Setting intentions with kindness (instead of a stick to beat yourself with)
At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post about setting intentions. They were areas I wanted to achieve, not actual resolutions per se, but a kinder, intentional approach that I would use as a focus and not beat myself up about.
Reader, I lied. I did everything I said I wouldn’t.
I’ve been writing my resolutions/intentions for years now. They’ve spanned my life from a binge-drinking, hot mess to a calmer mother of one. The approach has always been similar: some were things I wanted to achieve such as places to travel and others to try and implement some self-control. I genuinely had a resolution at one stage saying ‘only drink one bottle of wine on nights out – two on special occasions’. Bridget Jones was an amateur in comparison to me…
Yet I also can see a trend. When I wrote down a desire to travel to interesting places, then it happened or if it didn’t, there was a good reason why. But, when it was self-criticism wrapped up in the form of self-improvement, then those resolutions rolled over into yet another year of self-loathing.
Changing language into one of kindness
If I look back on my intentions from last year, then I haven’t really achieved any of them and that makes me feel bad about myself. However, if I reflect on the year, then I’ve made some good things happen. My relationship with my son just gets better, my job has changed to one that suits me personally and I have travelled to some amazing places. Yes, I could have done more yoga, eaten more salads and blogged more regularly but in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter?
So, this year, I’m changing the language. I’m setting intentions with kindness.
My intentions for the year ahead
- I plan to nourish my body – this might be with good food, yoga, running and sleep.
- I want to deepen my spiritual practice. I might do that through mindfulness, yoga, or taking a walk in my local park and simply enjoying nature.
- I want to create more content – and enjoy the process. I’m enjoying learning new creative tactics through work and I love feeling my brain is expanding.
- And most of all, I want to focus on enjoying the everyday. A little kiss from my son. My morning commute saying hello to my fellow early birds. Seeing the love my child has for my mother. A cup of coffee from my husband. Recognising and feeling gratitude for the tiny moments because they are what makes a life.