This is the third year in a row that I have really taken time to sit down and reflect on the previous year, and visualize what I want in the year ahead; a.k.a setting intentions. This is so much more than just setting a resolution, it’s about being intentional with the life you want to build, your short and long-term goals, building good habits, setting a healthy mindset, and using the fresh slate of a new year to re-set and refocus.
Hypothetically, you could do this at anytime of the year, but there is something about a new year that encourages you to look back at what worked and what didn’t in the past year, and use that to re-set and refocus.
The first year I did this, I didn’t really know what I was doing, I was just having quiet time with God and writing things down that were on my heart. However, it gave me such clarity and focus going foward, and when I went back to look at what I had written, I was shocked at the growth I saw in the things I had prayed for.
Last year I used the “power sheets” workbook by Lara Casey. This helped me really dig into who I was, where I was, where I wanted to be, and so much more.
The workbook encourages you to pick a word for the year. So, I decided to focus in on one word, which would be a mantra of sorts for the year ahead. I chose surrender (you can read about why here).
While it seems simple to just pick a word, for me there is a process I use that helps to really centre myself, and to make sure that it is the proper word.
The past few years I have fine-tuned this process based on what I came up with that works for me, and also from using the “Powersheets”. This process helps me to focus and get in the head-space that I need to reflect and set my intentions.
I am still working on perfecting this process, but I figured some of you might be interested in seeing how it works for me/ what I am doing this year. Maybe you can find it useful, too!
Not only is this process amazing for self-reflection and growth, but I love how I can look back at the past few years and see how God has worked in my life!
Find a quiet space where you are alone, try to make sure this is a comfortable space for you. I like to play some music that I really like, light candles, and drink a cozy drink. Make sure that you turn off all technology so that you can be present and focused.
I like to pray and ask just for clarity and discernment as I focus on my intentions.
Start off with a blank piece of paper or a notebook. I like to just write down a few words, phrases, things that I like, inspire me, or feel important to me.
For example this year I started by writing: cozy, coffee, community. Super simple and nothing profound (just popped into my head), but from there I got more in-depth and focused. Underneath that I wrote “slow-down, enjoy the moment, focus on people”.
This step is really just about getting your mind engaged and thinking.
Above you see a picture of my notebook, not perfect, but it got me engaged in the process.
Ask yourself, “Who am I?”
This is a step that I picked up from Lara Casey’s Powersheets.
Who are you beyond titles or career? Ask yourself, “How do I like to spend my time, what is important to me, what do I like to do for fun? When do I feel most me?”
Write these things down!
What went well in 2019?
Highlight a few things that went well for you! How did you see your intentions play out last year? How have you grown? What new things did you try?
As my word of 2019 was “surrender”, I wrote down the growth that I saw come out of that word/ mindset. For example one thing that I wrote was, “I took steps out of my comfort zone and leaned into trusting God”.
Then you can expand on how you did this.
What held you back in 2019?
I wrote down things such as, “not giving myself grace with my chronic illness/ having unrealistic expectations of what my body can and can’t do”, and “not taking charge of my life/situations, or speaking up for myself”.
Then, after you write your examples down, write what would happen if you didn’t listen to that thing, and you adjusted your mindset around what it is that’s holding you back.
What do you want to remember going into 2020 (from what you learned in 2019).
Take a few key lessons that you learned that really stuck with you and jot them down! For example something I wrote down was, “ most things are empty without people to share them with”.
You can then reflect on how you can incorporate what you learned from that lesson into the year ahead.
Look at what you want to build on in 2020 and what do you want do accomplish.
Ask yourself, “what do I want to do or try, what does the best version of myself look like?”.
Look at what is important not only for 2020, but also in the big picture of life, think finances, career, family, how you spend your time, etc.
What how did God move in your life in the last year?
This is a really cool step, because often we can get so busy in life that we forget to reflect on everything God has done, and all the prayers he has already answered for us.
Pray for what you want in this year/ what you feel God has placed on your heart for the coming year.
Don’t be afraid to pray big.
Something I was intentionally trying to grow in this past year was dreaming and praying big. I feel like as we get older this is something that tends to be looked over, or even frowned upon.
However, I truly believe that when we open ourselves up to dreaming and praying big, we are practicing taking away fear and replacing it with surrender to God (whatever his plan is). Not only this, but we begin to discover the dreams that our creator placed within us!
Take all of these things together and discern your word for the year.
Try to choose something that you feel will stick with you all year, something that you can use to remind yourself of what you are building, the life you want, and your goals.
I like to look at the last year and think about what I really need to continue to build on the foundation I have built. What mindset will help me expand on what God has been growing in my life?
Find bible verses that relate to your word and your goals.
Make a vision board!
I used Pinterest, and I looked for images that made me feel inspired, happy, peaceful; I used images with bible verses that I felt fit my word; I used images of decor and design that I liked; I used fashion and travel inspo. Honestly, the list goes on, I used whatever I wanted/ liked that made me feel focused on my goals.
I also think using a vision board is great, because when you already have an image and know what you want, you are less likely to deviate from it, or waste time or money on things that aren’t it. It’s also something that you can repeatedly look back on and see throughout the year.
That’s a wrap!
That is essentially my process of setting my New Year’s intentions. I hope that you found this helpful in some way, or at least interesting.
Go set some intentions for the New Year ahead!
Also, if you are wanting to use the PowerSheets that I mentions earlier (such a good investment), head here!