Get Intentional in 2018
It’s that time of year! Yep, you guess it, resolution time. I’ll admit, I was a resolution nut. Every December, I created a list of goals, detailed bullet points of actions, and hit the ground running in January. Guess how March looked? I couldn’t tell you! Like most, that nice list of resolutions/goals ended up buried under a pile of papers or lost somewhere in my computer….never to be looked at/or thought of again.
This is why we are going to ditch the word resolution all together. I think it makes our brain unconsciously associate with failure. Who wants to start 2018 unconsciously thinking they already failed?
What we are going to focus on today and revisit in the upcoming weeks is setting intentions. I like to think of intention setting as creating a theme for the year. Intentions challenge us to live day-by-day and month-by-month with the awareness of our intention. This mindfulness helps us create, cultivate and manifest our intentions in a positive and empowering manner.
So where do you begin? I have a simple exercise called the “Circle of Life” that will create a visual picture on where you’re thriving in life and areas that can use a little more work. This will help you get clear on what you want to cultivate more of in your life and bring awareness on how all these pieces connect.
Side Note: I didn’t make up the name “Circle of Life.” I would change that if I could ; )
The Circle of Life became an extremely helpful and powerful tool for myself and my clients. Many times, my clients would get “stuck” or hyper focused on what they were eating, not eating, their weight, or fitness level and frustrated that they still weren’t reaching their goals. However, when we dug a little deeper, we realized that other areas in their life were holding them back from reaching their health or fitness goals. For example, I had a client (we’ll call her Sue) who desperately wanted to lose 50 pounds. Through changes in her diet and activity, she was able to lose 40 pounds but struggled for months to get those last 10 pounds off.
I had her do the Circle of Life and she realized that her joy and social life were really low. As her coach, I already knew that she struggled with boredom eating/snacking, and had a history of mild depression. Sue was basically filling her lack of joy and time connecting with people/activities/hobbies with food. Much of the times this was occurring unconsciously. It’s hard to modify your diet and lose weight when you aren’t even aware of how much you’re grazing on snacks throughout the day.
Prior to this activity, Sue, like many people, assumed that if she lost weight she would be happy. However, that weight loss and feeling more confident was just a small piece of the puzzle. We created a small list of ways she could bring more joy to her life (that wasn’t weight or health related) as well as scheduling time for social activities. A few months later, Sue reached her final weight loss goal but discovered new hobbies that not only brought her more joy but also created new friendships.
Now it’s your turn! I know this may seem a little woo-woo but trust me. This process will help you start thinking about what intentions you want to set in 2018 and let in marinate for a few weeks before you put it in to practice. We’ll revisit this topic soon but in the meantime, print out the Circle of Life complete it as honestly as you can.
**(right click the image, save and print)**
When you’re finished, make note of your three lowest categories and start to become aware of why these areas are suffering, how it effects your life (your mood, day to day life, loved ones, etc.) and different things that you can do to help bring things back into balance.