Wow, I can’t believe it’s time to start thinking about these already. I pretty much wasted 2020 waiting for the pandemic to be over so I could get back to my intentions, but look where that got me. No one likes feeling unaccomplished. As we start the push into the next year, I want to make sure I’m setting myself up for success. Setting intentions that can be worked on no matter what the state of the world is. They aren’t to travel, get a promotion or even make more money. This year, they are more about what I can do for myself without relying on external circumstances.
Years like this past one are why I like to set intentions and not goals or resolutions. Because not making a goal feels like failure. People often set goals that are impossible to even reach or are just entirely unrealistic. Intentions are more about tapping into your heart and seeing what you really desire. What outcomes you want to see at the end of a trip around the sun. They end up being more intrinsic and less materialistic or fantasy driven. Here are my 10 intentions for 2021.
1. Read More
I put this on my list every year because I tend to start off pretty strong and then drop off after a couple of months. This year with the pandemic I’ve actually read a lot more than in the past! Unfortunately, a lot of it was baby-prepping books but still it’s all good for the mind. I supposed next year, lots of children’s books are in my future but while the newborn sleeps, I’ll be squeezing in some of my favorite authors. The books are stockpiled and I packed my first one to knock out in my hospital bag.
I don’t like to set a certain goal for the number of books because looking at it come next fall can be daunting if you didn’t space it out well throughout the year. But lots of people find it more helpful to do something like that or even make a list of specific titles to get through.
Whether you prefer fantasy or non-fiction, reading is a great way to keep the gears moving in top speed. I encourage you to add this one to YOUR list.
2. Create a Happier Mind
I pride myself on being a pretty happy person. I do struggle with some anxiety that expresses itself with cleaning frenzies in my house- but overall, I’ve been happy with my progress in developing a clear space in my head. However, I think a lot of back tracked in our mental health this year. I know I did.
I’ve been more irritable to say the least. Finding myself getting upset over not being able to have a normal baby shower etc, when normally I can throw a positive spin on everything. So this year, I’m getting back to my glass-half-full state of mind!
Intentions that involve mental health take the most work. It’s work you do mostly on your own and is a conscious effort you have to make just about everyday. It’s helpful to write this goal down and have it posted somewhere you will frequently see it.
3. Learn to Find Peace in Chaos
This has been the biggest lesson of the year and I’ve failed at it time and time again. In the New Year, I’m going to remember to stop expecting things to go a certain way and take a breath before reacting to surprising news. When things are busy, it’s so easy to lose control of our emotions and thought process. In 2021 I am going to figure how to stop that before I really get rolling.
4. Find Creative Solutions
If something doesn’t work the first time, you need to switch it up. Things getting cancelled and rearranged has been a nonstop tidal wave. Even people have become an obstacle this year! Either voicing very different opinions that you have a hard time coping to understand or they might be refusing to respect your boundaries- it’s been challenging to see friends and family in that kind of light.
Throwing in the towel has been a first reaction when this kind of stuff pops up so next year I want to strive to find more creative solutions to personal, work and overall life problems. Solutions that don’t involve just rolling over and taking it but likewise solutions that also don’t involve me going emotionally off the rails… because in hindsight those things aren’t really “solutions.”
5. Stop to Smell the Roses More Often
You’d think we’d all be good at this by now but really I think we have gotten worse. We collectively turned this entire year into a year of waiting. Waiting for “it”to pass- whatever that was for you- rather than enjoying the moment. I want to be present more often in 2021, especially with the upcoming arrival of my baby. I want to soak in every beautiful minute no matter what the circumstances are outside of my door.
6. Find Intense Inspiration Again
Life has felt a little lackluster, yes? At the start of the Great Quarantine of 2020 I too told myself I would pick up so many hobbies and become this incredibly self-made woman… but the fire was squashed quicker than I had hoped.
