2020 has arrived and if you look around, you’ll see people setting New Year’s resolutions for themselves.
But you might feel a little skeptical.
You’ve already set resolutions for yourself in the past, only to be greeted with failure and disappointment.
You’re not alone either.
Surveys have shown that 80% of people don’t fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. People quit, often after experiencing signs of burnout.
Maybe it’s time to try something different. Instead of setting a resolution, try setting a New Year’s intention.
The Difference Between a Resolution and an Intention
Setting a resolution is often related to external goals. It’s usually accompanied by a grand statement that everything will change.
New Year, new person, right?
We start the New Year, engines roaring, but fizzle out after a few months.
Life gets in the way.
Work is demanding. Chores need doing. Errands need running.
You put self-care and your resolutions on the back burner as you burn out. And another year flies by, your resolutions still unfulfilled.
However, an intention is much more than a resolution to achieve an external goal. It runs deeper.
An intention is a guide for identifying your core values and using them to design the life you want to lead and to become the person you want to be.
Do you want to live more deliberately by spending more quality time with yourself and your loved ones? Maybe you want to live more eco-consciously by caring after nature’s bounty?
An intention will help you make that new identity and way of living a reality.
Giving voice to that intention will help you to manifest it.
Before learning how to set a New Year’s intention, be sure to sign up for my mailing list to receive practical advice on managing burnout throughout the year.
Are you ready to set your New Year’s intention(s)?
Let’s get started.
How to Set an Intention for 2020
#1 Write Down Who You Intend to Be
It isn’t enough to just want to make a change in your life.
Your intention needs to describe the type of person you intend to become in order to manifest that change.
For example, if you want to create more balance in your life, your intention could be, I am somebody who practices self-reflection.
Your intention should embody your new identity.
#2 Align Your Actions with Your Intention
The first step defines who you want to be. This step explains how you can become that person.
Under each intention, write down habits that type of person would have.
If you want to be somebody who practices self-reflection, your list might look like:
- Practices meditation for ten minutes every morning
- Takes a 10 minute break every afternoon to calmly and quietly reevaluate their priorities
- Journals every evening
Don’t leave anything to mystery. Because if you don’t know what to do next, you’ll do what’s comfortable: slipping into your old habits when life gets busy and you start burning out.
#3 Rewrite Each Intention into a Daily Affirmation
When you repeat your daily affirmations, you are setting into motion a different reality. Every day, you choose to make better choices. You choose to improve yourself.
So, rewrite your notes from the first two steps into affirmations you can say aloud every day. Since practicing self-reflection is my New Year’s intention, here’s how I would express that in an affirmation:
“Reflection is important to me. I invest time in reflection and introspection to gain a deeper perspective of myself and my life. To do this, I meditate for ten minutes every morning, take a 10 minute break every afternoon to calmly and quietly reevaluate my priorities, and journal every evening before I go to sleep.”
Once you’ve written your affirmation, commit to this habit: repeat it to yourself every day, 5-10 times in the morning and again in the evening.
During times of extreme stress or anxiety, return to your affirmation(s). Never lose sight of your intention(s), even when life gets challenging.
Your intention(s) will manifest into spoken word. Spoken word will manifest into daily habits. Daily habits will manifest into fulfilling your intention(s).
This 2020, Prioritize Yourself
As you work on your New Year’s intention(s), I want to share three tenets to guide the process:
#1 Be Kind to Yourself
When you’re first learning how to practice mindful breathing, your mind often wanders.
The trick is to forgive yourself each time it happens. Then you invite your awareness back to the act of breathing, again and again.
Carrying out your intention is similar. As you take steps to manifest your intention, you’ll probably stumble.
And that’s okay. Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself each time you stumble.
True manifestation of your intentions happens only after you get back up each time you fall, again and again.
#2 Say No to Others. Say Yes to Yourself.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of being a people pleaser.
When you live for others, you forget to live for yourself. When you try tending to everybody else’s needs, it’s easy to burn out.
New Year’s intentions are more than self-care and personal growth. They’re also about leading a life that aligns with your core values and priorities.
Your time and energy are limited resources. When you give them away, there’s less of each left for pursuing your intentions and nourishing your own body and soul.
This year, set boundaries. Each time you say no, you’re saying yes to your own well-being and intentions.
#3 You’re at Choice
When other people fail at their resolutions, you may start doubting yourself.
But here’s the truth: you are always at choice.
You can choose to move forward or you can choose to stand still. You have the choice to create positive change in your life.
The decision for better always rests in your hands.
This Year Will Be Better
Take a look in the mirror. Envision who you are at the end of 2020, if you carry out your intention.
That’s the person you want to be.
When you say your daily affirmations, know in your heart and soul that you will become that person.
Your New Year’s intention is a long-term commitment to your personal growth. It’s a step towards living a life that aligns with values and priorities specific to you.
As you work to fulfill your intention, it’s very common to become derailed by self-doubt, criticism, and burnout. Whether life gets in the way or you’re not seeing the results you want, you might want to give up on yourself. You might even feel unworthy of the amazing intention(s) you set for yourself.
When this happens, return to my first guiding tenet: be kind to yourself. To help you get back on track, I’ve created my From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge, where each day is a reminder to love yourself AND that you are worthy of your intentions.
During these 7 days, we’ll look at what’s really going on beneath the signs of burnout and I’ll give you simple strategies for how to turn things around so you can get on the path towards balance and enjoying your life (again).
If you’re ready to break out of the burnout cycle and desire to be…
- Relaxed and confident, knowing you’re tending to the most important priorities
- Energized, clear and focused
- Calm, easy-going and peaceful
- Sleeping like a baby and waking up rested
- Engaged, inspired and passionate about your life