How to Ring in the New Year with Intention

Like many, I ring in the new year with a list of resolutions. Historically, each focused on “fixing” specific behaviors like working out more, saving money, stressing less . . . blah, blah, blah! All of this feels rigid, daunting, and even unattainable. And it reminds me of all the times I didn’t or couldn’t keep up with the resolution. Resolutions are a setup for failure. So, this year I will ring in the new year with intention.

In 2024, I will embark on a transformative journey, steering away from the fixation of “fixing” and instead focusing on setting a purposeful path that fosters growth and flexibility. I will set intentions over resolutions, and I welcome you to join me.

But before I set intentions, it’s important to reflect on where I have been and my core values. Last year, what went well? What was challenging? What truly matters to me? Aligning intentions with values adds depth and authenticity to the journey. It’s time to change our mindset and set ourselves up for success in 2024.

From Work Out Daily to Listen to Your Body

The old resolution: Exercise daily.
The new intention: Listen to your body and respond with kindness.

Coming from years working in corporate retail, I can tell you that companies are hyper-focused on selling workout apparel, gym memberships, and exercise equipment in January because the consumer’s mindset is all about changing their body. But what if instead of changing our body, we embrace it and listen to it?

In a society that often glorifies busy schedules and rigorous fitness routines, the intention of listening to your body is a revolutionary act of self-love. Rather than chaining yourself to a demanding daily exercise regimen that will be hard to maintain, pay attention to the cues your body provides.

Is it asking for rest? Is it craving movement? By fostering a deeper connection with your body, you empower yourself to make choices that align with your physical and mental well-being. Let your body guide you, whether it’s a Pilates session, a walk, a run, or a day of rest.

From Reducing Stress to Saying “No”

The old resolution: Reduce stress.
The new intention: Say “No” more often and prioritize yourself.

As a mom and entrepreneur, I find myself caught in the whirlwind of responsibilities; I’m sure you can relate. The resolution to reduce stress can feel like a good idea but can also feel like an unattainable dream. Instead, shift the focus to the intention of saying “no” to things that are not a priority. Stop the perpetual cycle of people-pleasing and start prioritizing your mental health. It’s an act of self-advocacy; a declaration that your well-being matters. Embrace the power of “no” to create space for what truly aligns with your values and brings you joy.

From Reading Daily to Lifelong Learning

The old resolution: Read more.
The new intention: Embrace lifelong learning.

I am a picture book author; my job is to read, and I LOVE it. I wish I had more time to do it. But, setting a resolution that tells me to read more will not change my time constraints. It will simply disappoint me when I don’t hit my reading goal.

Instead, let’s elevate it to a broader intention—embracing a lifelong reading and learning journey. This intention encourages a mindset shift from a specific, time-bound activity to a continuous journey of discovery. Explore audio books, podcasts (like The Unfiltered Mom or Mel Robbins), attend workshops, and engage in conversations that challenge your perspectives. The intention of lifelong learning expands beyond the confines of a resolution, fostering intellectual growth and adaptability.

From Saving to Purposeful Spending

The old resolution: Save more.
The new intention: Be intentional and purposeful with your spending.

Money management has always been at the top of my resolutions, but the systems I put in place never held. Instead of fixating on creating spreadsheets or downloading the latest app to help you manage your money, consider the idea of being intentional with your spending. Cultivate a mindful approach to your finances, aligning your spending with your values and priorities. This intention involves understanding the difference between needs and wants and making intentional choices that resonate with your financial goals. It’s a holistic approach that invites awareness into your relationship with money, transforming a resolution into a purposeful financial journey.

It’s a transformative shift from fixing behaviors to nurturing a mindset that allows exploration, self-compassion, and genuine fulfillment. Celebrate progress, not perfection. Intentions allow for flexibility and growth. Celebrate the progress you make every day, acknowledging that the journey is as significant as the destination.

As we stand on the cusp of a new year, let us embark on this journey together, celebrating the beauty of intentions that resonate with our hearts.

A new year doesn’t have to mean new stress. Charmaine shares why New Years goals may be stressful, and what to do instead.


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