How to set your intentions for 2020
Sometimes it’s easier to know what you don’t want anymore than to have a clear idea of where you want to go. If you’re feeling the need for a change and you wish to set your intentions for 2020 (and the new decade) but:
- your new year resolutions already feel like old news to you (check whether you had set the right goals first)
- you have no idea where to start
- you’re not clear on what you aspire to
- you feel the need to be guided in your thinking
The you’re in the right place! I invite you to book some time for yourself, take a pen and a notepad, make yourself a cup of tea, turn on some motivating music and prepare yourself for some time travel…
Step 1: looking back at 2019
Doing a year review is a way to observe what you’ve experienced, learned and accomplished. It’s an important step to highlight what we tend to forget and dismiss way to quickly (thanks to our natural tendency to focus on the negative and what is not good enough). It’s also about learning from what didn’t work for us and minimize the chances of making the same mistakes.
1 ¦ Your successes
I can already picture you looking at me with big eyes and saying “well I can’t really call that a success!”. NO, NO, and NO!!! A success doesn’t necessarily mean winning a medal, being invited to speak at a TedEx conference or developing a revolutionary technology.
Success is about taking care of your loved ones, going out of your comfort zone, daring saying no and prioritizing what is important to you, finalizing a project close to your heart, learning a new skill, doing something for the first time, taking a stand with the risk of being criticized, having the courage to end a toxic relationship, expressing what you’re feeling and being vulnerable, carrying on despite great difficulties…
I am inviting you to make a list of all your victories. They can be linked to work, health, your relationship or your own personal development.
Select the three most important ones. And write down why those are important to you. What have you learned from them? How each of those experiences have transformed you.
Have you taken the time to celebrate? If not, do it right now!! Do a little dance, offer yourself a relaxing moment, share it with a close friend…
2 ¦ Your learnings
The only failure possible is not to learn from your mistakes. Write down your past year deceptions and mistakes.
Then make a list of everything you’ve learned from them. Which lessons can you draw to avoid reliving the same situation? Which skills and resources have you developed to go through these moments?
Select the three most important learnings to apply in 2020.
3 ¦ What you want to continue and stop doing in 2020
I invite you now to think about all the activities, habits, projects, relationships that have either brought you energy or cost you some (this exercice is inspired from Tim Ferriss‘ blog).
In your notepad, make two columns, one with “+” as title and the other one with “- ». Look back through your agenda and reconnect very briefly with the various events of your year. Write down the most important events or habits for you.
Here are a few example that could go in the “+” column: a day out with your loved ones, a conversation with a friend, a specific project at work, a new topic of interest you’ve discovered, a new hobby, a place you’ve visited, a book, a video, a meal you love to cook, a moment for yourself, etc…
On the other hand, what could have cost you some energy would be: a heavy conversation, a toxic relationship, habits that no longer serve you, a boring project at work, etc…
In the “+” column, underline all the elements you’d like to keep doing (and even do more of). In the “- » column, underline the ones you want to stop doing. That will become your Not-to-do list!
Step 2: your intentions for 2020
Now that you’ve highlighted what you’d like to take (or not) from 2019, it’s time to set your intentions for this year.
1 ¦ Your wish list
For each of the following categories, make a list of all the new experiences you wish to live this year.
Well-being: health, nutrition, sport, leisure, travelling, home, hobbies, personal development
Relationships: romance, family, friends, network
Work: career, professional development, volunteering
Here are a few examples:
starting a new sport or artistic activity, going to the movies, planning a beautiful trip, redecorating a room in your home, decluttering your closet, starting a morning ritual (meditation, walk in nature, writing)
creating special moments for your partner, fueling a friendship, making peace with a family member
changing jobs, learning a new skill, exploring more about a subject that sparked your curiosity, contributing to your local community, etc…
Add to this list the underlined elements from “+” column.
2¦ Your selection
Your energy, time, and attention are limited. It’s important to be realistic about what you wish to put in place. This will enable you to focus on what’s most important for you and maximize your chances of success.
