Setting New Year’s Intentions

With the New Year quickly approaching, take a moment to review your 2010 resolutions and think about whether or not you’ve met them. It’s always beneficial to reflect upon where you’ve been before you think about where you’re going, so it’s a useful exercise  to acknowledge this year’s accomplishments and recognize any unmet objectives. This is a great time to ask, “Am I where I want to be in life?”

Many of us make New Year resolutions that we don’t follow. By definition, a resolution is, “the act of determining.” Simply stated, a resolution means you’ve decided to change because it is something you feel you should do. It’s no wonder that resolutions are so difficult to keep.

What if you made a shift in consciousness and set intentions, instead of resolutions, for 2011? By definition, an intention is, “a determination to act in a certain way.” This means you choose to act differently. Although it’s a subtle difference in definition, energetically, the distinction is tremendous. If you set an intention, you focus your mind on choosing specific outcomes, thereby energetically attracting what you want.

You can set intentions for all areas of your life—family, health or career—and they can be specific or broad, focusing on tangible things or intangible feelings. Whatever it is in life that you want, set the corresponding intention to attain it. Remember, this is about you. We all have the power to choose. There is no right or wrong.

Six Steps for Setting Intentions to Ensure Success:

1.    Set SMART goals. Keep them simple, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.
2.    Be clear about what you want. Either write your intention down or say it out loud. Commit to it. It can be as simple or complex as you wish.
3.    Be accountable to someone else. This will make you more likely to stick to your intention and not lose confidence.
4.    Keep it simple, achievable and stimulating, in order to make it doable. Sometimes we jump in enthusiastically and set unrealistic expectations. For example, if your intention is to lose weight, expect to lose one to two pounds per week, not 10 pounds in one week. That is rarely possible, isn’t healthy, and sets you up for failure.
5.    Create reminders, such as a vision board (a collage of pictures) to manifest your ideal life. Place it in an area you frequent as a constant reminder of your choices.
6.    Congratulate yourself. Be sure to acknowledge your efforts when any of your goals are achieved. Too often, we let our inner critic degrade what we’ve accomplished. Quiet that inner critic and celebrate what you’ve done!

Check in regularly to ask yourself if the choices you are making every day align with your desires. Don’t let fear of perfection hold you back. Opt for seeking excellence instead, and challenge yourself to do your best without failure. To start the New Year off confidently, why not choose intentions that set you up for success?

Barbara B. Appelbaum, the owner of Appelbaum Wellness LLC wellness coaching and consulting, is a certified professional coach with 23 years experience. Her free report, 25 Insider Secrets Everyone Over 40 Should Know, is available at For more information, contact her at [email protected] or visit online.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Love Even More

Here’s a practical process you can use to cultivate mindfulness and love even more.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Awakening Your Spirit Outdoors

Time spent outside can refresh and energize both mind and body, and feeling attuned to nature can be a spiritual experience. Two local organizations offer a variety of organized nature trips designed to revitalize your connection with the outdoors and awaken your spirit.

Heaven Meets Earth

Socrates advised, “Know thyself,” and Lisa Faremouth Weber, owner of Heaven Meets Earth yoga studio, honors that wisdom, walking life’s path with intuitive purpose. Today, her tranquil studio and healing boutique support others on their inner journey, too.

Healthy Holiday Homes

While the holiday season is a time for fun and cheer, it can wreak havoc on your housekeeping. Traditional cleaning products can harm the environment, people and pets, so try these tips from two local, eco-friendly cleaning services.

December Back Cover Artist

A visionary painter from Berlin, Germany, Bettina Madini has been living in the U.S. since 2003, when she left a corporate career to change her life and realize a dream of being an artist.

Ancient Crystals with Modern Benefits

Many experts agree that connecting to the Earth is crucial for health. For those times when communing with nature isn’t possible, crystal salt lamps offer similar benefits.

Boosting Immunity Naturally

Staying well during the “sick season” can be a challenge, but these approaches can help boost your immunity and health, naturally.