Top 10 questions to propel you into a New Year with fierceness, courage, and intention

When I was younger, there was one year I went about proudly telling anyone who would listen that I was proudly resolving to NOT have any New Year’s resolutions.

Eye-rolling aside, this was before I had ever tried to make any. And certainly, there were many – usually involving weight loss and saving money.

How hard are they?  Losing weight and saving money have you focused on what you are NOT allowed to do. Not allowed to eat, not allowed to buy, not allowed to do…

And of course, telling yourself you can’t have something makes you want it even more!

So, needless to say, I have discovered that New Year’s Resolutions don’t work for me. However, how about New Year’s Intentions?  This has you focused on what you intend to do versus what you resolve not to do.

New Year's Intentions have you focused on what you want instead of what you don't wantClick To Tweet

It’s a bit of a mind game, but it works.

The key to creating effective intentions is to focus on the experience you want to have vs. the activity you want to do. For example, why might you want to lose 15 pounds? Is it because you’ll feel better in your clothes? Will you feel more fit and healthy? Will you have more energy? Will you feel more confident about yourself?

So, a New Year’s Resolution focused on weight loss could be shifted around to be “Feel energetic and healthy.”

This has you focused on the outcome. Will the food you are eating help you achieve that intention or take away from it?  In this example, you would be choosing healthy living over the fleeting pleasure of a bag of chips.

So, let’s get started.

Something I’ve started doing over the past few years is setting a ONE-WORD intention for my year. I look at what I want for myself and for my business in the coming year, create areas of focus. Then I create an intention that can be summarized up into one word or a short phrase so I can quickly and easily focus on it when the time is right.

Let’s face it, we all have competing priorities. On any given day, our “to-do” list can be too long to mention. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to prioritize that list – every day – with the single word focus of a thoughtful intention?

My word for 2018 was: JOY. I wanted my business and my life choices to overall, be focused on bringing me JOY and spreading JOY to others.

But wait! There’s more.

Reflecting on what went well in the previous year is also a good exercise. It helps us focus on our achievements and understand the choices we made that served us, as well those we made that did not serve us. Knowledge is power, and the more we understand about ourselves, the more we can effectively make choices to move forward in the direction we are seeking.

Reflecting on what went well in the past year is a great exercise for setting New Year intentionsClick To Tweet

I like to think of this process as reviewing the lessons and the gifts of the previous year. It helps us put the big hammer aside so we don’t feel tempted to beat ourselves up by anything we did – or did not – do.

There’s also a few people out there – much wiser than I – who agree with me. 😉 How about Socrates?

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” — Socrates

So, before we dive headfirst into 2019 and bury ourselves in the busyness of something that looks an awful lot like 2018, let’s take a quiet moment to reflect on the highlights of the past year, pat ourselves on the back for the things we are proud of, and notice the things we’d like to move forward towards… not away from.

It’s easy to turn the page on a calendar, but not always so easy to shed the baggage of events we aren’t proud of.

What do you need to leave in 2018 and close the door on? And what will serve you and propel you forward into the 2019 that you want to create?

Here are my top 10 questions to propel you into a New Year with fierceness, courage, and intention:

  • What are you most proud of achieving in 2018?
  • What are your three fondest memories of 2018?
  • What was your biggest frustration of 2018?
  • What do you wish you had accomplished that you did not?
  • What are you most looking forward to for 2019?
  • What are the three areas you want to focus on in 2019?
  • Who do you need to be to be the best you can be in these areas?
  • Do you see a common thread to your three areas of focus? If so, what is it?
  • If you had to choose one area to focus on for 2019 what would it be?
  • Write it down in a short phrase. And there you have your primary intention for 2019.

I encourage you to enjoy this process and enter the New Year armed with intention and a positive outlook.

What’s my forecast for 2019? I intend to be meaningfully connected to my family, friends, and clients.  How about you? What do you intend to create in 2019? I’d love to hear.

Please send me a direct message or post it in the comments below. And if you need a little help clearing away the muddle to see clearly about what you want to create for yourself or for your business, please reach out. I’d love to help you see more clearly so you can create the life, the career or the business you crave.

Here’s to an INTENTIONAL New Year.

Susan Elford

Personal Balance Equation Workbook ABOUT SUSAN ELFORD

Susan Elford is a PR Strategist & Leadership Coach who especially loves to work with people who want it all: a fulfilling career or business while living a balanced life. Susan helps her clients get real about their strengths and celebrate and promote them so they get more of what they want: success at work; success in business & success in life.

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