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Intentions Not Resolutions

Are you a New Year’s resolution maker? I used to be, and I probably made some of the same ones you made or are still making. You know, lose weight, eat more healthfully, clear up the clutter.

About six years ago I decided to try something new. I picked a word or two to choose as my intention or focus for the year. I actually started this practice in my yoga class. Kathy, the owner of the yoga studio, passed around a basket and we each picked a word. I picked openness. Well, I was not enamored with that word. The woman next to me picked love, a word I liked much better. I asked if I could pick another word and Kathy told me that I hadn’t picked the word, the word had picked me. Well, I stuck the word on the computer screen and looked for openness. Funny thing, I found lots of opportunities. I’ve had lots of words since then: joy, abundance, challenge. This past year I decided to choose those two words again: openness and opportunities, and I can look back and see magic in what I experienced in those areas.

It’s that time again and I spent some time over the Christmas holiday thinking about what word or words would be my theme for the year and how they will fit with the goals I’ve set for 2013. First, my word is conscious or consciousness, as in being fully aware or deliberate. I put it with living, as in conscious living. It’s very easy for me to get caught up in the doing, and letting the getting it – whatever it is – done be the important part, and not be fully engaged in what I’m doing. As I made a wall quilt in December, I could see how conscious or attentive I was during the design phase, and it was wonderful to see what it brought to me. I can see this as being important in all aspects of my life. One example includes, being fully present when I engage with other individuals. If I approach sharing my knowledge with authenticity and self-awareness, I will expand my reach, which is one of my goals. Another example, being fully present or conscious with my own self. If self-care is one of my goals, and it is, I need to be conscious that I can only be responsible for myself and that I need to be aware and attend to that. A third example, making conscious business and financial decisions. If you aren’t attentive to what’s going on with your business, it will run itself by default – and you may not like the default position.

I know living fully conscious will open more opportunities. Whoops, did you catch open and opportunities? I really think those are my words of the decade.

How am I going to get support for that theme. I’ve got two ideas. One is that I’ve got the words Conscious Living on a Post-it® note on the computer. It’s also on the front of a journal. Those are my reminders. Second, I found a book called A Year of Living Consciously by Gay Hendricks. It includes a quote, a short essay and a conscious living practice for each day of the year.

So, I’m asking you some questions:

1.  Do you have a word or theme for the year and how will you stay focused on it?

2.  If not, would you like to join me for a year of conscious living?

Please share your thoughts below.


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One Response to “Intentions Not Resolutions”

  1. Laura Estes said:

    Focus is my word or goal for 2013. Finish things through to the end, including putting the tools away. Look toward who is talking, so I get what they are saying. I can see many side benefits to focus. I’ll keep you posted on how this all turns out. I expect it will only enhance my system of daily goals.

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