Well, here we are. The end of yet another year, sayonara 2018. It’s been real. Overall, this year was amazing for my personal growth. I learned more about myself and animal rescue than I ever thought I could. It was a year full of financial strain but personal achievement. 2018 was an interesting year in so many ways, but I’m ready to usher in a new year.
Around this time, people start thinking of resolutions. I’m always asked what mine is, and when I tell people I don’t believe in them, I’m often met with a disappointing frown. I may not think resolutions are for me but that’s because more recently, I started setting intentions.
My therapist was the first to tell me about the idea of setting an intention instead of setting a resolution. I wrote about the difference between the two last year. Most notably, resolutions are rigid, strict, and don’t allow for much wiggle room. In a nutshell, in my opinion, they set you up for failure.
Whenever I set resolutions, I find myself feeling guilty come February. My commitment to going to the gym five times a week becomes two. That cooking from scratch goal turns into eating out. If I fail with the resolution at any point, I have failed completely and the resolution ends.
So the past two years, I’ve started to set intentions instead. They allow for growth, flexibility, and change. They aren’t driven by an outcome, but rather a process. Seem complicated? It’s definitely a mental shift, but one that can be extremely beneficial.
It always helps me to have examples when I’m trying to learn a new concept so I put together a quick list to show you the difference.
Resolutions vs Intentions:
I will lose 10 pounds vs I intend to nourish my body
Get a promotion vs I intend to work diligently and passionately
Cook four times per week vs I intend to explore new recipes
Make a new friend vs I intend to push myself outside of my comfort zone
Have date night once a week vs I intend to create new experiences with my significant other
Get a new job vs I intend to seek out what I value
To create an intention (and I’m no expert) you must tune in to what you want truly are wanting. Most of us attach these end goals to what actually is a process. Sure, maybe you do want to lose 10 pounds, but as yourself why. What do those 10 pounds really mean to you? Would you feel healthier? Perhaps you need to feed your body more nourishing foods. Would you feel better about how you look? Maybe you could work on accepting and loving your body instead. Or is it about feeling strong and fit? Try checking out some small group classes and find a workout that you love and that inspires you. The 10 pounds aren’t what you really want, it’s something else, and that something will lead you to your intention.
So, what’s my intention for 2019? I thought about it for a while and I kept coming back to this idea of a work/life balance. Having two jobs, two cats, a dog, friends, family, and a husband is a lot to juggle. Sometimes I let something fall behind. My marriage is the most important thing in my life and I often place it on the back burner in order to finish posts or finalize spreadsheets.
The time I do get to spend with my husband, I’m usually thinking of 1209 things. So my intention is to be more fully present. When I’m working, I want to focus solely on that. When I’m with my friends, I want to soak bask in their friendship. Above all, when I’m spending time with my husband, I want to be fully present connecting with him.
I intend to be fully present in the moments I have. That is my 2019 intention.
What’s yours? Let me know in the comments below!
Both Pancho and Lady have found their forever homes! But OMG take a look at Lila! I want her.
Chicago Canine Rescue has so many sweeties available, adopt a pet today!
Back with another cozy winter sweater. I got this from ASOS this past fall and it’s no longer available. I’ve found a few similar sweaters below!
All photos: Margaret Rajic