My 2017 Intention

I'm going to come right out with it and admit it - I've never been good at setting New Year's Resolutions. 

In years past when I tried, I was one of those people who forgot what they had even said by the end of January. I have a hunch that the basis of this forgetfulness was not because the goals I set weren't good goals to work towards or couldn't be accomplished. I think the crux of the issue was that I didn’t properly set myself up for success. I didn’t give myself a support system to ensure I could see them through - especially when times got rough. But most importantly, I didn’t know WHY I was setting those goals to begin with.

After reading Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map, my entire philosophy around goal setting changed. She teaches us how to set “goals with soul” and focus less on the quantitative aspect, and focus more on how you want to feel as a result of working towards and eventually accomplishing them. So this year I vow to follow her guidance and set an intention for the year ahead. This intention is meant to protect the pursuit of the life I want to live and to act as a daily reminder that small decisions each day lead to lasting and meaningful change.

My intention for 2017: Ease | Expand | Embrace

The idea for Ease & Expand came after reading The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working when they talk at the beginning of the book about how we, as humans, are meant to live in rhythmic movement between periods of rest and activity; we are meant to pulse. As a society where we are always plugged in and live in a state of instant gratification and the pressure for instant response, we are living more and more linear lives where we aren’t properly taking sufficient periods of rest in order to perform at our best during our periods of activity.

So it is with that spirit of thoughtful and conscientious living that I want to capture with my intention for 2017.

With that in mind, the EASE part of my 2017 intention is the main form of protection. I will build in periods of rest into my daily, weekly, and monthly routine. One of my favorite parts of 2016 was establishing a morning routine, so conversely I plan to enlist the help of a nightly routine to help me ease into better sleep. I will fight every ounce of negativity and doubt that will naturally creep into my mind by easing into the natural ebb and flow of my work. When times are slow, I will remind myself to enjoy it without guilt. When times are busy, I will work extra hard to be even more diligent about taking breaks and time out for self-care. 

As for how to EXPAND, I want to stretch my own limitations for what I think I can do and find meaningful collaborations with other small business owners. I want to broaden my community by going to my first conference (let me know if you’ll be attending Venture POP, too!) and finally getting back to volunteering. I want to extend my capacity for understanding and empathy by reading more and learning more about other cultures. 

Ultimately, my hope is that I will EMBRACE the understanding that great things take time. I want to learn to be patient with the process and truly enjoy the journey. Instead of swiftly brushing my successes under a rug and wallowing in self-pity when things don’t go the way I expected, I want to adequately celebrate my wins. I want to embrace the notion that not everything is binary, and to search for the other possibilities that abound. And I want to more proactively embrace the community around me by finding new and meaningful ways to make connections and grow relationships. Because at the end of the day, it's the culmination of those relationships that makes up the powerful stories and memories of our lives.

While this intention may sound idealistic, there are some practical applications. Here are a few examples of the exact action items I’m taking to protect my intention so that I can be kinder to myself, and in turn, be in better service to everyone around me.

  • Work in 90-minute sprints where I have a sole focus each sprint. Aim to start the day with two sprints before any client meetings. A great day is one where I can reach four sprints. 
  • Wake up at 6am for coffee with the hubs. 
  • Be at my desk by 6:45am for a tarot card reading and time to write in my gratitude journal.
  • Start on Sprint 1 by 7am. 
  • Go to yoga at least 2x per week. 
  • Use the Many Moons Workbook to build in dedicated reflection periods each month.
  • Be in bed by 10pm to read for at least 30 minutes.
  • Keep my phone in the bathroom, not by my bed.

This is such a personal journey, and I’m hoping that by sharing it in a public forum, it will not only hold me accountable, but will help me think through each pitfall and triumph. I plan to do a monthly retrospective to see how I am living my intention, so stay tuned for those. 

I really feel strongly that you cannot stop at simply setting a list of goals. You really must establish boundaries to protect your goals to ensure you can see them through. That list of action items above will become my shield of protection to ensure I’m living my intention this year: ease, expand and embrace. What boundaries or defenses can you create to protect your goals this year?

Please leave a comment below, or feel free to send me an email at hello@maggiegentry.com. I’d love to hear what you’re hoping to achieve next year, and the boundaries you’re willing to establish to ensure your goals are realized.