In this webinar, we talk about the problems that come up with our goals, resolutions and intentions for the New Year, and key ideas for addrssing those. I also answered some great questions from members.
Iâ€™ve broken this webinar recording into two parts:
- Part I â€“ My Talk: About the problems of setting goals for the new year, and key ideas for addressing those problems. (See notes)
- Part II â€“ Questions & Answers: I answered some amazing questions from participants, a must-watch.
Part I: Leoâ€™s Talk (with notes)
Watch the video above of Part 1.
Weâ€™re all gung-ho when it comes to setting goals and resolutions around New Year, but they rarely last. Motivation fizzles after a couple weeks when things get difficult, uncomfortable, or de-prioritized.
The problems are that:
- We lose focus and energy after a couple weeks (or a month)
- We arenâ€™t really clear on how weâ€™re going to get it done, on top of all the other things weâ€™re already doing (or not doing)
- Thereâ€™s no structure to get us back into things when we inevitably get off track, so things tend to fall off and then stay off
- Weâ€™re not really motivated from a deeper place, because we donâ€™t have any deeper reasons
- We give ourselves too many things to do, or try to make too many changes at once â€” and so things donâ€™t stick
- We beat ourselves up when we fall off track, which only makes it less likely that weâ€™ll actually get back on track. Judging ourselves and being harsh are obstacles, not useful tools.
With those problems in mind, letâ€™s talk about some key ideas for this time of setting intentions.
Key Ideas for Setting Intentions
- Goals vs. intentions: Goals are about an outcome that you want to achieve â€” which isnâ€™t a problem, except that we get attached to the outcome and also not very focused on the process. Intentions are similar, but focused on the process â€” itâ€™s about how you want to show up each day. So when you donâ€™t get the outcome, you arenâ€™t as disappointed or frustrated, you donâ€™t beat yourself up â€” you just try to show up according to your attentions, going forward.
- Structure: We need to create reminders, daily reviews, weekly check-ins, and monthly (and annual) reviews so that we are constantly coming back to our intentions when we get off track. With accountability (like a Sea Change small team) for helping us to do the reviews and check-ins. With structure, intentions become much more likely to be carried out.
- Habit or time block: If you want to journal every day, when will it happen? Tie it to something already in your life so that itâ€™s more likely to actually happen. What will you do less of so that youâ€™ll have room? You might consider time blocking the new habit so that you carve out the space â€” then hold that space sacred.
- Deeper Why: Speaking of holding that space sacred â€” what will you do when you get busy? Or things get difficult? This is when we tend to put off our intentions â€” because when push comes to shove, theyâ€™re not that important to us. Which is why I suggest only setting a few key intentions that are deeply meaningful to you. Think about why you want them â€” are they a way to love and care for yourself? For others? Is it a way to serve others or serve the world with your love? For example â€¦ if you want to learn Spanish because it would be cool â€” you arenâ€™t likely to stick to it. But if it would allow you to speak to your Spanish-speaking grandmother, or serve Spanish speaking children who need help â€¦ that might feel more meaningful. What is the meaning behind the intentions youâ€™re setting.
- One Focus at a Time: If you have 6-8 intentions (for example) â€¦ trying to do them all at once is going to be difficult. This is where a lot of people get tripped up. Instead, what if you just did one a month? Youâ€™d be much more likely to actually do them in the coming year.
- Self-kindness: One of the main rules you might consider through all of this â€¦ is being kind to yourself, no matter what. If you get off track â€” be kind to yourself about it. If you fail, be kind. If you do it but itâ€™s not what you expected, be kind. Always be kind.
If you adopt some of these key ideas, I believe youâ€™ll have a much better chance at holding your intentions for next year.
Part II: Questions & Answers
In this 2nd part of the webinar, I answered some great questions from those who attended, including:
- I have trouble with anger â€” what practices help me to control my anger?
- What do you think about focusing one big thing a year such as â€œthe year of learning Spanishâ€? I think Iâ€™m a slow learner because a month is not close enough to being long enough for me to build a habit
- There is a lot about setting goals (SMART goals, etc.) what are some examples of intentions that show how they are different than goals?â€©
- Totally behind on the review–got stuck because I felt like there wasn’t much to say about my year. I was very focused on my fitness and it seemed like not much else was done. That’s ok though, right?â€©
- What about starting small and building on small habits with bigger ones? Is it advisable to do that at the same time that you start a new intention each month?â€©