The Power of Living With Intention
Theresa Polley
January 3, 2023
August 16, 2023
Self Care

Just when I'm feeling comfortable in my own skin the "helpful" New Year New You bullshit rears it's ugly head again. What's wrong with the old me? The prevalent message all around - "You're not okay as you are - you need to change - stop doing this, start doing that, do more of this, less of that." Would I like to be more mindful and intentional in my life? Absolutely. Do I want to spend the first three months of this year thinking I should eat this and never that and get 10,000 steps every day? Not really.

You are nature. You are already perfect, peaceful, and powerful. You don’t need to become anything. You simply need to remember yourself. ~ Vironika Tugaleva

Reject Resolutions for the New Year

Maybe you’ve been here before: influenced by all the nonsense out there, you set a resolution for the new year, stick with it for a few days or weeks, and by the time spring rolls around you have already “failed” at keeping your resolution. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel pretty shitty.

Why does this happen? When setting resolutions, it’s natural to fixate on something we consider problematic or negative about ourselves. We want to eat less of something (sugar, carbs, meat, etc.), do more of something (exercise, sleep, socialize), be more or less of something (more outgoing, less negative, the list can go on).

Whether we mean to or not, the message we end up sending to ourselves is basically, "who we are isn’t good enough." I don't know about you, but I don't want to start my new year, by telling myself I'm not enough. I'd prefer a message of "You are perfect just the way you are!"

When our resolutions fall by the wayside, which research has proven that they do, we’re left feeling like we failed…and that we’re still, somehow, not good enough, in spite of all of our best efforts.

Set New Year's Intentions Instead

Intention setting, on the other hand, is different. Intention setting is an invitation to choose one thing to focus on as a way to let go of all of the distractions swirling around us. In a yoga class, an intention is a powerful way to stay present with our bodies during our practice. At our retreats, we invite our guests to set an intention for their weekend, based on the belief that an intention creates a deeper retreat experience.

Whatever your intention is for the new year, consider it less about making yourself "better" and more about living in a way that feels better to you.

3 Things to Consider When Setting Your Intention

I set an intention every morning - at the same time that I make my gratitude list. An intention allows me to be more mindful about my time and energy each day. It's true that my days don't always go according to plan. But, more times than not, when I take time to set a daily intention, I'm better able to respond to what comes my way versus reacting and watching as my day falls apart.

  1. Stick to one or two intentions, any more than that and it's hard to be intentional.
  2. No intention is set in stone, you can always change it.
  3. Write it down, so you can come back to it.

Suggested Intentions for Your Year

  • Practice self love
  • Embrace mindfulness
  • Spread kindness
  • Nurture peace
  • Cultivate gratitude
  • Dream big
  • Deepen relationships
  • Find balance with self-care
  • Conserve your energy
  • Make yourself a priority
  • Seek out stillness
  • Be intentional

Or set an intention to set a different intention each day. Whatever you choose, know that not only are you choosing to be more mindful and present with yourself, you are honoring yourself by refusing to get caught up in the shame and blame at this time of year. It feels good doesn't it?

Want to take your intention a little deeper? Get Your Year of Self Care Guide.

This blog is intended to provide helpful suggestions for self care and overall well-being. I am not a mental health professional. If you’re struggling I encourage you to seek the help of a professional. Find a Mental Health Professional | National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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