Setting intentions does ✨
These last days of the year are a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the year that passed and to start tapping into the life we want to lead and the world that we want to create. It’s all about opening up to new possibilities.
You might be used to working with new year resolutions, but they seldom work. In my experience, there’s a slight difference between them and intentions, so let me share why I choose to go with the latter, for myself and my clients.
RESOLUTIONS involve behavioural changes that we know are beneficial. We aim at letting go of what no longer serves us. However, when thinking of resolutions, we look at what’s “wrong” in our lives and therefore, we might even feel some guilt or pressure if we go off-track.
INTENTIONS on the other hand, are linked to what we want to create, how we want to feel and they ask to bring mindfulness to our actions while making efforts to change, without being attached to an outcome. Therefore, they bring a much more loving and compassionate energy.
They are all about letting go and letting come what’s of the highest good for all.
When setting #intentions, think of questions like:
-How do I want the new year to unfold?
-Why will it be great? What would happen in an ideal world?
-What new opportunities do I want to explore?
-How do I want to feel throughout the year?
-What will give me energy this year?
I invite you to think of Intentions and a couple of SMART Goals to support them - we do need some structure to do the work after all 😉
‘Where intention goes, energy flows’. So when writing them down, focus on what you want, rather than what you don’t want. Be bold with your desires and always do your best!
Keep an eye out for my last post of the year, as I will share a very practical tool that I use to Reflect & Plan the year ahead in line with the intentions we've set.
Until then, happy intentions setting! 🙌
“To be honest, I really want to live by the sea” my friend confessed in a recent phone conversation. As she went on sharing her recent experience in Puerto Madryn, Argentina, I noticed how her tone of voice enlivened!
“I feel I belong there”, she said.
“That's great! I’m so happy for you. What are you going to do about it?”
“Meh, I’m not sure… I feel guilty about leaving everyone and everything behind. And besides, what will people think of me?”
As an expat myself, I get where she’s coming from and I know how she feels. I change gears:
‘Tell me, who are the 5 most important people in your life?’
She was quick to answer - “My parents, siblings, nephew”. Proud, not a single doubt.
“That’s so sweet. And what about You?” 😏 it was indeed a tricky question.
“Oh, I see what you did there… I get it, thank you”.
9 out of 10 people answer in the same way - and I use this question often - not just with expats but with everyone prioritising everyone else but themselves when it comes to work, relationships, any kind of decision, etc.
Maybe you’re thinking it’s selfish to do so, or that it feels good to be there for others.
Well, let me share this with you: there’s a reason why you put your oxygen mask on first in case of need during a flight.
You can only show up fully for others when you have attended to yourself first.
What’s opening up for you as you read this?
What are you not allowing yourself to do because of guilt or of what others may think?
As the new year approaches, what do you want to leave behind?
Think about everything you believe, but don’t believe everything you think".
There are many stories we told ourselves, or the decisions we made about ourselves, at some point in our life to protect ourselves.
Our thoughts, if we think them over and over, and assign truth to them, become beliefs and drive our behaviours. And as our mind likes to be right, it will always look for evidence that matches up with what we believe to be true.
But this can be shifted once we recognise that our thoughts are just thoughts, and that they don’t hold true anymore. The easiest way to do so is to start looking for evidence to prove a different statement.
I’d like to share my own experience with you.
Early 2020, I was informed that my super-cool role couldn’t continue as such, and I had to make a choice between staying employed (different/ lower role) and keeping my salary, or leave and figure out what to do next. Not chill.
Internally, I knew what I needed to do, my whole body was telling me “take the less travelled road, there’s surely something new opening up for you”. Plus, taking a position that was meant for someone who really wanted it, just because I was afraid wouldn’t feel good.
But my mind? Oh, it was very active with all the reasons why I should play it safe. Else, I’d be digging my own grave. I started searching for opportunities in the company, spending time and energy on this when there was a hiring freeze that had caused my role to be made redundant…
“You just cannot leave a safe job in the middle of a global crisis”.
Until I, with the help of a coach, managed to break through the stories rooted in fear I was telling myself, my internal conflict kept draining me.
The narrative? That I wouldn’t find another job, that I wasn’t good enough to make it on my own, too old to start over, that my expertise wasn’t valued and that I’d be better off staying where I was.
Was this true? Of course not! In hindsight, I had built a life in the Netherlands on my own, reinvented myself, made a successful career, even created my own role! But that didn’t seem to amount for much when fear was in the driver’s seat.
The way out was to acknowledge that I was scared.
That there was no truth in me not being good enough to follow the path that was opening up for me.
That everything is perfect as is, because Life has a better plan than anything we can fathom.
I decided to trust myself and took my leap of faith. I had my breakthrough, my life changed and I’m living in alignment. So much so, that now I’m helping others reconnect with themselves and have their own #breakthroughs with my #coaching.
For me it was my job, but it could have been a relationship, or anything else.
So my questions to you are: What is your one decision that has the potential to change your life? How are you going to break through what’s holding you back?