Jessica is Setting Intentions Instead of New Years Resolutions for 2019
Remember last week when Jennie talked about the idea of setting positive intentions for how you want to move forward in 2019 instead of good ol’ New Years Resolutions that rarely last you past January?
Well…she got me thinking. Anytime I look to the future, I do so with my values in mind. My core values of being a good wife and mom, improving the lives of others, attending to my own self care and several others guide all decisions in my life. Therefore, any intentions or goals I set for the new year need to be consistent with those values. That brings me to my intention for 2019.
My Value of Self Care in 2019
Self care isn’t just something I write a million blog posts about. It’s not just something I think about once a year when I help with the Self Care Station at the Missouri Institute of Mental Health’s Spring conference. As most of my client’s hopefully know by now, self care is a value that I live day in and day out.
I often neglect this value and over extend myself. I can easily get so wrapped up in being the best possible wife & mother or in going above and beyond to help my clients that I forget to take care of my own needs. But I really do try. It’s not unusual for me to respond to a client’s e-mail a little later than usual explaining that I was taking a weekend off from checking e-mail to take care of myself. And between sessions you might just catch me sitting in our meditation room using the MUSE.
But that’s the thing about Values…they’re a compass pointing us in the right direction, not a destination. I can never “accomplish” or “be done with” self care. There is always room for improvement. And as my stress level isn’t going away anytime soon (seriously-I now have a 5.5 year old and a 1.5 year old in addition to running a counseling clinic!), I know I need to continue to focus on Self Care in 2019.
So…I’m moving forward toward 2019 with the intention of focusing on Self Care.
The Miracle Morning: My New Self Care Routine?
I was listening to a podcast while my kids took a nap on Christmas Day and it was an interview with Hal Elrod. I’d never heard of him before, but as he spoke about the Miracle Morning it really struck with me. He mentioned that he’s not a morning person and boy can I ever relate! However, I am a self care person. And I value productivity. It sounded to me like the Morning Miracle was all about taking care of yourself first thing in the morning so you can be more productive all day.
My understanding so far is pretty limited (I’ve listened to two podcasts, watched a YouTube video & read a couple of blog posts), but here’s what I understand so far….the idea is that every morning you wake up a little bit earlier than you usually would to do these six things:
There is nothing to fear, because you cannot fail—only learn, grow, and become better than you’ve ever been before.
― Hal Elrod
This one really means mindfulness, but at the urging of his wife he used a thesaurus to find a synonym that started with S so he could get this handy acronym. Basically, you intentionally start the day by being silence and focusing mindfully on something purposeful. For me, this will mean using my MUSE for meditation. One person I read about used just a silent shower to focus on the experience of being present in the shower. Other people may choose to pray during this time.
I first learned about Affirmations as a teenager when I read “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself.” I found that book really helpful at the time, but I like Hal’s version even better. He encourages you to write your intentions based not only on what you want to achieve, but why and what you’re committing to do in order to achieve that goal. So it’s not just, “I’m happy.” Instead, it’s, “I’m committed to exercising at least three times per week to give me a sense of accomplishment and release endorphins to help me feel less depressed and more happy.” The example is all mine so it is of course assuming that I understand correctly. You can look at affirmations Hal suggests here.
I love this one. As a little girl I was a figure skater. Before a big competition, at my coach’s urging, I would close my eyes and visualize the routine going well in my head. In fact, I usually had been doing that for weeks. When I got out on the ice to perform I was nervous but each move had been so practiced, both in person and in my mind, that I didn’t have to put much thought into the actual performance. That’s the power of visualization and many athletes already know this. On a daily basis, this means just visualizing what you are going to do that day and how it will go. This morning I visualized sitting at my computer and writing out blog posts for the month.
I talk to my clients all the time about exercise, because I believe it’s incredibly powerful for mental health! It releases feel good chemicals in the brain and gives you a sense of accomplishment. I’ve been saying for about 10 years that exercise is the very best thing for my own mental health and critical to my self care plan. In fact, if I’m grumpy the best thing I can do is go workout. That said…I immediately recoiled a bit at the idea of exercising first thing in the morning. I’ve always avoided this primarily because I don’t want to wake up early just to go work out. Hal recommends at a minimum doing 60 jumping jacks to help wake you up. This morning I did a few sits ups and called it a day, but hey, at least I did something…. For the new year, I’ve changed around the babysitter’s schedule and am hoping to go to the gym three days a week first thing in the morning. The rest of the week? I think I’ll try the 60 jumping jacks thing.
This one I love on the surface, because I love to read. The problem is that I can get LOST in a book. Hal is talking about self improvement type reading, but still…I could read all day. Instead, I’m going to start by setting a timer each morning so I don’t get too caught up in the book. His point is that if you’re reading at least a little bit each day eventually you’ll get through the books. I often put off reading books that were recommended to me because I “don’t have time,” but if I do it in 10 minute increments perhaps I do.
Again, he used a thesaurus for this one. What he really meant here is writing. I’ve decided to combine it with Gratitude. You’ve heard me talk about gratitude before. There is such power in thinking of things you are grateful for! I’ve always kept a gratitude journal at night but I guess it makes sense to instead keep it in the morning. This way I start the day with all of that happiness that comes from thinking of things you are grateful for.
So, there’s a one minute version of the morning miracle or the 60 minute version. I’m going to go for the 60 minute version. But it’s an intention, and it’s really part of a bigger intention which is to point my compass toward better self care. If a month from now I decide that waking up an hour early each morning isn’t paying off, I’ll readjust. It won’t be a “failure” like in previous years where I set a New Years Resolution that I didn’t stick to. It will just be looking for a different way to keep moving forward toward my value of self care. Perhaps I’ll shorten the routine, try a Whole 30 to focus instead on eating or maybe revamp my bedtime routine. That’s the thing with the way I’m interpreting a New Year’s intention…it’s not something I can “fail.” It’s just publicly stating which value I’m going to focus on this year and one way I want to try to act more consistently with that value.
Are you ready to set your Intentions for 2019?
If you would like to explore your own values and goals so you can start 2019 off on the right foot, please consider joining us for a one day workshop later this month! You’ll go home feeling refreshed, inspired and ready to intentionally move forward in a way consistent with your values. You’ll have a visual reminder or what’s important to you for 2019 in the form of a vision wheel. I know what your thinking and no worries, supplies are provided and artistic skills are NOT required! So please, text Jennie at 573-291-7315 and join us for this inspiring event!