Friday, January 7, 2011

New Years Intentions: Good Idea or Bad?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week about goals, resolutions and intentions for the New Year ahead. First, that gets me spinning back over the old year, evaluating what worked and what didn’t. How I can do better. What I shouldn’t do again. Helpful? Not.

A better idea is to make a list of intentions.

How is that different from goals or resolutions? A resolution is really about doing something different, implying that something in your life is wrong or bad or needs to be changed. Hint: That you are not good enough, just as you are. Ouch.

A goal may set your focus, but it also might set you up for failure especially if you set it up too tightly or unrealistically. You know like all those ads shout out; lose all body fat without ever exercising again, eat nothing but fiber, win millions, become more famous than facebook. I loved Jennifer Louden’s blog on goal setting and how it sets you up for a no good, terrible, very bad year.

Reading Susan Tweit’s blog, Walking Nature Home, I felt the power of her intentions for the New Year. And clearly, having intentions vs. goals are very different. Intentions set a tone or a parameter for your life. Intentions give you some room to breathe, by being more open ended. That creates space for you and your life to develop as the year goes on.

Here are my intentions for this year: to create, trust, open up to new experiences and more quality vs. quantity in my life, a balance of solitude and silence with connections and collaborations that put my heart into my life again allowing playfulness and freedom and, yes, imperfection. I’m going to look at my life as perfectly imperfect.

These intentions can be used in every area of my life. And, for once in my life, it’s not a ‘to do’ list but a ‘be’ list. Good or bad idea? I don’t know. I guess I’ll just have to live it out, one day at a time, and see.

That’s my intention, anyway.
What’s yours?


Janet Riehl said...


I agree with you that making our sculpture and shaping our lives are analogous. Broadening your blogging topics is exciting and it'll be interesting to see the direction you take with it.

What will you do with "Susan's Art & Words?"

Janet Riehl

Angelique said...

Yes,yes, I discovered this for myself not so long ago. The change of words allowed me to see the process in a different light instead of the usual goals that set me up for failure. At least my experience has been that, I know that for others it may work and their follow thru has been fine. But for me it's been different. It's wonderful to get feel the freedom to try things that work for us and that it's okay to re-evaluate later and change it if need be.


Susan Gallacher-Turner and Michael Turner said...

Process, is I think, the key word here. Goals are all about getting to the finish line. Intentions are all about the journey.

Whether it works out the way we want or not, it's important to allow ourselves to change course and enjoy it!

Susan Gallacher-Turner and Michael Turner said...

I am enjoying broadening my blog, my art and my writing. Taking new directions with all of them is exciting.

As far as Susan's Art & Words, my intention was to end it after Sculpting A Life was up and running a while. It's going to be a year soon, I'm planning on merging it with SAL.

Glad to see you here again!