Setting Intentions Not Resolutions

Over the weekend I held a wonderful workshop which provided a safe and open space to explore intentions. It was a beautiful afternoon, full of beautiful women, and I could sense that people were experiencing a real shift in their perception.

Because of this, I wanted to share a little about our values and how to create meaningful intentions with my lovely readers.

Year after year, we set ourselves the challenge of becoming a ‘new me’, a ‘better me’. We tell ourselves that when January comes we will finally do this or stop that. In short, we set ourselves up for failure. We put ourselves in a position where we are made to feel guilty or hopeless.

 

So why do we do this?

Because each year we make New Year resolutions which hold no bearing on what it is we really need to do or have in order to live our lives the way we want them to be. We make well intended resolutions to eat better or stop smoking, but as we don’t really understand why we’ve made them (other than perhaps your friend has or you feel you should), it’s almost impossible to keep. 

 

Creating Intentions from Our Values

By taking the time to tune in to yourself and uncover your core values and beliefs, you are able to make intentions which hold true to your desired way of living. The intentions created will feel natural so you will find it easy to stick to them because you understand that they benefit and enhance your path. When you know your own values, you can use them to make decisions about how to live your life, and you can answer those questions. Almost like a moral compass. Your new intentions will become ingrained in your way of life and you won’t have to think every day about upholding them because they will become you. They already are you… you probably just haven’t spent the time finding out what they are or nurturing them.

When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you’re satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with your personal values, that’s when things feel… wrong. And this can be a real source of unhappiness.

 

What Are Values?

Values exist, whether you recognise them or not. But one things for certain, life is so much easier when you acknowledge your values and when you make plans or decisions that honour them.

If you value family but have to work 70-hour weeks in your job, you will likely feel internal stress and conflict And if you don’t value competition, but find yourself working in a highly competitive sales environment, you most probably won’t be fulfilled through your job.

Values are fairly solid, in that they are innate to us. There are no better or more desirable values than others. We each have our own unique set. Whenever you start to feel unbalanced in your personal or work life, check in with you values and check that they are in align with the way you are living.

Unlike the goals we set ourselves, values provide a deep sense of ongoing direction for our lives. Goals are the things that we want to achieve or do – they are often ends in themselves. Values always exist in the present moment… they can be drawn on at any given moment. Goals are always based in the future.

 

Identifying Values and Creating Intentions

There are hundreds of values but the most important thing is that they are unique to you. No religion, spiritual tradition, culture, family or society should influence you. Your true values come from listening to your heart and tuning in to what matters the most to YOU. In order to live a life that is true to you, you must be willing to be completely honest with yourself about what you value most in life.

So if you have time now, try this little exercise.
Close your eyes.
Take a few deep, grounding breaths.
I want you now to look back on your life and identify when you felt really good, and really confident that you were making good choices.
Feel free to write these down if you wish to, but try to keep your eyes closed.

 

Identify the times when you were happiest

Find examples from both your career and personal life.
What were you doing?
Were you with other people? Who?
What other factors contributed to your happiness?

 

Identify the times when you were most proud

Use examples from your career and personal life.
Why were you proud?
Did other people share your pride? Who?
What other factors contributed to your feelings of pride?

 

Identify the times when you were most fulfilled and satisfied

Again, use both work and personal examples.
What need or desire was fulfilled?
How and why did the experience give your life meaning?
What other factors contributed to your feelings of fulfilment?

 

Can you identify which feelings, factors and events were important to you feeling happy and fulfilled? These are your values. Now you can set your intentions around these values. If fun and spontaneity seem to be essential ingredients to your life, perhaps your intention could be to ‘find playfulness in all I do’. If creativity is something that guides your happiness, then possibly to ‘keep a sketch book journal of my year’. This way, our intentions become less rigid and fearful, and more exciting.  

 

What are your values in life and what intentions have you set yourself? Let me know 🙂

 

Love always x

1 Comment

  1. 5 Steps to Your Success | Personal Development on February 1, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    […] go to eat less chocolate. This reaffirmed my belief that we should all learn to create and live by intentions as opposed to setting rigid resolutions. But it also reminded me that throughout so much of our […]

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