What are your 2015 intentions?

I’ve entered the New Year with a list of “intentions” for 2015. I did a similar exercise last year and found it encouraging to go back to my list and to see how many intentions I managed to achieve and integrate in my life. Many involved stepping out of my comfort zone and taking risks. Some were not as successful as others and now I get to decide which I’ll include again for 2015.

Intentions are similar to goals, but what I prefer about the idea of intentions is that your state of mind is an essential part of the planning process and of course, the follow-through. Often our greatest challenge is that we are too hard on ourselves. Once we are kinder to ourselves, our intentions become more realistic and attainable.

One of my favourite pictures in my office (by Paula Mills)

Your intentions may include specific aspirations for your career, relationships and family life. I think an essential part of setting out intentions is to make decisions about how you would like to approach the year. What values, principles and way of being will help you achieve those aspirations and ensure that you have a meaningful year? Mine include balance, gratitude and mindfulness.

Much like setting goals, it’s important to state the WHAT, HOW and WHEN:

WHAT – define in detail exactly what it is you’d like to achieve

HOW – list all the steps necessary to achieve the intention

WHEN – give yourself a timeline and be as specific as possible

As Dave Duarte tweeted this week, “The best New Year’s resolutions are actually projects: they have a defined outcome and time-frame.”

What I love about intentions is that they will always include the WHY. If we don’t understand why the intention is so important, we will struggle to sustain the state of mind necessary for planning and follow-through.

What are your intentions for 2015?

As Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”