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Setting intentions for the new year

Welcome 2011!

I woke up filled with gratitude this morning. As most of us do this time of year, I’ve been reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the new one.  Although nothing in my life this last year unfolded as I had expected, I am filled with gratitude for everything— mostly for still being a conscious being in a body that moves and breathes. Life is a gift.

Setting intentions for a new year

I’m not a big fan of resolutions. The word itself connotes failure for so many people. We can be so hard on ourselves. We make promises— resolutions—  to change something in our lives, and then we jump off the deep end without knowing how to swim. The problem with resolutions is that we’re rarely prepared and we have goals that are way too big without having the resources to get there. Usually, we haven’t done our homework when we make these resolutions. We want to go from A to D, but we have no idea how to even get from A to B.

Rather than declaring resolutions tonight as the bell tolls, I invite you to sit down in a quiet place and ask yourself what’s important to you and what you really want in the new year. I invite you to make intentions instead of resolutions. In my life, I have found that the act of setting intentions has almost magically made things happen. Intentions are not goals, but rather living, dynamic, authentic projections of the things that are truly important to us.

Here’s an example. A resolution might look like this: “I resolve to stop spending and put $10,000 in savings.”  An intention, on the other hand might be this: “I intend to become more aware of my spending patterns, with the goal of always having enough money.”

Do you see the difference? Intentions reflect the most authentic, basic need. In the above example, the need is not to have a specific amount of money in the savings account, it’s to have the comfort of knowing you have enough.

I encourage you to explore the idea of setting a few intentions. Be kind to yourself. Look at where you are in your life right now, and ask yourself what’s truly important. From there, the intention of your life will become clear.

My intentions for 2011

More yoga. Less desk chair.

More family and friends. Less meaningless TV.

More biking, hiking, swimming, and frolicking in the outdoors. Less “exercise”.

More gratitude. Less worry about how the future will unfold.

More long walks. Less long sits.

More simple. Less stuff.

My New Year’s wish for you

For all my loyal subscribers and casual readers, I appreciate that you have tagged along with me during this freshman year of my blogging adventure. Thank you.

May you all you have a year filled with love, compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude. First for yourself, and then for others.


Jamie Turner

Environment and Garden Activist at Linlithgow Climate Challenge
I focus on improving the local environment.
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