Setting Intentions for the New Year

A new year marks a change of calendars and a change of outlook. To match the shift in calendar dates, people often like to give themselves a new challenge. The new year can mark a time to try new things, start new habits, and change your perspective. But we also know the stereotype of starting your New Year resolution, and giving up on it by February. The newness wears off, reality sets in, and old habits resurface. And nothing changes, even if you want it to.


There are a few tips you can implement to develop and keep your resolutions for the new year: develop a mantra, categorize your goals, write them down, and be accountable. These simple steps can help guide you into the new year with purpose and focus.

Your Mantra

Mantras help us clarify our purpose. They are similar to a theme in your life, or a thread that helps to connect the various pieces. It is subtle, yet omnipresent. When you feel lost or being to falter, remind yourself of your mantra to refocus and inspire you to make a good choice or being you back to your initial purpose. Generating a mantra may sound easy, but it is a surprisingly challenging process that requires

Categorize Your Goals

Life is complex, and it is fair to say that not all aspects easily fit into categories. If you are trying to generate goals to achieve in the new year, focus on dividing your goals up into four categories:

  • Personal Growth – Physical, emotional, psychological wellbeing; fulfilment, balance, contentment, consciousness of self.
  • Social Growth – Interpersonal, leadership, group participation; confidence, communication, compassion, collaboration, preservation of self.
  • Growth as a Learner – Academic, experiential, analytical; observation, effective questioning, curiosity, articulation.
  • Professional Growth – Educational, managerial, mentoring; communication, problem solving, supporting learners, anticipation of challenges.

Setting 1-2 goals in each of these categories will help guide you through multiple pathways in your life. Use the mantra to tie each of these categories together.

 Write them down

The power of writing can help drive you to your goals. So write them down. Journal if you feel like it. But make sure that you are able to check back and see your goals. Put them in a place you will see them, every day.

Be Accountable

Writing down your mantra and goals may help give you a reminder and drive, but what about sticking to it? Be sure you hold yourself accountable, or grab a friend to set goals with. You can work together to make sure you stay on track. Plus everything is better with friends, right? Also give yourself checkup points. You can adjust these depending on your own preference, but I like doing checkups every 3 months. In the checkups, remind yourself of your mantra and your goals. Are you achieving them, or on a path to achieve them? How? Are you holding on to habits or beliefs that are getting in your way? How can you refocus to start achieving your goals? Basically, this is a checkup to keep you on track, in the zone, a reassess your situation. Change what you need to, but keep yourself accountable for your actions.

These tips are a great start to setting your intentions and goals to start the new year on a strong, focused path. They also help you adjust to the varying challenges that life throws your way. Start the new year with a clear mindset, and adapt it as you go. You will learn a lot along the way!


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