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Sweet biscuit sugar plum. Halvah chocolate bar jujubes. Dragée donut candy.

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Letting go of 2020

Setting and honoring intentions for the new year

2020 wasn’t easy; an unforgettable year with so many challenges, changes, and hardships. This year also showed us how resilient humans can be, and what truly matters in life. Maybe this year you looked inward, disrupted generational wounds, rethought our criminal justice and policing systems, stood against injustice, explored and checked your privilege, created healthy boundaries, stayed home for the safety of the collective, asked for help, realized self-love is attainable, or maybe you just slowed down. Throughout it all, here we are! We’ve survived and that alone is worth celebrating. A new year does not mean you have to create a new you, but it can be a great opportunity to give yourself permission to turn a new page, to reconnect with what you value, and to feel better.

One way to do that is through setting and honoring intentions. Intention setting is a powerful practice that helps to guide your actions and make the changes you wish to see in your life and in the world. To begin, let’s answer a few questions:

Step 1: reflect.

  • What was missing this year that you’d like to tap into next year?

  • What was holding you back?

  • What have you learned about yourself this year?

  • What matters most to you?

  • What is a change you wish to see in the world? In your community? In your neighborhood?

  • How do you want to feel in the new year?

  • How do you intend to move toward what you want?

  • What do you need to do to feel the way you want to feel next year?

Step 2: choose an intention.

Intentions can be anything from one word, a theme, a phrase, or a sentence. Whatever works best for you. You can choose to focus on a handful of intentions, maybe changing them every quarter or month, or choose one to really direct attention to. After answering the reflection questions above, you should have a good idea of an intention or a common theme on which to base your intention off of. If you’re having trouble choosing, here are a few to borrow:

  • Resilience.

  • Movement.

  • Patience.

  • I will trust myself more.

  • I will choose compassion over judgment.

  • I will allow myself to show up imperfectly rather than being afraid to show up at all.

  • I will help to weave a future of love for the collective wellbeing.

Step 3: set your intentions.

Choosing an intention is one thing, setting it in place is another. To create real focus and clarity around your intentions, we must practice setting them. Here are a few examples:

  • Write them down, place them in an envelope to open next year.

  • Create affirmations around your intention. Repeat them daily.

  • Meditate on them.

  • Create time each day to clearly focus on your intentions.

  • Journal about them.

Step 4: honor your intentions.

Remember, intentions are not goals or resolutions. Do not attach an expectation or evaluation to them. Your intention should inspire and motivate you to feel better and act on what you want for the future. Keep yourself accountable, and leave the judgment out of it!

Be gentle with yourself while also remembering that growth is uncomfortable. Allow yourself the space to feel those growing pains, and thank yourself for how far you’ve come already. You are not alone in this.

What are your 2021 intentions?


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