Every year on January 1st, my kids and I take a different approach to starting our New Year.
We head to our favorite temple in Inverness, Florida and surround ourselves with this amazingly peaceful, meditative energy.
This gives us a great opportunity to reflect on the previous year and set our intentions for the new year which awaits us ~ all while in the midst of this wonderful, healing, loving energy!
At the temple, we bring our journals or notebooks with us and then we sit down among the many devotees who are either singing, chanting, meditating, praying or just enjoying the service.
As crowded as the temple is every New Year’s Day (and no kidding, it is jam packed with so many people from many different cities), we huddle close together and share some of the things we’ve learned the previous year and what we hope to accomplish this new year.
We each write down our individual intentions in our journals/notebooks and start off our year with magic! 😀
What are intentions you ask?
Intentions are defined as an “aim or a plan” and no, it’s not quite the same as setting “goals”.
So, what’s the difference between goals and intentions?
When setting goals, one thinks more realistically about what they want to accomplish. For example, a person may analyze their current situation and plan out any necessary steps involved in how to actually reach or accomplish their goal.
Setting goals is based on reasoning and creating that plan. It’s a cognitive process of all the necessary steps involved in how to actually get there.
But as you know, since “life is what happens while you are busy making other plans” (thanks John Lennon for that awesome quote), sometimes you just don’t get to accomplish what you originally planned out.
Setting intentions is similar to setting goals except that you don’t actually plan out how to get there. You just intend the outcome and surrender the process itself to the Universe, or as I like to do – to God. Think of it like magic. Or like making a wish as blogger Arina Nikitina says in her post about setting intentions versus setting goals.
Now, here’s the thing about intentions. It must be something that truly comes from your heart. It has to be something you really want to happen in your life. And as Arina also shares in her blog post, “intentions are created out of love, not fear.” That’s right, love is the key to making these possible!
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you feel the need in your heart to move to a different city, maybe to start over in life. Maybe you lost your job or ended a relationship of some sort. Anyways, you may not know “how” to do this quite yet or how to actually make it happen, but you know it’s something you intend on doing within the new year. Moving. This is where the magic, or that wish, comes in. As I like say and often recommend to others, pray about it and then leave it in God’s hands for He will take care of the “how” and exactly the “when”.
In other words, make that intention and surrender it.
All you need to do is just listen and follow your heart.
So how can I set my intentions?
Here’s a couple of ways I’ve set my intentions. And do feel free to get your kids involved if you’re a parent. My girls are 12 and 10 and they actually enjoy doing this every year (and we’ve been doing it for a few years now).
As I mentioned above, we go to a temple because it has a remarkable and peaceful energy which creates just the right atmosphere to inspire us and begin our new year. You can certainly do this at home or while having coffee at a coffee shop, maybe even at a lake! Wherever you feel comfortable, that’s what important. Find your spot.
Write down your intentions in your journal one after the other and revisit them often (a few weeks or a month or so later). We talk about them when writing them down, offer suggestions to each other (if necessary) but more importantly, we write them down.
Another way to create intentions is with the use of a vision board.
I learned about vision boards through Oprah Winfrey actually.
Vision boards are awesome for those who prefer looking at images or inspirational words.
The idea with vision boards is that you cut out pictures or photos from magazines, keywords, etc. and paste them on to a poster board (or a sheet of paper if that works for you) and place it where you can see it often. You can hang it up in your office, tack it on to your bulletin board, wherever works for you.
Looking at the vision board daily (or every so often) creates a joy within your heart which actually helps to manifest your intentions.
This is also a fantastic way for kids to get involved in setting their intentions for the new year if they are younger and love art.
So what are your intentions for the new year?
Are you ready to surrender to the Universe or God and create some magic in your life?
Go ahead, start thinking about those heartfelt intentions and start off your new year by writing them down or creating a vision board!
Do it! Why you ask?
Because you deserve to have all of your dreams come true and to have an AMAZING 2014! 😀
Sources and Photo Credits: