Happy 2015! The new year is a great time to reflect on what you want out of life, which is why so many people create New Year’s resolutions. Well, I don’t care for resolutions. Instead, I like to set a New Year’s intention. Less of a list, more of a theme. Resolutions make you “should” on yourself, they bring you down if you break them. But having an intention just shifts your thinking. In a way, it’s easier & more productive than making a list (says the woman who started a blog based on a list, haha) because it can take any form. You choose a part of yourself you want to grow and you don’t have to do anything more specific than considering your intention and trying to act on it. The actions can be large or small, significant or insignificant, and still add up to change.
My intention for 2014 was fearlessness. When faced with an opportunity to set fear aside, I acted with my intention in mind. I was mostly successful! It was at the forefront of my mind when I decided to do karaoke, to work in Belfast, to cross a rope bridge on rocky cliff, to backpack in Europe, to continue driving after my car accident, to do an obstacle course, to be more honest. My year was better because of those experiences and if I hadn’t been actively thinking about fearlessness, I might have missed out. I can honestly say that I am more fearless now than I was a year ago.
For 2015, my intention is STRENGTH. I want to be stronger in any way I can. Mentally stronger – I want to learn more, read more, be more productive, and invest in my mental health. Physically stronger – I want to lift weights, see muscles, and eat healthier. Spiritually stronger – I want to meditate, practice yoga, and explore my spiritual side. When given a choice, I want to choose whatever option is going to make me a stronger person.
What I don’t want to do is beat myself up for being weak. I think many people, myself included, have a habit of thinking strength stems from pain. Stress a muscle, hurt it, and it will get stronger. Well, we have to quit thinking the same process applies to mental health. Mental and emotional suffering doesn’t build strength, contrary to a million “inspirational” quotes (seriously, don’t even get me started on things like “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and similar insulting tropes); instead, strength is what we use to overcome suffering. I have learned that the strength it takes to deal with things like tragedy, depression, and anxiety comes from love, positivity, support, self-care, openness, forgiveness, kindness, and (counter-intuitively) vulnerability.
So I am going to love myself this year. I know the more I tear myself down, the harder it is to build back up. Anxiety, in particular, can dig me into a bleak mental hole. I need to stop negative thought patterns before they start so that I don’t end up in that hole as often. That is the very first thing I’m choosing to do with strength as my intention. The second thing? Well, the best part about having an intention is you don’t have to think that far ahead.
I think this will be another great year. I am excited to see where it takes me; I am open and receptive to any and all good. Welcome 2015, my year of strength.