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Setting a New Years Intention + Devotional

Until New Years Eve 2016, I’ve always set New Year’s resolutions. I was always so pumped to start a new year off right and get into new, positive, and healthy habits.

For example, almost every year I felt a tug at my heartstrings around drinking more water. If I’m being completely honest with you right now, I hate drinking water. I know I should and I know it’s essential to my life and well-being. But I hate drinking water. It’s tasteless, I literally choke the stuff down, and I’m just not good at checking off the 8 glasses a day thing.  But every year, around December 27th, I’d find myself reflecting on the past year and planning for the upcoming new year.

What do I want to change? How do I want to feel next year? How can I make shifts to better my life as a whole?

And almost every single time, I’d write a list of resolutions that would look like this:

  • Exercise every day
  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day
  • Make more money!
  • Read my bible every single day
  • Wake up early and drink lemon water (instead of coffee…which I love with all my heart)

Do you think I achieve any of these? Yea…

In January of the new year, I would always start off with a bang. Waking up at 5 am before the kids do, feeling fresh, drinking my lemon water, cranking out a whole 60-hour yoga class, and crafting new strategies for our business.  All in a day.

The next day, I hit the snooze button only once to wake up at 5:15 and start the whole routine over. The kids find it fun to jump on my back while I flow through a vinyasa, so my class is cut short to play blocks. I skip the lemon water but drink down 64oz of high-quality H2O.

Day 3, I’m exhausted. Skip the lemon water and head straight for the coffee all while thinking, I’ll make up for this tomorrow. One of the kids is sick, so my yoga class has to wait. I drink maybe 2 glasses of water. And in reflecting at bedtime, I feel like a failure already – and I’m not even a week into the new year.

It always happens.

So I decided to switch gears.

At the end of 2016, I remember reflecting on years and years of “failed resolutions”. I wasn’t good at them. And let’s be honest, are any of us truly good at accomplishing a long list of resolutions with ease? Nah…

And so I decided to make a change and to do something different in 2017.

Set an intention. Just 1 really solid, doable intention that would guide everything that I do for the entire year. I wouldn’t be putting any stress on myself, I was done with that. I wanted to thrive.

Here’s what I did…

I began with reflecting on the year 2016. What went well, what didn’t? And what do I truly desire out of 2017?

My answer, instead of listing out a big list of personal and overwhelming expectations, was my intention: “To be fully present in the moment.”

Talk about a game changer. Actually, it was more than that. Setting a short, powerful intention switched my mindset from heavy expectations to “I can do that!”

This is what happened, and how I did it.

I knew I wanted to drink more water, exercise more, and make more money. I knew that wasn’t going to change for me. But what instead happened was throughout 2017, I was intentionally showing up in every moment, in a way that felt good to me. There was no “Oh my gosh, I forgot to do my yoga this morning!” or, “Holy cow, it’s 10 pm and I still have to drink 30 ounces of water” (and then suffer all night long because I have to pee every hour).

Instead, I shifted to, “In this moment, I have 30 minutes for me. What feels good, and what would be the best use of my time now?” And I would choose, yoga or sip warm lemon water while watching the kids play. And that then allowed me to be fully present without inner judgment or expectation. And it also allowed me the freedom of letting go of ‘what I didn’t do that day’, and instead, I now am grateful and thankful for what I did do that day.

A Devotional + my invitation to you

Read Philippians 3:12-15 – Journal about this verse and any “ah-ha” moments you might have as they relate to setting a year’s intention. How did God speak to you and what is He telling you?

Instead of listing out the how for 2018, why not list out the “why” through your yearly intention. Skip the list of expectations and overwhelm and shift to what really matters to you and your life. You can still know and understand what you want – the how. Don’t forget about your desire to drink more water, to hit the gym up every day of the week, and the reading a book every month. Whatever that is, don’t let it slip through the cracks.

But I invite you to, instead, open up to one intention that resonates with you and themes everything that you do, day in and day out. And being flexible and okay if you don’t get to the gym every single day of 2018. And be ok with only drinking 2 glasses of water. Be thankful and grateful for what you do and forget and let go of what you don’t.

With that, what is your intention for 2018? What shifts are you making this year to make life easier, more enjoyable, and less stressful? How did the above devotional speak to you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know and to cheer you on!

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