It’s that time of year again – when thoughts turn to the approaching year and the opportunity that presents to give ourselves a radical overhaul, all with the aim of achieving the perfect body, life, house, job, etc. And this seems to be made worse nowadays with the pressure of both social and press media.
Well this year, I’m going to “resolve” to be a little kinder to myself. I’m going to set intentions and be a work in progress with the aim of changing for the better my life, lifestyle and headspace. Not that there’s anything drastically wrong with any of those areas at the moment but a few tweaks would be a good idea as I get a little older.
Why intentions? Well, sometimes, when there’s a new moon in the skies, my yoga teacher suggests that we think about setting an intention for the next 28 days. They say it takes 21 days for something to become a habit, so on this basis, setting an intention for 28 days means by the end of the four weeks, this new “habit” could be successfully incorporated into your life. And if you set a new intention every time there’s a new moon, that’s thirteen new habits during the course of 2018. One of the other reasons I like this approach is that working on one intention at a time surely means you have more chance of success rather than suffering from resolution overload?
I appreciate that setting intentions could be seen as a form of “dumbing down” and they certainly fly in the face of having SMART goals, but why not give it a go? It could be something as simple as eating more fruit and/or veg; regularly getting outside in the fresh air, perhaps going for a walk; joining a local group to expand your social network; spending five minutes each day meditating (even if it’s just focusing on your breathing), the options are endless. And be even kinder by not necessarily quantifying the intention, eg, use more or less rather than a specific number. Have a think about the areas you’d like to improve in your life and then about how best to achieve those improvements, preferably through enhancements rather than deprivation.
I will still set myself goals so I have some focus because sometimes I do contradict myself! A few weeks ago, I read an article about “soul running” and I thought this is what I need, no longer slave to my Garmin and working towards a year end mileage. Once a week, just leave the watch behind and go for a run with absolutely no idea of the route distance, just appreciate what’s around me and the fact I have the ability to run. Sounds perfect! Then the next day, I joined a couple of 2018 Strava challenges, to run 500 and 1000 miles during the course of the year! Sigh 😦
Anyway, I’m off to check up on when we’ll see the first new moon of 2018 and work out what my first intention will be!