actions and ideas, finding yourself in the right place at the right time with synchronicities swirling all around.

I like the way Jonathan Fields described it in his 2011 annual report:

I find myself holding a seemingly bizarre duality in my mind and my heart; at once abandoning hope of a cure (this frees me to build the practices and take the actions that help me live a good life), while also remaining open to the possibility that someday, something may come along. It’s a very Buddhist way of being, balancing presence, practice and acceptance with a sense of non-attached aspiration toward a different state. It’s a dance I’m still very much a student of, teetering along the fine line between acceptance and complacency, aspiration and desire.

That’s how I like to think of it, too.  As a dance where we find the sweet spot of loving what is while allowing (looking forward to) what’s next.

Look, I did set some lovely intentions for 2012.  And I know that one of the most powerful ways I can support those manifestations is by loving what’s here now.

Have to admit, that’s pretty good homework for the year.  🙂

  • January 14, 2012

My 2011 Intentions

Instead of another post about how to launch a new year (there are enough already), I’m sharing my personal new year intentions instead.
When I asked this morning what I wanted to commit to in 2011 (if anything), here’s what I got.  This year, I intend:
No workouts. I promise not to do one single workout just for the sake of a workout.  I do promise to have fun moving my body when and how I feel inspiration for it.

(And not because I’m supposed to or in order to change anything; but rather simply because it feels good.  And if it doesn’t, I won’t.)

No eating rules. I promise not to eat a single thing because it’s good for me, but rather to let enjoyment lead the way to and through each and every meal.  I will listen to what this body wants and do my best to honor it.

(And I also promise to enjoy every single bite of chocolate all year long.)

New metrics.  I intend to focus less on the numbers (revenue, traffic, subscribers, sales) and more on what really matters to me: connections, impact, enjoyment.
Speak up. I promise to continue speaking my mind, even when it’s not popular.  (And I intend to get even better at being true to myself, not just ruled by rebellious tendencies.)
Body love. I promise to practice even more appreciation and love for this amazing body carrying me through this stunningly fantastic world.
People love. I intend to love my fellow creators like they deserve to be loved – fully and unconditionally – starting with the guy I make my home with.  (Oh wait, I’m starting with my self and my body first, but he’s right up there, too.)
Contrast love.  I intend to let other people’s contrast be theirs and not be bothered when mine isn’t theirs.  (Sometimes I try to convince others to get upset with me; no more of that.)  I intend to get even better at leveraging my contrast, to enjoy the dips and valleys and get back to an even sweeter sweet spot than it was pre-contrast.
Fueled by inspiration. I promise to act even faster on inspiration, and question that inspiration much much less.  I promise to follow the whispers (along with the shouts) of my heart.
Life love. I intend to enjoy being me and crafting this gift of a life.  I will enjoy seeking out more new ideas, information, perspectives and things (and movies and books and music and food and scenery) – enhancing my growth and expansion.  I intend to laugh more often (and maybe even louder) than ever before.  I intend to love this life like I won the lottery to be here.  And I intend to find more reasons and excuses to love this world.

* * * * * * * * * * *

With that, I have to say … I feel another fabulous year in store!  🙂
Here’s to 2011 and all the delicious things we will do with it!
If you care to share your intentions or resolutions for the new year, you know I’d love to hear them …

  • January 1, 2011

The Art of Setting Intentions

consciousnessLife follows our thoughts, so when we don’t get specific and deliberate with those thoughts, who knows where we’ll end up! The power is in training our attention toward what we want, which we can do by setting the intention for it in advance.
What’s An Intention?
An intention is simply “the act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.” Dream Coach, Marci Wieder, writes this about intentions:

“A working definition for intention is: ‘to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim.’ Lacking intention, we sometimes stray without meaning or direction. But with it, all the forces of the universe can align to make even the most impossible, possible.”

I tell folks setting an intention is simply holding in mind what you want. That’s what allows you to point your conscious awareness (your vehicle for all creation) in the direction of what you would like to have or be or do.
In short, intention setting is a good habit to get into!
Here are short and sweet steps for setting an intention. (Whether you do it on the fly or create a more formal ritual for it, the important part is that you do what feels best!)
On-the-Fly Intention Setting
(for when you don’t have a lot of advance prep time)

  1. Focus your thought on the result or experience you want
  2. Let it go

Could it get any easier? The only thing better than how simple it is, is how effective you’ll find it!
On-the-fly intention setting is perfect for taking or making important calls, meeting new people, hosting or attending an event, traveling, receiving some sort of service like a restaurant dinner, car in the shop, tax preparation, etc.
For times when you’re extra nervous or doubtful, or for things that feel like a big deal, you might engage a more ritualized process for setting an intention:
Formal Intention Setting
(for when it really matters)

  1. Write your intention down
  2. Let it go

Still pretty simple, huh?  Instead of writing it down, you could speak it out loud. Either way amps up the power.  Developing a habit or ritual around the process will increase its effectiveness for you, too.
You can develop a ritual by keeping a particular journal where you write intentions, or having a place (a box or drawer or even a book) where you keep the papers you’ve written your intentions on.  (I keep an Intentions Journal.)
Some choose to keep their written intentions in a place where they see them regularly (bulletin board, bathroom mirror, wallet, etc.).
If you’re speaking your intention instead of writing it, it’s recommended to get in a peaceful state before declaring it. If you choose to share it with another person, be picky about who you let in on it to ensure you get support instead of ridicule or doubt.
As far as how to word your intention, there’s no wrong way to do it, but I recommend you play with various structures in order to find your rhythm – then stick with what feels best.
Some start an intention by addressing their higher power, some start it with “I am,” some simply say what’s going to happen.

That’s how I do it: “We have a great time, we’re totally attracted to each other, he quickly makes it clear he wants to see me again.”

Experiment, be creative, and pay attention for what “clicks” for you.
When to Use It?
There’s no bad time to set an intention. Anytime you care about what happens or simply want to ensure you get what you want is a great time to get intentional.
In fact, I suspect most of us already hold intentions more often than we realize. The problem is those intentions aren’t usually deliberate about pointing us in the direction of our desire.

For example, my sister-in-law recently went on a job interview that she “knew” wouldn’t pay what she wanted. As she drove to her interview, she imagined that they would probably like her, would probably want to hire her, and could in no way possible afford her.
Guess what happened? No surprise she got exactly what she held in mind.

By purposely setting an intention, we get a chance to redirect our thoughts in ways that allow our desired end result to come to fruition. We get out of our own way and stop sabotaging our happy endings!
As usual, though, don’t take my word for it. Put it to practice for yourself and let me know how you like it!

  • September 2, 2009