Here at Therapy Directory we are big fans of new years and the clean slate they provide. Spending hours writing lists of grand resolutions however, is not the way to go.
Instead, try to think about intention setting. Being more purposeful in your actions and having goals or intentions rather than strict resolutions allows for a more flexible approach. This means you are more likely to get excited about the future and actually making things happen.
Below we list our advice for intention setting:
In last week’s blog we looked at the importance of self-reflection, especially before setting goals. If you haven’t already, go back, have a read and answer the questions listed to help you with the next steps.
Look at the big picture
Using the answers to the self-reflection questions, what does the big picture look like? Where do you see yourself this year? What will be happening in your life? Where do you want to be? Visualising an end goal, whether that’s you working for yourself, living by the sea or simply in a better place with your health, is key to intention setting.
Break it down into sections
Take this big picture apart and write down the different elements that you need to work on to achieve it. This could be health, relationships, work, hobbies, family etc. There may only be one element you want to work on this year and that is absolutely fine, being mindful of what you already have is essential to well-being.
What actions do you need to take?
Once you have your sections, think realistically about what you need to do to achieve your goal for each one. For example, if you want to leave your job and become self-employed, you may need to research the industry, find out what support is available, find a mentor and look at funding.
Start small and be S.M.A.R.T
When looking at your actions, it is helpful to start small and make them S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive). Most New Years goals/resolutions fail because they are too vague or unattainable.
Check in regularly
Don’t set all these intentions and then bury your list in a drawer somewhere. Put it up somewhere you’ll see it every day and check in with yourself regularly. Perhaps you could set a monthly reminder in your calendar to see how you’re doing with them?
Enjoy the journey!
Remember, life and happiness isn’t about the end destination – it’s about the journey. There will be times when you don’t achieve what you wanted to, life happens, things get in the way. Throughout all of this, try to cultivate a sense of gratitude so you can relax and enjoy the journey.