Intentions for the new year. . .

We’ve probably all made tons of resolutions over the years that we adhered to for a week or less.  Maybe only a few hours, in fact.  Perhaps that’s because resolutions are geared to what we are Not going to do, ever again! I think a more helpful approach might be to set goals or intentions for what we do want to do in the coming year, rather than what we are not going to do.  For instance, a sensible intention might be the following: “I am going to say hello, with a smile in my voice, to the first person I see upon awaking.”  For sure they can be any thing that appeals to you, but I have found that when I start my day with an expression of kindness, the rest of the day evolves more peacefully.  That is an intention I have adhered to for many years.

We can have intentions for any number of categories.   As a writer, I always have an intention around the books I want to develop next, and in fact, I have four more books on the “drawing board” that I will pursue as soon as I finish the one I am currently writing.  I love knowing where I am going next with the work I love doing.

A wonderful friend of mine, and fellow author, Jill Kelly, (her book is: Sober Truths: the Making of an Honest Woman) shared with me an idea that I want to share with you.  She leads writers’ retreats and at the new year, she and her group contemplate five questions: What are you happy to have created, experienced or accomplished in 2010?; What would you like to have done in 2010?; What are you willing to leave behind/let go of at this time, (old stories, habits, attitudes)?; What challenges do you foresee in 2011 and what support do you need to meet them?; What one intention would you like to set for 2011? All five, or any one of these questions is worthy of our consideration.

Our intentions might address personal growth and include a commitment to go to more 12 step meetings if, like me, you are in recovery.  Or it might be to drink more water and less soda or eat an orange instead of a candy bar every time you are hankering for some thing sweet, if health has challenged you in 2010.  (I think that last one I should adopt.)  Being more aware of the people you encounter every day, dwelling on the fact that they have not accidentally crossed your path, is a wonderful intention.  Being dismissive of people is far too easy.  We all hunger to be witnessed in this life.  This is one you can adopt quite easily.  Just look at, and listen to those who seek your counsel.

The new year is already five days “old.”  Let’s not tarry.  Let’s be the person we really long to be from this moment forward.  All it takes is a decision.  I’ve made mine.  Now it’s your turn.

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