The new year is a time for reflection, letting go, and finding your presence.
If you’ve been a student of ours for a while, you’ll know that the new year is a very important time for us. The new year is a time to reflect, let go of what no longer serves you, and cultivate anew.
The exit of one year into another is both an ending and a beginning, making it an effective time to let go of the old and welcome the new.
Take stock of your year to recognize your accomplishments and cultivate gratitude.
First, let’s reflect. Spend some time journaling or simply reflecting on your year in 2021. This is your time to acknowledge what went well and what you accomplished.
Taking stock – Questions to consider:
- What are three things you did in 2021 that you’re proud of?
- What are three things you’re grateful for in 2021?
- What’s one thing you learned in 2021 that you want to carry over into your experiences in 2022?
- How are you different now than you were on January 1, 2021?
Take your time with this part. You deserve to take in everything you achieved and everything you learned over the course of the year. You have grown and changed as a person. Acknowledging that growth helps you carry it forward and continue to make positive changes in 2022.
Be willing to let go of what no longer serves you.
When you feel ready, take time to consider what you want to leave behind in 2021. Like we said earlier, you are a different person today than you were on January 1st of last year. What worked for you a year ago might not work for you today. Your likes and dislikes have changed, your needs have changed, and your priorities have changed.
Letting go – Questions to consider:
- What’s one thing you want to leave behind in 2021? Perhaps you want to let go of a friendship that’s become unbalanced or draining. Maybe it’s a job that no longer aligns with your future goals. Maybe it’s simply an idea about yourself that you want to let go of.
- What’s one way you can be kinder to yourself in 2022?
- How can you be more compassionate toward others in 2022?
Deepening our compassion for ourselves and others makes it easier to let go of what’s no longer serving us. When we get overly critical, we tend to hold onto ideas and habits that hold us back.
Letting go is an important part of the intention setting process. Letting go of ideas and actions that no longer serve us or resonate with us helps us be more present. For example, maybe you’ve been struggling with self-doubt. Self-doubt makes it hard to be here right now. It affects relationships, career, and most importantly, the way you see yourself. If you decide you’d like to let go of self-doubt, does that mean you’ll never feel it again? No, it doesn’t. However, you can start letting go of self-doubt by questioning it. When the doubt creeps in, ask yourself: is this really true? Name three things you admire about yourself. Ask others for their encouragement; people love to help! The more you’re able to let go of self-doubt, the more present you become with yourself, your intention, and your life.
Your intention connects you to the present moment.
After you’ve reflected on the past year, it’s time to think about your intention for 2022. Your intention is your anchor to your mindfulness and meditation practice for the year. Your intention helps bring you back to the present. It’s your mantra for the year.
Setting your 2022 intention – Questions to consider:
- How do I want to feel in 2022?
- How am I going to stand by myself this year? What area do I need to honor myself unconditionally?
- How will I recommit to my intention or my practice when I get off track? We all have to recommit to our intention from time-to-time because we get busy or our circumstances take us away from our practice. That’s totally okay and normal. How can you gently recommit to your intention and meditation practice when this happens?
In one of our previous blog posts, 10 Steps to Building a Consistent and Doable Meditation Practice, we talked about the power of setting an intention for your meditation practice. To review, setting an intention is powerful because it acts as a guide in your meditation practice and daily life. By repeating your intention out loud and meditating on it, you’re communicating your intention to your brain. Our brains are extremely flexible, and that’s why self-talk has such a strong effect on the ways we feel and see ourselves.
Your antidote is your intention.
Think of your intention as the antidote to what you’re letting go of. If you’re letting go of self-doubt, maybe your antidote is power, kindness, or love. If you’re letting go of tension, your antidote might be ease. If you’re letting go of rigidity, your antidote could be openness.
Create your intention using an “I am statement.”
Here at SDG Meditation, we like to form intentions as follows:
I am ______________________ (your intention).
We call this an I am statement.
- I am love.
- I am ease.
- I am calm.
Here are a few of my own intentions from years past:
- 2019: I am happy to share my lessons learned. I release attachment and expand the essence of love.
- 2020: I am supple in my mind, body, and actions.
- 2021: I surrender force to cultivate true power through peace of mind.
Nurture your creativity by making a 2022 intention vision board.
Try this: Use your intention statement as an opportunity to create! Print out photos or gather images and words from magazines that relate to your intention. Get out scissors and a glue stick and make a vision board. Or create one digitally using Google Docs or Canva. I always include a photo of myself in my vision board intention statement to visually align myself with my intention.
You can create your intention using the PDF below or by making your own. Click here to download the image below.
Internalize your intention by revisiting it daily.
I always write down my yearly intention and put it in several places that I can see it. For example, I’ll put my intention in my meditation space, on my bedside table, and on my desk in my office. That way, I have several touch points throughout the day when I see my intention and continue to repeat and internalize it.
You can repeat your own intention over and over again during meditation. The more you repeat, the more you integrate the intention into your life, and the more you begin to believe in it.
Your intention is your touchstone. Put your intention in one or more places that you’ll see it daily. When you see it, repeat it out loud to yourself. It might seem cheesy to repeat it aloud, but actually hearing your intention over and over again helps you internalize it and concretize it.
Happy New Year 2022!