Taking Time to Set Intentions
Starting The New Year Right
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Approaching the close of 2018, I realized I was in desperate need of a retreat. I needed a break to recover, reset and refocus. The past year was filled with many ups and downs, a lot of successes and failures turning points that brought with them plenty of hard lessons accompanied by beautiful ‘ah-hah’ moments. As an effort to pay respects to my experience and make sure I was putting into action what I learned, I decided to take some quiet time outside of the digital world. For the first half of January I’ve been consciously reflecting and setting intentions for the new year. In short, I decided to take time to care for myself so that I may better serve others. Which is a mantra I will be trying my best to practice for years to come.
This realization took much longer than it should have to register in my mind. So, I’ll give you a better idea of the state of things prior to this short-term hiatus.
Do you ever find yourself scrambling, running around with this feeling that you’re constantly playing catch-up? It’s like you’re struggling to tread water surrounded by chaotic waves and debris. It’s all about survival, focusing on pushing through without being able to stop and think of a new strategy. Eventually, you get to a point where you need to stop treading water and actually swim somewhere.
Those four sentences essentially sum up how I’ve been feeling and why I chose to take some time for myself. I just kept repeating the same patterns, doing enough to survive and get to the next deadline, instead of consciously developing a plan and putting it into action. I realized over the last year that I waste so much time and energy worrying, thinking, anticipating…that I never just get it done. Someone said to me “you need to think less and just do.” Well, I couldn’t argue with that. There were so many days where I got lost in the rat race, getting caught up in the comparison game and over-analyzing ever aspect of my business, that I became inefficient. Which, if you know me, then you know there is nothing I can’t stand more than inefficiency.
Instead of continuing the same patterns and (unsurprisingly) achieving the same result every time, I’m approaching the new year with a new perspective and well-crafted intentions:
Make Time For Myself So I Can Better Serve Others
Taking a break was my first step in fulfilling my #1 intention for the future. I am very quick to get wrapped up in my work and other obligations. As a result, it is very easy for me to let my self-care fall to the wayside: rest, food choices, schedule, skincare etc. One of the top things on that list is exercise. I’ve always been athletic and working out plays a crucial role in my mental, emotional and physical health. It’s a game-changer for me. When I exercise regularly I truly am the best version of myself. So while taking care of myself is a broad goal, one of the first steps in that is prioritizing my workout routine.
Create Healthy Habits One At A Time
This leads me to my next intention: creating healthy habits at a time. Too often we set a mass list of fresh goals and habits for the new year and the idea is you start them right away! There’s no time like the present, right? Well, my answer is both yes and no. Yes, you should act on decisions that are healthy for today, not weeks from now when the “time is right.” However, it’s unrealistic to expect yourself to magically develop all of the new routines at the same time. Instead, focus on achieving one at a time. It takes at least 21 days to create a new habit (new studies show it’s more like 66 days), so start with one, focus on it, and then slowly build upon that. This month, I’m focusing on setting a regular exercise schedule. Next month I’ll be incorporating mindfulness into my daily practice. In March I want to work on finally taking all of those vitamins I keep in the pantry! So on and so forth, that is how I intend to build my new routine layer by layer.
Think It, Do It….Don’t Stew In It
I pretty much summed this up earlier in the post, but I’m going to essentially stop wasting so much energy and time over-analyzing something and just do it. I have so many ideas and passions that I get lost in them. I can’t see the forest for the trees. So this year I’ll be implementing strategies to make myself more efficient so I can achieve big goals. The foundation: think less, just do!
Be Strategic So You Can Enjoy The Moment
Remember that drowning feeling I was describing earlier? Well, if I had been more strategic last year and used my time more wisely, I wouldn’t have felt that way quite so often. I going to switch from survival mode to strategy mode by planning my time so that I can batch my work. This will leave less opportunities for stress and more time to enjoy the moment.
Live The Life I Want
We all deal with the comparison game. We may not like to admit it, but it happens especially in this time of social media where we are constantly looking at others’ highlight reels. Over the last several years I found myself saying “I want to do that, I wish we could do that, why can’t we do that.” Baring certain financial limitations (lets be realistic) I realized the only thing holding me back was…me. It’s fear, getting lost in the have-nots and choosing to sit back instead of make it happen. Wishing things into fruition hasn’t really worked out, so I’ve decided to start choosing to live the life I want by taking action. One of the biggest dreams we’ve chosen to set in motion: a trip to Europe! Stay tuned for more on that and many other moves we’re making in 2019.
Express Love Every Day: To Myself & Those Around Me
Last, but certainly not least, I want to intentionally express love every day. Whether it’s to myself, my husband, my family or my friends, I want to make sure I’m showing appreciation for what I have. It brings me so much joy to say “I love you” to Trent every morning and every time I hug my mom I wish I could bottle that feeling up because I never want it to end. It’s this overwhelming warmth and fullness that can’t be replicated. Love is a powerful thing! So why not project what makes you feel good? It can only bring more positivity and fulfillment to your life. I’ll take every bit I can get!
If you’ve stuck with me this long, thank you for reading. I know it’s a little lengthier than the usual post, but I wanted to give you an idea for my mindset and hopefully inspire you to take time to set some intentions. Hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating the new year and that it is off to a good start. Until next time: cheers!