So with the New Year I’d like to find something, even if it’s just one thing, that really fuels the fire in my soul again. At least one thing that I can drive inspiration from. The kind of inspiration and determination that keeps you up at night because the creative wheels keep turning. I don’t know what that thing is going to be yet, but I am cracking all the doors open for opportunity to be swept in.
7. Maintain My Physical Health (or Improve)
This is another one that makes it onto my list every year and that’s because I think there is never really a stopping point. Throughout this pregnancy, obviously I’ve lost some muscle and the ability to lift huge amounts of weights and with the pandemic being thrown on top of those pregnancy restrictions, I couldn’t go to the gym (for safety) to do all my cardio that kept my legs in the type of shape I found desirable. Even with all of that though, I am really happy with how my body looks almost 32 weeks pregnant!
I have been able to work out EVERY DAY of pregnancy. I still life weights, just not as heavy, I have found cardio that works for my growing belly and I found a whole program that fits well with my active lifestyle that is also approved by my doctor. Because of all this, I’ve also been feeling good enough to keep my diet in check. Thanks to the combined efforts of my work, I passed my glucose test with “flying colors” according to doc. You have to score under 136 and I got a 94- not too shabby! I have very few pregnancy pains and really only feel tired or sore at the very end of my day.
So after my bundle of joy arrives in 2021, I’d like to maintain the work I’ve done- but also improve how I look. I mean I don’t want t keep the bump forever.. but I think I can get rid of the baby weight by continuing what I’m doing now- if that makes sense?
These types of intentions will look different for everyone and it’s okay to say just want to maintain what you already accomplished. It’s not always about putting on more muscle, losing weight, or fitting into a certain pair of jeans. It’s about feeling confident where you are and being healthy!
8. Restore Faith in the Future
A lot of dreams have died this year. It’s just the sad truth! I’ve been talking to a lot of people and they don’t have hopes for the future anymore. They have stopped dreaming and planning. That kind of attitude is very contagious. This is why I want to put this one on my list of intentions. I want to be able to keep the faith in the future.
Of course, tomorrow is never promised, but that doesn’t mean you expect to not have a tomorrow! Keep dreaming, keep working. Better things are coming… there is just no timeline.
9. Get More Involved in the Community
One of my favorite things about my church is that they have made this very accessible! The pandemic kinda brought things to a screeching halt- to no fault of their own. Actually, they continued to do a lot this year, it was me who kind of dropped off with my involvement. While I didn’t lose my job, I had some financial burdens that kept me from donating food and a pregnancy that kept me from donating as much time.
In 2021, I’m getting back at it! Hopefully with more than just my church but honestly they do so much, it’s not a bad place to start. However YOU like to be involved, I hope next year that you go for it. Go to the meeting about something you care about in your city. Volunteer. Apply to be on the board. Make a difference starting somewhere close to home!
10. Be Nurturing
This one is important to me because I’ll be stepping into a whole new life role! Being a mom. I’m naturally a more nurturing person… but being nurturing isn’t just about other people. It’s about taking care of yourself too. I give a lot to other people and often forget to nurture myself in return. There is nothing wrong with adding an intention that says you’re going to care more for yourself. It’s a healthy balance more of us need to find.
These are my intentions as we blast off into 2021. We are in uncharted territory these days. Politics are constantly flaring it’s ugly head. Social media has turned people into know-it-alls and opened us up to unhealthy comparisons. Not to mention we are STILL dealing with the pandemic and as that comes to a close, the wreckage it has left behind.
I believe my intentions will not only help me stay on a good path this year, but will be ones that can spread to those around me. The only infection I want next year is one of positive vibes!
When setting intentions, try to dig deep and see what your heart really wants. If you don’t really want it, you’re not very likely to work for it. Set intentions that:
- Are meaningful to you
- Have a plan attached
- Are realistic
- Don’t have to be ‘new.’ They can be to continue growth in area you’re working on
You got this! Saying goodbye to a year has never been easier but don’t let this wild ride discourage from planning things for the next year. If anything, we should have lots of pent-up energy that we are ready to unleash into the world. Tap into it. The New Year is coming!