Who’s ready to say goodbye to 2021? If you’re raising your hand right now, we totally get you, mama! This past year has been another rough one, often feeling like a continuation of 2020. However, the start of a new year is an excellent opportunity to reset your mindset and modify actions on your quest to live your best life. But, what exactly is the best approach to kick off the new year on the right foot? Contrary to what you’ll see in mainstream media, the best strategy is to set an intention, not a resolution.
Think of a resolution as a goal that requires an action plan to achieve it. For example, if your resolution is to lose weight, your action plan would require several components, such as exercising more and eating healthier. Resolutions are problematic and easily fail because of their rigidness, the pressure associated with achieving them, and ultimately, the lack of complete buy-in.
On the other hand, an intention isn’t targeted towards one specific goal. Instead, it is a way of living that you want to embody, positively impacting multiple areas of your life. Going back to the idea of losing weight as a resolution, instead, you could create an intention to be healthier. This intention to be healthier would translate to healthier eating habits, healthier relationships, healthier actions. Essentially, you are changing your overall mindset and approach to life to look for ways to uphold your intention. Starting 2022 with an intention gives you a road map for being your best self in various aspects of your life.
Now that we’ve seen how intentions can be a more effective and realistic way to approach positive changes in the new year, how can parents use this strategy to benefit themselves and their families? Below are five intentions addressing some of the most common issues parents face: stress, lack of time, inability to focus, guilt/resentment, and exhaustion.
Stress can feel like it goes hand in hand with parenting. It can be easy to get caught up in the chaos of raising a family against the backdrop of a busy world. Use this intention to remind yourself to approach various facets of your life from a place of peace. Responding to life from a calm perspective can give you much-needed clarity during challenging situations.
This intention addresses our tendencies to multitask and run on auto-pilot as parents. Operating in this manner can feel like it’s the best option to accomplish many things. In actuality, it can rob you of the gift of the present moment and the experiences that come with it. Use this intention at the start of each day to commit to witnessing the joys of living mindfully in the present.
This intention is about keeping it real with yourself and doing things that stay true to your values. It keeps you aligned with what resonates best for you and your family. As parents, we can fall into the trappings of trying to please others, living up to other people’s expectations, or trying to keep up with what everyone else is doing. Use this intention when you feel yourself veering from your personal truths. It will help you stay focused on things that matter most, freeing up your valuable time.
Parenting is hard and exhausting. There’s always something else that we can be doing or doing better. It can feel impossible to take a break to rest and reset with this mindset. Use this mantra to remind yourself that you are a priority and are deserving of love and care. This intention is in no way selfish, but it might feel that way at first. Approach the application of this intention with grace and compassion for yourself. You are worthy of restoration.
When we get caught up in doing all the things for our family, we can begin to lose sight of our why. Utilizing this intention gives you the foundation for doing everything from a place of love, purpose, and passion. When you approach your actions and relationships from a place of love, it facilitates patience, empathy, and understanding, cultivating stronger connections.
As we begin a new year, use this opportunity to lean into a different way of creating positive changes in your life. Use any of these intentions to embody a new way of interacting with the world around you. Allow your intentions to unfold without judgment, taking it day by day. Your intentions are your invitation and inspiration to level up and live a life you love.