A few years ago I got a bit smarter though, and abandoned the idea of making New Year's Resolutions. They seemed like a list of hard and fast rules that only wind up making me feel defeated by January 15th.
Instead I have slid into the much more comfortable realm of setting intentions. It's the difference between wearing a push-up bra and your t-shirt bra. Both do the job but one allows you to breathe and the other makes you count the minutes until you can take it off.
So it is that I have been breathing deeply of the first four months of 2014, letting my word, intention, settle into the cracks and crevices of my mind, my thoughts, my decisions. My word has served as a touchstone of focus before I act.
Before I respond to an e-mail, I ask myself what are my intentions in my response? Before I say yes to an opportunity, I ask what is my intention if I choose to do it? Is it to please the asker and avoid a conflict or is it my real intention to say yes because I want to? Before I respond to a thoughtful or argumentative question, I silently consider the true intention behind my response. Are my words secretly intended to hurt or are they intended to bring us closer?
This may sound like a lot of extra thinking but it has done the opposite. It creates clarity of thought. It slows me down. It makes me consider carefully and weigh my options before reacting. It keeps me at peace with myself and my choices because they are being made purposefully rather than reflexively or simply to please other people.
It helps me live as my authentic self which, I have realized, is my deepest intention of all. (Isn't it everyone's?)
So, now that I have publicly declared my intentions, I intend to spend more time documenting them here and in my lovely OLW album that is completely empty so far. But I won't be doing it under pressure, I'll be doing it peacefully, authentically, intentionally.
My word for 2013 : TRUST
My word for 2012 : CREATE
My word for 2011 : ENOUGH