Setting Intentions for 2020

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The end of the decade is finally upon us! Numerologists and astrologers across the world predict that 2020 will bring special insight, clarity, and vision to our lives and serve as a stepping stone for future endeavors. The year 2020 is characterized by the number 4 which symbolizes a time of hard work, discipline, and focus. We are asked to invest and recommit to our work ethic in order to create a foundation for future growth and prosperity.  

As we walk into the new year, we are met with an opportunity to set renewed intentions to guide this next phase of our growth. Here are some ways to clarify your intentions for the upcoming year: 

Take Time to Reflect

Before you can begin to plan for the future, it is imperative to take some time to reflect on the past. How can you learn from your accomplishments and shortcomings from the past year? What has changed in your life since this time last year? Take some time to write down your observations, thoughts, and feelings. Try your best to cast aside judgment and instead to come from a place of curiosity and self-compassion. It may also help to begin your reflection with meditation. As you center yourself in reflection, here are some guiding questions to keep in mind: 

  • Did you have any great accomplishments this past year? Make a list of the things you’re proudest of, so that you can really appreciate your own efforts. And so that you can reflect on what you did right. 
  • Did anything big happen for you? Appreciate your efforts and be grateful for those who have supported you. 
  • How did you do with habits you tried to change or form? What did you do right? What got in the way, and how can you adjust? 

Let Go of Expectations

After reflecting on the past and identifying where you stand right now, open up space to mindfully decide your goals and visions and where to focus your energy. Setting intentions is not about creating a checklist of goals, but rather it requires you to slow down and be clear and thoughtful about what you envision for yourself. This process can look different for each person, but one of the key takeaways is to let go of heavy expectations. Your intentions are meant to ground and guide your awareness of self. By setting them without rigidity or too much attachment to the outcome, you allow room to surrender to the fluidity of life. It is important to be specific about what you want but also to realize that the outcomes may look different than expected. A few starting points are: 

  • Decide what you want to focus on in terms of projects and habit changes 
  • Get clear on a certain pattern you’d like to shift 
  • Make a strong intention to improve your relationship(s) 
  • Set an intention of mindfulness and practice it 
  • Set a block of time aside for writing every day 

Invest in Ritual  

Lastly, to hold yourself accountable for your intentions and begin working towards actualizing them, you should create a consistent ritual or practice. Creating some structure around your intentions will help you to integrate them into your daily routine. Spiritual guides and leaders remind us of the power of the conscious mind and will to manifest intentions into reality. However, in order to harness that power, you must commit to a holistic approach with your intentions. This can look like:  

  • Creating a daily (or weekly) block of time for one of your intentions 
  • Creating reminders (physical and digital) so you don’t forget 
  • Creating accountability so you stay with your intentions even when things get off track 
  • Joining a program or course to help set you up with the right environment 
  • Possibly creating rewards or consequences, if they’ll be helpful 
  • Having weekly and monthly reviews, so that you can adjust your structure as needed and learn from what’s been happening 

No matter what stage of our lives we are walking into this new year, we all have an opportunity to meet this milestone with hope and intention. Although all of our intentions may not be realized, the act of taking time to reflect and surrender to the process of growth and to invest in consistent ritual will keep us grounded to our purpose. Let’s see what the next decade has in store! 

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