Shifting your mindset around New Years Intentions- How to create and maintain your 2021 intentions.
I’m not talking New Year’s Resolutions friends, I’m talking Intentions. Resolutions are typically very specific and have a timeline- like losing ten pounds in three months. An intention is broader-like increased physical self-care. That self-care may include more exercise and weight loss, but it’s a mindset shift, not just a simply goal that is so often associated with failure if we don’t “achieve” what we set out to do in a certain time frame. So, how do we stay committed or re-commit (if we’ve fallen off the proverbial wagon) to our 2021 intentions?
First, take yourself back to the basics-meaning choose the beginner’s path. The beginner’s path is hallmarked by simplicity. Taking self-care as an example, identify just one area of self-care you are struggling with- going to bed on-time, committing to a regular exercise routine etc. What is one thing you can do or change to bring yourself more in line with your intention? For instance, I love yoga (duh), but I really dislike gym workouts, which I need to maintain my intention of broadening my physical health this year. I especially struggle with classes that take more than 30 minutes. I find myself checking my watch every few minutes and getting bored. But, I am motivated by the social aspect of taking classes with others, especially my friends, because it’s more fun for me that way and we can keep one another accountable. As part of my self-care journey for 2021, I took the actionable steps to find a gym that had short workouts and invited a few friends to join me. I’m pleased to say it’s working and I’ve been enjoying mercifully short and effective 35-minute gym classes with some of my good buds.
Second, let go of comparison! Easily said, difficult to do. Let me assure you, no one is paying more attention to you, than you. No one cares if you can run a 7-minute mile or do a crazy arm balance. No one cares if you intermittent-fasted for 16 hours or ate a bowl of ice cream at 11pm. It may sound harsh to hear that no one cares, but it’s meant to liberate you from the perceived judgement and associated validation from others. No one is good at everything when they begin, so cut yourself some slack and remind your inner critic that this is a journey of small steps to improve your wellbeing, not to improve the opinion of others about your wellbeing. The freedom you’ll feel from escaping the comparison cage in favor of cultivating your own self-worth is a gift that affects so many aspects of your life in a positive way.
Third, remember that rebirth is a constant process. The “I’ll wait til Monday, next week, next month, etc etc” approach, or the “I’ve already messed up today by not staying on track so I’ll simply forget about my intentions” approach is a defeatist mindset. And many times, life throws us curveballs that affect our schedule and make us feel we can’t commit. Who made the rule that when a wrench is thrown into our lives, whether self-induced or not, we can’t stay on track? Well friend, you made that rule. And because you make the rules, you can make new rules. You have the power to choose rebirth; to reset, and refocus whenever you wish. How freeing is that?
Last, I’ll leave you with the reminder that the key is not to succumb to the overwhelming-ness of it all. Intentions and mindful living are not an all-or-nothing thing, they are small lifestyle patterns that build, ebb and flow.
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