A Quick Guide to Setting Intentions for the New Year
Jordan Rome is the Editor-In-Chief of Gaia Goddess who enjoys her carefree life without a zip code. She loves to create worlds that challenge limited perspectives through performance, words, and visual arts!
A Quick Guide to Setting Intentions for the New Year
Welcome to one of the most awaited times of the year- The New Year, when people across countries and cultures acknowledge the closing out of a 365-day cycle to welcome the start of a new one! This popular time is known for setting ambitious goals and putting our dreams and inspirations into action, a clean slate if you will. Before you get ahead of yourself and put pressure on another year's first-of-the-month, it's worth bringing awareness to the deeply ingrained societal and cultural expectations attached to a specific date in time, which in reality is not in accordance with mother nature's natural rhythm. The true "calendar" is in the sky, in the rising and setting of the sun and moon, in the star's alignment and planet's rotations, and in the changes of the seasons.
The Gregorian calendar established by Pope Gregory XIII in the 1500s is used in the Western world as the civil and Christian ecclesiastical calendar and notes the start of the new year as January 1st. Other calendars are just as valuable, such as the Lunar calendar, which marks the new year on January 22nd. Ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians used the autumnal equinox to mark the new year around September 20th. Others will acknowledge and celebrate the new year towards the end of March, the beginning of the Spring Equinox, where nature begins to bloom. In January, we don't see much growth in the natural world, so we are reminded that this is a period of hibernation and tapping into the slowness and stillness necessary to activate our goals. Here we shed our old leaves and drop habits that no longer serve us, continuing to reflect and release what is bogging us down.
The point is this- Time is a social construct that serves to keep old systems built hundreds of years ago functioning, but our essence will always transcend time and space. When we mimic and align ourselves with the cycles of nature, something beautiful happens- It's a subtle surrender that organically triggers a remembrance deep within that guides us through the process of birthing our creations. Now, that's not to say that we can't set goals for the new year and profit from the collective energy of fresh beginnings. This information is a gentle reminder that nature is always on time, and we don't have to dive head first when something as trivial as a date on the calendar approaches.
Stepping into a different season is a reckoning to be met with strategy, intention, patience, and gratitude. Use this collective energy surrounding the Gregorian calendar New Year to bring awareness to your desires that light a fire within and let them unfold with deep love, care, and grace. Achieve your goals by planting raw seeds of intentionality. Allow your intention setting to become a ritual guided by the Divine that assists you in manifesting an incredible year!
The Art of Setting Intentions
Whether large or small, intentions are the bedrock for creating the life you long to live. It gives you the fuel to show up for yourself in specific and actionable ways for how you would like to receive, feel, and experience the world. There's no right or wrong way to set intentions, though it's significant that we have clarity in our minds, bodies, and spirit before doing so. Overall, intention setting is a mindfulness practice to connect you with the whispers of your heart. Sometimes we have difficulty even understanding what it is that we want or need or believing that we are worthy of what it is that we desire. If this is you, you may find scripting to be helpful.
Scripting is a unique way to manifest your desires by writing about what you'd like to achieve in the present tense as if you've already acquired it. Use all senses to feel into your dream world and let your imagination flow onto the paper. In doing so, your subconscious mind is activated and expands the possibilities of what you can achieve. This exercise is a great way to empty your inner world and inspire what's hidden within.
You may not be consciously aware of what you want or need, but for the sake of setting intentions, this is solely a playful exercise to turn on your childlike imagination in hopes of unblocking fears and limitations to unlock what you desire. Take the pressure off, and enjoy writing yourself as the main character who gets to receive their happily ever after. Start small- Perhaps you are scripting how you'd like your day, week, or month to look: What's around you? How do you feel? Who are you interacting with? Any chance encounters? Any mundane miracles? Are tastes, smells, and sounds coming up for you? Indulge your senses, and let the limitless opportunities guide you as you pay attention to the feelings and emotions that come up for you. After this release, you may feel more clarity surrounding your desires and needs and a strong understanding of your fears and limiting beliefs. Whatever comes up is all potent information you will need to co-create with the universe.
When setting an intention, you are putting a call out to the universe. Pen to paper is a powerful tool to solidify the energies as if you are signing a contract between you and the divine. After you've opened yourself up from scripting, and feel ready and more in tune, you can move forward with writing down your intentions.
To begin, get comfortable in your body and your energy. Ideally, you want to be in a relaxed and open state of mind, as tense and anxious energy will only work against you. When setting intentions, you want to put your whole heart and energy into it, so you must let go of anything weighing you down. A relaxing bath or shower or smudging, which is clearing your energy field with healing herbs, is a beautiful way to set the tone. In addition, you want to be in a sacred place where you feel safe and free from distraction. Your relaxed state will help move your intention with ease.
Next, you'll want to get back into a space of visualization, which can be done while you are winding down or before you write out your intentions. Specificity is extremely helpful, as it communicates your seriousness and dedication. If you don't have specific dates, timelines, numbers, etc., then get detailed on other elements of your experience, the visceral aspects. For instance, if you are setting the intention to find a new apartment, can you imagine what it feels like to wake up in it, what you see when you look out the window, who your neighbors are, and how you feel when it's time to pay rent? Remember this is a sacred ritual! How deep can you go, and how present can you allow yourself to be when honoring what you yearn for? When you are ready, take all this in and program it on the page. When you are finished, date and sign your full name at the bottom of the page. Next, fold the paper towards you because this is what you're attracting into your life. Tuck your intention away in a safe place and trust the process of its growth.
Imagine your intention is a tiny seed that you nestle into the soil. When you plant a seed, in the right conditions rarely, do you doubt that it will begin to sprout and eventually blossom? Neither, do you go and unbury it to ensure it's growing. Step into your intention ritual with the same confidence and detachment to the outcome as you would plant a seed. The instant you feel doubt or uncertainty stirring up while you're writing out your intention, take a beat and step away from the action to get clear on what's coming up for you and why. It's important that your emotional state is open and attuned to what you're calling in. Otherwise, this could interfere with the results. When you feel ready, you can always come back. Trust in the process and let the magic unfold.
I encourage you to cultivate a practice of tapping into your imagination and visualizing your way into your dream world. Again, no matter how big or small, remember that your intention is an opportunity to mindfully attract what you want in your life and co-create with the divine, so the universe conspires in your favor!