New Year, new chapter, clean slate, new you! Most people’s view, but not mine.
New Year’s resolutions are not for me and they haven’t been for a long time now. To me they represent feelings of disappointment, failure and guilt.
And do you know why? Because they don’t work. They are unhelpful. They are rigid and stressful. And most people don’t keep them.
Do you know that the average person makes the same New Year’s resolution ten times without success, so that’s ten years’ of getting nowhere? What a waste of ten years.
And it’s so sad to think that many women believe that if they were only thinner, healthier, more outgoing, more of this, less of that then everything would be better…
And then when they succumb to the temptation of the biscuit barrel when suffering from PMS, that’s it, the diet’s failed, the resolution to lose weight has been broken, and those feelings of disappointment, failure and guilt manifest themselves again.
As anyone who regularly follows my blog will know, New Year isn’t the right time to set goals… Winter is a time of stillness when both the Earth’s energy and our own is focussed inwards in hibernation mode. Winter is the time to rest, reflect, dream and renew ahead of the coming energy of Spring when we have the energy to start to take action.
But New Year is an ideal time to set intentions for the year ahead.
Setting an intention is the first stage of achieving you dreams. It can be likened to drawing a map of where you want to go, who you want to be or how you want to feel. But it’s not a map with one route from A to B, it’s a map with lots of side roads, lanes and footpaths leading to interesting places to visit on the way. And as you continue on your journey, day by day throughout the year, you’ll never be quite sure which route you’re going to take but the one thing you can be sure of is that you’re heading in the right direction and there’s no right or wrong way. You can’t fail.
The wise old teachers of India thousands of years ago wrote in the classic Vedic text known as the Upanishads, “You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
So, what is your intention for the year ahead?
Here are a few examples to get you thinking, but remember an intention is a bigger picture thing; it’s how you want to be (after all, you are a human being, not a human doing) as you achieve your dream or goal:
I intend to fill my home with joy and happiness.
I intend to create a supportive and nurturing culture at work.
I intend to support my children to be themselves as they blossom into their uniqueness.
I intend to live consciously in the present.
I intend to listen deeply to my authentic self.
So, you can see, how you live your intention each day can shift. It’s dynamic and fluid, changing with your changing energy levels and the different situations you find yourself in or the different people you meet.
Another thing I like to do at New Year is to choose a word or two for the year ahead. This year, I’ve chosen ‘Ignite’ and ‘Embody’.
These words can’t be broken – like the resolution to ‘run in the park for 30 minutes every day’ can. They are not black and white, pass or fail, win or lose, do or don’t. They are not results focused. And they won’t make me beat myself up for being a failure.
They are my inspiration as I make my way through the year. They are my guides as I make decisions and chose the path I want to follow. They allow me to be myself. They will empower me. They are my truth.
We don’t know what challenges and joy the year will bring, but what we do know is where we are now and where we want to get to, so to choose your word for the upcoming year start by asking yourself some questions:
What do I need more of?
What do I need less of?
What does my ideal day look like?
How do I want to feel during the year?
Write your thoughts in your journal and sit with it, revisiting as often as you need to.
Explore your hopes and fears for the year ahead, who you want to be, where you need support, how you want to develop personally, and write down whatever comes into your head.
Are any single words coming to mind yet?
Read through your musings in your journal.
What words resonate with you? What words feel like a warm hug? What words excite you or feel just right? What words fill you with dread?
Don’t think too hard about it though. Maybe go for a walk, take a long hot bath or practice a short Yoga sequence – you never know what words will come to you when you least expect them.
If you need to be guided through the process of choosing your word for the year, Susannah Conway’s 5 day email course: Find Your Word is excellent.
I’d love to know what word(s) you choose.
If you would like some nurturing allwoman one to one support this year, please get in touch.
I specialise in working with women one to one and enjoy being part of their journey of reconnection and self-discovery. I support women to find more balance and harmony in their lives by deepening their inner connection to their own body’s needs, helping them cope pre-conception, with fertility issues, prenatally, postnatally or during times of transition, grief or loss and helping alleviate the symptoms of menstruation, perimenopause or menopause. If you feel that you would benefit from some nurturing allwoman support, I’d love to hear from you.