Friday 11 January 2019

New Year, New Intentions

Happy 2019 everyone! I hope the holidays were lovely all around. I ended up getting a bad head cold early on in December which essentially wrote off the entire month for me. Managed to heal up enough to enjoy the holidays before getting a second post-holiday head cold. I am finally pulling my head up above water, reflecting on the past year, and setting intentions for the new one. 

2018 Reflections

Amongst many of the crafts or projects I work on, I do a fair bit of documenting our photos and family stories in scrapbooks. Every December I participate in a project called December Daily where I more or less document the holiday season for our family that year. I start each December Daily album off with a 'Year in Review' page.

I use this space to put on paper my reflections for the previous year. Looking back on all the big things (good and bad) that happened for Chad, Eli, and I. I also look forward to what's coming up in the New Year and think of how I can prepare for what's to come. I find it very focusing to take the few minutes to really think about how our year went. 

2019 Intentions

In the new year I then start thinking about what intentions I'd like to set for myself. As many other people do, Chad and I both choose a word to guide our year. I like to keep the word quite big and open-ended so I can find a multitude of ways to bring that word into my life for the new year. We use our chosen words only as a guide or intention, not a resolution. I almost always pick a word that feels right even if I have no idea why exactly it feels like the right word for the year. I find this to be the most beneficial for me in choosing a word as it usually ends up that I actually did need to focus my life in that way without really knowing it and of course I don't really end up realizing this until the end of the year when I'm able to reflect on the word for that year. Also, I don't claim to have invented this idea. I started setting intentions for my year with guidance from Ali Edwards One Little Word project.

This year Chad chose the word BUILD, and I chose the word LISTEN. I can't speak for Chad's choice either then I know his year will be full of building new things for himself and his family and he likely wants to focus on that. For myself, I have no idea why I chose the word Listen. I thought of lots of words that I thought would fit well for 2019 like Mother, Change, Breathe, Patience, etc. All of these made sense in terms of how I see the year going and what kind of challenges I feel I may face, but for whatever reason the word Listen is standing out to me and sits in my soul like its meant to be there right now. 

This also happened a couple years ago when I ended up choosing the word GIVE. We were getting married that year and I think I was anticipating a lot of gift receiving on our end and wasn't sure how I felt about that. So it felt right to try to focus the year on giving. Whether that be to myself, my family, friends, the environment, etc. I had no real plan for the word. I ended up giving life to my first son that year and I gave Chad his first baby. I also gave myself a ton of strength and self-confidence in having our son. It was definitely a powerful word that year.

Last year was Chad's first year choosing a word. Figured he'd give it a go. By the end of the year he couldn't remember his word...So this year I thought it would be better to have them visible. In the past I taped my word to a wall usually in front of my desk so I see it a lot. I found this to be helpful and years where I just kept the word in mind, I focused less on my intentions for that year. Giving our intentions a physical space in our lives allows them to live as a real entity in our lives, and thus gives them a lot of power. While choosing a word for the year that is vague and open-ended keeps it light and not so intimidating like many resolutions can sometimes feel. Our word is not our rule for the year. For instance, I have no idea how or what I'm going to listen to this year, but its going happen. Chad has only a loose plan for what he's going to build leaving a lot of space for some detail. 

I'm a little more intense about my New Years intentions and take it a step further by writing down some quick little habits or philosophies that I'd also like to carry into the new year. I also like to have these visible in my home, otherwise I would absolutely forget them. I thought about maybe doing one a month, but felt that would get to much like a rule and I fail when I put any kind of restrictions on myself, so I will keep these fairly open-ended as well. For example, my plan for reading more is simply working on changing my bedtime habits. I'm going to try to be in bed by 9 or 9:30pm with no screens so I have time to read. I know that in order to do this I'm going to need to buy an alarm clock so I don't use my phone alarm clock and I'll need to set up a different spot to charge my phone so its not in the bedroom. Or 'Building a mom style', I have no clue what this will look like, but I feel a little disjointed in my relatively new role as a mom and with another child on the way I should probably sink deeper into this role in a comfortable way. So finding what's going to be comfortable and make sense is probably going to be hugely helpful in my overall wellbeing. This could be anything from figuring out some easy hairstyles/make up routines, changing my wardrobe a bit to be functional, but still cute, etc. 

Some intentions are pretty obvious while others I have left open to interpretation. Facing my fears is definitely a huge one and something I really want to work at this year. Also, because these are intentions and not resolutions, if I don't do some of them, but excel at others then I'm still winning. Intentions for me are about personal growth in literally any way that feels positive to you. The second whatever you're doing or focusing on stops feeling good then take a break or stop doing it all together. We only have so much time, no point in wasting it.

So whether choose an intention this year or have your own way of prepping for the new year, please please share, even if its resolutions that your using. Nothing wrong with a good resolution as long as its in the right hands.


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