Yes, I know it’s the middle of January. Yes, I’m still going to talk about New Year’s Resolutions. Yes, again.
It turns out that I have a LOT to say about something I’ve pooh-poohed for years.
In my last blog, I talked about how amazing you are if you’ve stuck to your resolutions. And if you haven’t, that’s just fine. I’m hardly here to guilt ya. Instead, I’ll happily welcome you to the club. The very large club. It turns out that most of us don’t keep our resolutions--seriously, only about 8% of people achieve their new year’s goals.
To be honest, I gave up on making resolutions years ago. My slacker personality plus the frigid January temperatures put the kibosh on any lofty goals I conjured up. Cart myself to the gym when it’s -238 outside? No, just no. Not happening. My list of failures was already long--thus the need for resolutions in the first place. Duh. Why set myself up for yet more failure?
Still, I can’t deny that the start of a new year seems filled with promise. A clean slate! A fresh start! A blank canvas!
But: what the sam hill to do about that?
What I proposed in my last blog was setting intentions for the new year instead of making resolutions. I suggested that a good way to get in touch with your intentions was by creating a vision board journal. And, you know what? I stand by that. It’s a great idea, if I do say so myself.
After I posted the last blog, I was itching to update my own vision board journal. So, I dove in. And I loved it. I loved being crafty and having an excuse to stay home while the wind whistled and the snow blew. I also loved getting in touch with my intentions, by going into the project without any preconceived goals to craft my vision board around. Instead, following the advice of various bloggers, I looked for graphics that spoke to me. And once I felt as though I had a enough graphics, I started sorting them into categories before pasting them into my journal. The process revealed that my intentions are primarily to live in love and in joy, to fulfill the wanderlust part of my spirit, and to make the most of every minute with my dog, Archie. Oh, and lemons. Every freakin’ magazine--whether about fashion, food and drink, travel, or other random topics--had lemons in it, and those bright yellow citrusy things spoke to me. Lemons are clearly my destiny.
But this process made me wonder: now what? Now that I know I want to live in love and joy, what do I need to do to make that happen? And also: since journaling was instrumental in helping me discover (some of) my intentions, how can to use my personal journals to further this path?
What Are Intentions Anyway?
I’m still new to this whole intentions thing. For my last blog, I had to do a little research to try to figure out what intentions are, you know? Because some people seem use the word interchangeably with “goals” and that is not correct.
As I wrote a couple weeks ago:
Crafting Powerful Intentions
Christie’s explanation helped me a lot. But as I poked around the interwebs, I found Chandresh Bhardwaj’s blog at mindbodygreen. Chandresh gives specific examples of intentions. And not just random examples either. Nope. Chandresh lists 10 intentions that he says can help you live your most authentic life:
I found having examples helpful even if some don’t feel right for me. Chandresh says that it’s perfectly okay to develop your own intentions, though, and he gives some valuable tips to do so. Namely:
For more tips about how to craft your intentions in a meaningful, positive way, check out Duanita’s great piece on “Writing Effective Affirmative Intentions."
And one final thing, cool cats: always come to your intentions through gratitude. As Jessica Hagy points out over at The/Thirty, without gratitude, your intentions will come from a place of scarcity. A piece at Mind Fuel Daily takes things one step further. Gratitude raises your vibration level, and it’s that energy that will reveal your manifested intentions.
Using your Personal Journals to Set Intentions
Sparkly unicorns, you can absolutely set intentions through meditation alone. But, since I’m blogging for Sohospark -- and because I’m a writer at heart who loves using journals -- of course I’m going to focus on how to use your personal journals here.
There are several benefits to getting your intentions down in a writing journal:
There are a few different ways that you can use personal journals to determine and craft your intentions. First--and I highly recommend this one because it’s fun and insightful--create a vision board in your journal. Go into this project without any preconceived thoughts about your intentions. Just collect graphics that appeal to you and then let those words and pictures reveal your intentions. Doing this project in a journal instead of on a “board” has several benefits. For tips and inspo, check my blog on vision board journals.
Second, you could use guided prompts to explore your intentions in a writing journal. There is a great blog over at Lunarly that lists a number of helpful prompts. And, I found the three prompts that Molly Merson suggests at her personal blog to be pretty powerful:
Now that you have your intentions crafted and perfected, are they set? Not really. Setting intentions requires a little more work than simply figuring out what they are. You need to give the universe a little push in order to move things along. In a great piece over at Psychology Today, Diana Raab lists a number of ways to infuse your intentions with the positive energy they need in order to manifest:
There you have it, cool cats. You’re all set to rock your universe with your intentions. If you journal about your intentions--or have now been inspired to do so--I'd love to hear from you. Drop me a comment below.
Photo by Hannah Pap Roc on Reshot
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Some forty years ago, on top of Lookout Mountain, TN, I met the sweetest girl at Covenant College.
Smitten, I was.
Wrote her a love note, I did.
That love story is reflected on our latest journal cover.