Hello hello my sweet friends! I hope you had a fabulous holiday season. Personally, I feel like it was all here and over in the blink of an eye, but we really did have a wonderful season. We went to California to spend time with my family over Christmas and for my Dad’s birthday and it was so fun to really get to soak in the holidays. We baked cookies, watched Hallmarks, laughed, snuggled Arabella…it was perfect.
Now, it is 2022. I literally can’t believe it. I remember when it turned 2000 and thought for sure by now there would be flying cars and we would be living in space like the Zeenon Girl of the 21st Century, but such is life. It seems the new year has started and not much has changed.
I don’t know about you, but I quite enjoy setting new intentions for the new year ahead. It offers me a time to reflect on where I feel like my life needs some work and remember all those areas that I say I am going to work on or get better at and never do. Essentially, it helps me to bring an awareness to what do I need to work on and what really matters, but this year I decided to try a different approach.
Here are the details.
Write down all the areas in your life you want to work on. For example, one of mine is that I want to be more on top of birthdays and holidays (I am perpetually late with gifts) and it really bothers me. Another example, be on time, or spend less money, etc. I write all of these areas down from small to big. Some say you need to have specific, measurable goals, but I think just having things you want to work on is okay for this section because we will get more specific in a few minutes.
Once you have written them down I want you to pull out 2-3. Those are the ones to focus on for this year. That’s right. We aren’t going crazy with 20 things. We are just going to work on showing up on time, getting gifts to people on time and being more present with people we love (this is just an example). Note how simple these things are. They aren’t stressful, they are just areas we plan on improving upon. There aren’t too many to where we will forget and there are just enough to remember as we go through each week.
Next, I took eleven small and measurable habits I wanted to form. Two of mine are flossing and washing my face before bed (I know, tragic). I assigned one to each month. This month it is washing my face. All I have to do is wash my face before bed. Not that hard. It is one habit to form, it takes less than 5 minutes a day, and its measurable in that I either do it or I don’t. I have all month to work on it and hopefully, I can get it down, but if not we will move on to flossing in February. By only having ONE new habit to form makes it so much easier to focus on. I even added in a month where I can circle back to a habit, which is why there are only eleven. Maybe I have a bad month or maybe I ALMOST got a certain habit down, but not quite. That month allows me circle back to it. If not, maybe I don’t reallyyyyy want to do that thing and that’s okay. There is always next year or just the mere acknowledgment that it might just not be for me.
Lastly, I chose a word. I like to think about the word is as a bow on a present. Use a word that creates an overarching theme for you, that will help spark a reminder of your above goals. A single word is a lot easier to think about than two or three separate goals, so use the word as a means to reminder you of what you are hoping to establish for the new year. In this same thought process, you can opt to choose your word first, then choose your top three intentions if that would work better for you. You do you, boo.
There you have it, a simple and intuitive way to establish change for the 2022 year. It’s not overwhelming or overly stressful and it is not meant to entirely derail and abolish your current life. We all have things we wish we could do or wish we could do BETTER and I am hoping that this method is gentle enough to spark change that I can stick with. I didn’t want to set goals that wouldn’t be attainable, but I know there are things I can do better at, so I wanted to make small subtle changes. I will be writing a follow up post (Part II) that will discuss more background on the 11 specific habits, but for now hopefully this will help you to get some intentions set. And don’t worry, it’s not too late to start. You can start in February if you want or any month really. The important thing is to just start.
So let’s cover it one more time:
Step 1: Brain dump what you want to work on for yourself. Write it all down. We can’t get better if we aren’t honest with ourselves about our shortcomings.
Step 2: Choose 2-3. These don’t have to be measurable. Mine are concepts for the year. Simple things I can remind myself I am working on.
Step 3: Write down 11 simple habits and assign one to each month. You can use your free month anywhere. I made it for August.
Step 4: Choose a word that will remind you of your 2-3 new intentions. You can do this step first and choose intentions from there if that is easier for you.
If you do this, please let me know! Tag me in your writings, message me, email me, etc. This is the first year I have established this process and am interested to see how it works. I will have more info coming on habit formation in Part II so stay tuned!