To do this, you need to stop being in your head and let your body guide your choices. I know, we’re not used to functioning that way. Know that your mind is filled with preconceived ideas about what you “should” be doing (influenced by your votre environment, your upbringing and society,), what you are capable of doing and what you deserve. It’s not the most unbiased and optimistic judge!
1 — Connecting to your inner guide
With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths, focus your attention on your body and ask yourself where in your body would be the part of you who believes 2000% in you. The one who sees all your potential, who fully trust your abilities. Maybe it sits in your heart, in your solar plexus, in your belly, or in the big toe of your left foot. It doesn’t matter. Focus your attention on this part of you, how it feels, imagine its color, its shape, its texture…
You’ve found it? Amazing! You will now learn how to communicate with this part of you.
2 — Establish the “yes”
When your mind answers a question, we’ve established this social code (in the West) to shake our head up and down to say yes and from right to left to say no. We need to establish a similar system to recognize when our internal guide is saying yes or no.
We first need to do a test. Think about something really really really important to you: someone you love, a passion, a value close to your heart.
Close your eyes, connect to this place in your body where your internal guide is and think about (you can even say it out loud) “I love …” (the important thing for you). Notice the changes in how your body feels inside: warmer or colder, more relaxed, more space, a change in texture or color. Amplify your sensations with a few deep breaths still thinking about what you love.
This is how your internal YES feels.
3 — Establishing the “no”
Do the same exercise but say “I don’t love …” (the same thing or something different that is still important to you). Notice the changes in tension, temperature, color in your body. Maybe your chest is closing, there’s a knot in your stomach or your whole body is more tense. Feel how it is communicating its disagreement. Amplify the sensations. This is your internal NO.
Now, tale a few seconds and breathe with your yes closed, connect with your internal guide. Open your eyes and read through your wish list.
Ask yourself, what is the most important for me, for my own well-being and my growth in 2020. Notice the changes in your body.
Underline all the elements in your list which trigger a BIG internal YES.
3¦ Your top 3 priorities for 2020
Read the underlined elements and write down your 3 main priorities for the year.
Step 3: time for some action
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! It’s time to take a mini break and celebrate all the thinking and feeling you’ve done so far!
The action-oriented people might have felt like this thinking time was a bit long, but rejoice yourself, it’s time to move forward! On the other hand, there are some people who looooooooove to do some deep thinking and can be trapped into procrastination when it’s time to get moving. I am inviting these folks to take the tiniest first step towards their goals.
1¦ Your 3 goals for 2020
Take the list with your 3 priorities. For each of them, make sure you set yourself a goal. You can have a look at the checklist of the 10 most important criteria when setting a goal.
2¦ Clarify your needs
For each goal, ask yourself the following questions:
If I was the best in the world at …. (your goal),
which kind of person would I be?
how would I behave?
what would be my daily habits? how would my day look like?
what would I tell myself? etc…
what were the first steps I took to get there?
Write it all down, without filtering or letting this party pooping voice in your head say “oh but you’re not capable of all this!”.
These questions inspired by Marie Forleo and “Turning Pro” from Steven Pressfield are extremely powerful as they flip your starting point. Instead of focusing on your state of now, you step into the shoes of someone who’s already a master at it.
3¦ Identifying your first steps and taking action
Look back at what you just wrote and identify the tiniest first step you need to do.
And do it NOW!
Once it’s done, identify the second step you wish to take and schedule it in your agenda.
If you are waiting to be absolutely sure of where you’re going before making any move, you’ll remain petrified. Each action triggers us to learn, adjust, and make the necessary changes for our project to evolve.
If you’re having doubts, connect to your body, feel, follow and honor your inner guide.
I hope you now have 3 clear priorities for 2020 that are meaningful and motivating for you. If you have questions on the process or wish to be guided along the way, don’t hesitate to get in touch to schedule a free discovery call. If you are curious to explore your connection with your inner guide, I’d also be delighted to guide you!