The start of the year signals a complete shift in mindset for me. This year, the “start of the year” really was the start of the work year: Monday, January 6th. Prior to that, I literally did not have the brain capacity to type an email. But as soon as Monday rolled around, it was a complete 180. I started back with my 6:45 a.m. workouts, felt energized, refreshed, and ready to tackle 2020! It’s so weird how that works!
Intentions vs. Resolutions vs. Goals
I think it’s a good practice to set intentions. This is not the same as New Year’s resolutions (I wrote about why I don’t like those in this blog post), or even goals. While I definitely do set goals and think everyone should, the difference with setting an intention is that it is ongoing and is not tied to a particular achievement or date. Setting an intention is about how you want to be, how you will show up for yourself each day, how you will face situations, and even setbacks. Intentions have more to do with your attitude. For example, “I will lose 5 lbs. by February 1st” (goal) versus, “I will make my health a priority” (intention). Make sense?
I like to set my intentions at the start of the year, to capitalize on that renewed focus and clean slate mentality. For 2019, I kept my intentions for the year to a short, but purposeful list of 3 things (you can check out that post here). This year’s list is a little longer, but purposeful, nonetheless.
Here are my five intentions for 2020:
1. Don’t Overthink It!
I am a ruminator and a perfectionist, through and through! I will often analyze something—from every possible angle—for too long, or tinker with something until I feel it’s perfect. Being a perfectionist does have its benefits, but the flipside is that it’s held me back from taking more action. And as overthinking applies to personal relationships, I used to allow bad situations and bad vibes really get inside my head. In my post about 15 things I’d tell my younger self, I shared a quote that helped me a great deal in my personal life. I now want to apply this same way of thinking to my professional life. How?
I intend to:
- Spend less time making things ‘perfect’ before producing them (done is better than perfect!)
- Spend less time thinking unnecessarily before taking action, especially as this relates to projects or strategies that can help me make career advancements
- Spend less time worrying about what people will think
- Be kinder to myself
- Treat perceived failure or the threat of failure as an opportunity to grow and learn
2. Put Gratitude at the Centre, Always
Practicing gratitude has completely changed my outlook on life. It’s incredible how much we take for granted on a daily basis. Even focusing on things like being able to wake up each morning and breathe, or having mobility will make you appreciate how fortunate you are. You really don’t realize how much you took something for granted until you no longer have it!
There are, of course, many times when I lose sight of this and slip back into old ways (forgetting my privilege, having too many expectations). But I remind myself that gratitude is the key to living a happy life, feeling fulfilled, having a good attitude, having healthy relationships with people, having a good quality of life, the list goes on and on. For 2020, I intend to increase my practice of gratitude, with a view to ultimately becoming an even better human.
3. De-Stress My Life
Ever find yourself worrying, when you reeealllyyy don’t need to? Yeah, that’s this girl right here! I recognize how damaging this can be, so I intend to eliminate unnecessary stress and worry.
The stressors in my life primarily come from work and home duties – having too many things to do and not enough time or help, feeling overwhelmed. I’ve always rationalized this by saying that having a lot of work is ‘good stress’. But stress is stress. And there’s no doubt how harmful stress can be for our mental and physical health.
Fact is, there will always be work to do. You could always find a reason to get annoyed with something or someone. Things really aren’t as bad as we make them out to be sometimes.
This year, I intend to find my calm and try to keep that in my life every day. I’m going to recognize when something is making me feel anxious and I’m going to take steps to eliminate that anxiety. I’m going to choose patience, compassion, understanding, and again, gratitude.
4. Be More Intentional with My Time
To me, there is nothing worse than squandering time. I definitely believe in the power of saying “no” – to things that don’t serve me, help me reach my goals, or don’t benefit me or other people who I care about. This, of course, doesn’t mean that I intend to spend all my time working. In fact, one of last year’s intentions was to have more work/life balance, and I’m happy to report that that definitely increased in 2019!
Being more intentional with my time this year means:
- Spending less time online and more time plugging into the real world – reading a book, watching the news, or even listening to the radio
- Connecting and re-connecting with people I care about and nurturing relationships that are important to me
- Not procrastinating (for as productive as I am, you’d be surprised at how much I can procrastinate!)
- Being more strategic with work
- Finding ways to delegate
- Getting outside more
5. Take Better Care of My Mind and Body
Another one of my intentions for 2019 was to be consistent with my diet and exercise. Being completely committed to this intention, I continued to work out throughout the year (bless F45!), ate better, cooked more, started intermittent fasting, and started drinking alcohol in moderation and doing regular periods of abstinence from alcohol. I honestly have never been better. I feel healthy, I look healthy, and I am happy. That being said, there is still more work to be done. This year, I intend to build on my intention from last year and invest more time in self-development and self-care. I want to be the best version of myself that I can be!
So, those are my 5 intentions for 2020! What are yours?
Remember, while I treat the beginning of a year as a clean slate, this isn’t true for everyone. As I said in last year’s post, January is not the only time to set goals or intentions – they’re an ongoing process. The best time is any time to set intentions and take greater control over your life!
Did you find this list of intentions to be helpful?