Setting Intentions for the New Year ZONE

Setting Intentions for the New Year

  • By Emma Freeman
  • Dec 08

As a new year dawns, it invites us to reflect on the year that's gently folding behind us. It's a time to acknowledge our successes and challenges, our joy and pain, and everything in between. It's a sacred time that not only prompts us to look back but also to gaze forward, traditionally through the lens of New Year’s resolutions.

But what if, this year, we choose to embrace a different path? What if we shift towards something more powerful, more nurturing, than making resolutions? This is where the art of intention setting steps in.

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Resolutions vs. Intentions: Understanding the Difference

Resolutions often revolve around specific yearly goals or tasks: eating healthier food, practicing yoga daily, reading more books and living sustainably. They are focused on an external outcome— sometimes leading us towards disappointment or shame, should we fall short. Intentions, however, are more about the journey than the destination.

As Deepak Chopra beautifully articulates, "An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim to create. Like real seeds, intentions can't grow if you hold on to them. Only when you release your intentions into the fertile depths of your consciousness can they grow and flourish."

This perspective shifts our focus from what we want to achieve to how we want to live, feel and be.

 

Intentions vs resolutions

 

Examples of Intention Setting

Imagine setting an intention to be more present in your relationships. This isn't a checkbox on a to-do list; it's a guiding principle for how you interact with others in everyday life. Another example could be cultivating gratitude. Instead of chasing happiness through achievements, you're nurturing a mindset that finds joy in the present moment– which could be as simple as stepping out in nature and taking a moment to thank yourself for the time and energy you just invested in this simple act.

 

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Connecting to Our Hearts

When setting true intentions, we are essentially journeying to our hearts. This connection is the basis of realising our true purpose and embracing a life that reflects our deepest core values and aspirations.

Our heart is more than just a physical organ, it's a symbol of our emotional and spiritual centre. When we set positive intentions from our heart space, we tap into a well of authentic desires, passions and knowledge. It's about listening to that inner voice that knows what truly fulfils us, beyond societal expectations or superficial achievements.

To connect with your heart, make space for yourself. Look inward, and ask, "What makes my heart sing? What am I truly passionate about?" These questions can guide you towards discovering intentions that resonate with your true self.

Yoga Practice: Setting Intentions


Setting Intentions with True Purpose

When you set intentions from your heart, they become more than goals; they are expressions of your core values, beliefs and true purpose. Consider what matters most to you in different aspects of your life, such as relationships, career, personal development, and well-being. Clarify the overarching meaning and direction you want your life to take. This could involve connecting with your passion, contributing to a cause, or fostering personal growth.

These intentions are imbued with a deeper meaning that can transform not just your actions, but your entire way of being and the energy you put into the world. Intentions with true purpose are powerful tools that continue to motivate you and lead to a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life.

Tuning into Our Higher Selves

Our higher self is the aspect of us that transcends the ego. It is the true essence of our very being. It's the wisest, most enlightened part of us, always guiding us towards growth and consciousness. By aligning our intentions with our higher selves, we ensure that our actions and goals are not just fulfilling, but also contribute to our overall spiritual development.

Meditation, mindfulness, practising yoga and spending time in nature can assist you in connecting with your higher self. In these moments of stillness, you're more likely to hear the gentle whispers of your higher consciousness.

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The Power of Rituals & Routines

To truly harness the power of intentions, integrating them into our lives through rituals and routines can be incredibly powerful. For example, if your intention is to practice more yoga, your daily rituals could include: waking early, burning your favourite essential oil, and rolling out your yoga mat. With these rituals in place, you've now set up your yoga space and are more likely to follow through with your intention to practice more yoga. 

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Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation offers a pathway to connect with our true selves. By quieting the mind, we can listen to our hearts and understand what we truly seek in life. This practice can be as simple as spending a few minutes each morning in silence, focusing on your breath and the intentions you wish to cultivate. Away from meditation, using mindfulness to practice being present will assist you in remaining connected to your heart throughout the day.

 

Mindful Meditation in ZONE by Lydia Hemp Clothing Australia

 

Journaling

Writing is a wonderful tool for intention setting. It allows you to articulate your dreams, fears and desires clearly. Writing down your intentions gives them weight and makes them tangible. You can start by writing about how you want to feel this year, what you would like to leave behind, and the changes you wish to see in your life in the year ahead.

Yoga Props and Cork Yoga Mat - Connection

 

Affirmations

Affirmations are positive, personal, present-state statements that help reinforce your intentions in your daily life. For example, if your intention is to cultivate self-confidence, your daily affirmation could be, "I am confident and strong in my decisions and actions." If your intention is to trust, it could be “I trust that the universe is guiding and protecting me”. The practice of affirmations is rooted in the belief that our thoughts shape our reality, and by regularly affirming our intentions, we can influence our subconscious mind and create positive changes in our lives.

Creating a Women's Circle

Gathering with a group of like-minded women can be an empowering way to set intentions. In a women's circle, you can share your intentions, support each other and celebrate your journey together. It's a nurturing space of mutual respect, empathy and encouragement.

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The New Year Gateway Jump

Consider trying the New Year Gateway Jump. This symbolic act is inspired by the ancient Roman ritual of honouring Janus and Jana— the god and goddess of doorways and beginnings. This ritual involves repeating your intentions three times, before stepping over a threshold. In doing so, you are leaving the past behind and entering a new phase with your intentions. It's a manifestation of your commitment to your intentions and a powerful way to start the new year.

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New Year’s intentions are a journey, not a destination

As you embark on this new journey, remind yourself that it won’t be perfect. You are doing this to grow, learn and self-reflect. Your intentions are seeds you're planting, and they require patience, nurturing and care. Life is dynamic, and circumstances may change, so be gentle with yourself, flexible and open to adjustments. 

Looking behind I am filled with gratitude.
Looking forward I am filled with vision.
Looking upward I am filled with strength.
Looking within I discover peace.

And, so it is.

Quero Apache Prayer (English translation)

 

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If you'd like to set a positive intention to live more sustainably, here are some easy ways you can implement small changes that will have a lasting impact on your entire life.

1. You could swap your toxic, PVC yoga mat for a natural cork yoga mat.

2. Instead of burning candles made from petroleum based products, try a bees wax candle instead or use a diffuser with Australian Made Essential Oils.

3. Instead of using toxic cleaning products, your could opt for natural cleaners like these Australian Essential Oil Sprays that not only smell wonderful, but make great natural surface cleaners.

4. Instead of wearing fast fashion made from synthetic materials, invest in natural fibres like wool, linen, hemp and organic cotton. Try ZONE by Lydia's range of unisex organic cotton and hemp clothing.

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