01.16 living intentionally // intentions are better than resolutions

happy first monday of 2016, friends! how does it feel?

i’m feeling extremely motivated + hopeful. excited + focused. positive + grounded. yeah. i really do feel as good as all of that sounds. so, i am giving lots of thanks for that.

with that, i’d like to say “welcome to one of my new series for the blog for 2016!” i am so excited to be starting something new, and to be focusing on having a theme of the month throughout the entire year. i think that it is going to be a very meaningful way to live, and i hope that it will be an inspirational journey for you too, for us together.

i want to share a bit about my vision for the year first, and then i will dive right into this month’s theme: intentions. or living intentionally.

my year of evolving

there are two reasons why this year-long series was born

1 // as i discovered my word for the year (evolve), i realized that it came from my understanding of life as an ever-constant journey of transformation + growth. and that, as i evolve in 2016, how great would it be to have themes that followed me along on the journey, pushing me deeper + higher and inspiring me all along the way.

2 // i received a ton of positive feedback on my reclaiming december series last month. during that time, i chose the theme in order to help me experience december in a much more mindful, slow, and authentic way. and i blogged about my thoughts on every sunday (and a few other days as well). it was a fun practice for me, and it appears that it was fun for some of you too. and that’s doubly awesome.

so, there you go. voila! i have now planned 12 themes for 2016. themes that move us through different stages + phases of evolving. and i will be sharing thoughts, ideas, and tips through my posts on mondays.

january’s theme: intentions

i had a conversation on new year’s eve with my brother-in-law and my extra brother about resolutions. i can’t really remember why we started talking about it (well, other than that it was new year’s eve. ha!) or who brought it up. i think it was them… anyway. i shared with them my thoughts about resolutions:

i hate them. i don’t do them. i don’t believe in them. they seem to be the perfect things to set me up for failure. i don’t really do goals either, at least in the list-making, specifically-defining kind of way.

i am much more of a big picture girl. i like having a vision. a purpose. a dream.

so, i explained all of this to my boys, and i mentioned that i set my sights on my vision, my “goal”, by letting one specific word inspire me throughout  the entire year. they seemed to like this idea. one of them had read my blog posts about finding your word and had considered doing it himself.

the more we chatted, the more i realized that this vision that i create for my year through one inspiring word is how i set my intention for the year.

in many ways, intentions are like resolutions. but much better, i think. there is a different energy around intentions. they are deeper. more full-bodied. 

living intentionally does not mean living life by ticking off the things on my to-do list. (that spells massive failure for me!).  but, instead, living intentionally means fulfilling the dreams and wishes that arise from my soul. it is not about following rules that i have set for myself or living a life of shoulds + musts. but, instead, it is living life awake, alive, and aware. moving ever forward from my soul. it is about choosing to take charge of our own life and creating it to be the life that we want.

and it is much more present moment-oriented, instead of future-oriented. what i mean is that there is a vision that is out there, in the future. but, the focus of living intentionally is how am i living out that vision right now, right here.

living with intention still requires action, which is why we tend to think that setting goals or resolutions is so good. goals + resolutions hold us accountable. but, they hold us accountable for things to do. living out my intentions hold me accountable for who i am. and, who i am leads directly to what i do. so, instead of starting in the middle and creating a list of things to do, that i know that i am not going to do anyway, i choose to say “screw that”. i’d rather start at the bottom, and transform who i am, so that all that i “need” and want to do naturally spills out of me.

setting these intentions means that we don’t just scribble down on paper what we want to do or change. it involves time + effort, and more importantly, listening. intentions keep us grounded and aligned with who we really are. if we ever wonder why the hell we have this job, or continually do this thing in a certain way, or are not satisfied with our lives, or feel like we are stuck in a rut, or feel like a failure, then i believe it is because we are just doing things. out of habit. out of duty. with no connection to our soul. with no connection to who we really are or who we want to be.

meditation balcony hand

so, throughout january, i invite you to set intentions. and to take the entire month to do it. there is no rushing this process. and it is much more sweeter when we take our time and really engage ourselves.

i’ve got tons of tips and thoughts and even rituals to share with you throughout the month. but, for now, i invite you to take some time and just think about intentions. using your word of the year, i you have one, how do you intend to fulfill it? what were your intentions, when you thought of it?

this week, let’s simply define what living intentionally means to each one of us. and, just so you know, how that looks is different for each of us. it could be that living intentionally means living mindfully, or slowly. it could mean living a life of adventure, or with optimism, or aligned, or the purpose you feel called to. or absolutely anything else. what feels right to you, feels right to you.

it also could be that you have no freaking idea what it means to live intentionally. and that’s totally ok too. just sit with the word. think about what’s important in your life + how you want your year to unfold. what are your dreams + wishes are.

i’ll be back in a few days with some more thoughts about living intentionally. but, right now, i challenge you to set an intention to ponder what it means to live intentionally. that’s it. just wonder and explore. and enjoy the discovery.

xoxo. liz.

earth • spirit • soul

9 thoughts on “01.16 living intentionally // intentions are better than resolutions

  1. I love the idea of setting intentions rather than goals. I have put so much pressure on myself in the past and like you said just set myself up for failure. Setting intentions is something to think about..

  2. I love this post. As always…you write just what I need to hear! I usually start the year with lots of goals and I completely agree with you…it can be a recipe for failure. This year that instinctually felt wrong. Maybe it’s because of the baby’s impending arrival? I instead felt drawn to the bigger picture as you mention. Here’s to a light filled 2016 for all! xx

    1. You are someone who I have watched accomplish goal after goal – I mean, it was the beginning of your entire blog (I started reading when you were on your road trip across the US!). So, I admire you for setting goals and getting that shit done. 🙂 That said, becoming a mother, feeling your little boy growing inside of you, simply must have a different affect on you and how you envision and approach the empty pages of this year. That makes perfect sense. And it is so beautiful. Wishing you continued light and love as well, my dear Kate. xoxo

  3. Oh I am loving this post! Especially nowadays, where intentions are the only thing driving me, it seems. I will have to ponder on this one for a bit…

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this series of posts for January (that I’m just now catching up on- sorry)!

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