I know, I know, setting an intention is very “in” right now and fits right in line with all the holistic, yoga, wellness movement information that is out there. Interestingly enough, as much as “setting an intention” is a bit of a fad right now, it can actually be really beneficial and helpful in making changes. I’ll share a bit about my personal experience with this and how I choose to set an intention through choosing one word to focus on throughout the year.
I remember as a teen and young adult I would often set a lengthy list of New Year’s resolutions. I would really think about them, you know, the day of New Year’s Eve and promptly forget them by the end of January. I’m sure there were some great goals and ideas in there as well as some pretty lofty changes I wanted to make in the year!
A few years ago, during our annual Christmas trip to whatever part of the country my family decides to meet at (we are quite scattered around!), my sister asked me what my “word” of the year would be for the next year. I loved this idea and instantly started thinking about it… what one word would encompass all my amazing ideas and goals for the next year? How can I choose just one? I also remember thinking that this was truly something we had stumbled on because it is so much easier to remember one word than a whole list of self-improvement tasks we might come up with. So, I came up with Balance. And the next year, Strength. And next, and most recently, Faith. Each one has very special meaning and truth for me personally. And I can honestly say that these words have guided me in ways I did not anticipate. They have been my bookends or guideposts for the year. When I would struggle, feel lost, confused, I come back to those words as ways to center myself around my goals.
Last year in choosing my word and reflecting on the word Strength and how it helped guide me through some very challenging experiences in my life, I realized that I wanted to share this idea with my clients and anyone I could! Choosing one word that represents what you want to cultivate, embody, and focus on for the year is so simple. But, so powerful.
The only thing to know if you choose to take this on, is that it is still hard to make changes and keep to your goals. Change and growth will always be difficult and a challenge to take on. A word does not change that, just helps guide and support you if you choose to use it. “Using it” means that you remind yourself of the word and consider all the ways that word could be present in your daily actions and what it embodies to you. And you choose to then lean into the areas that it leads you towards.
I hope that you try this out this year! My word this year is going to be "Gratitude" and while this may sound a bit simple, with this many changes coming my way with the new practice this year, I want to focus on what I am grateful for, rather than what is challenging, overwhelming, or difficult so I do not lose sight of my reasons for doing what I do! I would love to hear about any words that all of you choose! Please feel free to share them in the comments :)
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As always, thanks for reading and comments are always welcome regarding any issues around child, teen, adult and marriage and family counseling services in San Diego.
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