Setting Intentions This Year

Setting New Year goals, as I’ve done in the past, or resolutions may look a bit different with the uncertainty still pervasive at the start of the year. For example, travel. In years past I usually made a goal to visit one new country. Last year, that didn’t happen as I stayed home and tried to stay safe as the world went through a global pandemic, and we are continuing to navigate this environment at the start of this year. Without knowing what the upcoming months may bring, how can I continue to set something to work towards in the New Year?

For that, I look to the intentions I set – and the way I set intentions – from time to time on my yoga mat. I’ve been thinking of the year ahead as the intentions I’d like to carry with me and guide me through the next year. By that I mean they may not be specific goals, but an experience or value behind that goal. When I’m invited to set an intention for my practice, I often think of something akin to a theme that I want to call to mind throughout the upcoming hour. Often it’ll be one word, the easier to come back to during a flow.

So how can I take that same idea of connecting to a theme to set intentions for the upcoming year?

The first example that comes to my mind has been my steadily recurring goal to travel more each year. But this year, when and what travel may look like is an uncertainty for me at this time. So I think about what’s behind my love of travel: a curiosity and appreciation for beauty and new experiences. I love seeing new places, new buildings and countrysides, trying new foods, hearing other languages, and so many other things. Can I create that in other ways? And can I do that safely (i.e., following the recommended health guidelines). After a fashion. I can look for new experiences without leaving my state – or even my city. I’m grateful for the motivation over the last year to explore new parks for new hiking trails as a way to get outside, get some movement, and safely see friends.

I’m exploring within the confines of where I feel able to do so, and finding some fantastic gems around my city. Or that list of road trips and parks to visit? Maybe it’s time I finally pull up that list rather than just waiting for some vague time in the future.

What this brought me to when thinking of the year ahead is getting creative with having more experiences. I can do that through new parks, or revisiting things that I’ve found I did actually enjoy from this past year – picnics in the park, trying to new recipes, and coming back to yoga, practicing at home complete with my cat as a practice partner.

Experiences in place of travel is just one idea. Others might be thinking of how one might connect with nutrition by coming back to the kitchen and trying new foods and new recipes, which can be done from home.

If the upcoming months are uncertain, what ways are you thinking of setting goals for an upcoming new year?

This is the part of a series of posts for The Mat Yoga Studio, sharing my thoughts and observations as a student only. The views and opinions are my own.   

Patricia

Patricia returned to Texas after spending several years on both coasts. She's a writer, amateur photographer and traveler.

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