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Self Care

Four Tips for Actualizing New Year’s Intentions

Keri Nola, MA, LMHC

Ok, so we’re a few weeks into a new year and if you’re anything like me, now is usually the time when your passion, motivation and excitement about all those “good” intentions, resolutions and plans start to wane.

Don’t panic. This is normal, and I’ve got some suggestions on how to meet yourself where you are so you can still actualize your new year’s intentions in 2013.

If you are feeling stuck or unmotivated, ask yourself the following questions:

1)      Am I forcing something that no longer resonates with me?
Check Your Intention. First thing is first. We have to be certain the intentions we set still resonate with us. Review your list of intentions and see if you still feel connected to them. Allow yourself to adjust, clarify or change anything that does not resonate with you. Many times we struggle to maintain or actualize our intentions because we try to force ourselves into doing something that no longer aligns with our passion and purpose. Let yourself change your mind. Be flexible. Go with the flow of your intentions. Let your intentions guide you rather than you directing them.

2)      Are my intentions realistic?
Be realistic. It’s pretty typical to get rather over-zealous in our expectations and intentions when we initially establish them. Sometimes we become overwhelmed because we’ve taken a bigger bite than we can realistically chew. If you find you are overwhelmed, it may be because it’s time to re-write your intentions in a way that feels more manageable. Consider writing your intentions in steps you can take one at a time. For example, if your ultimate intention is to be in a fulfilling relationship, you may break it down into a few smaller steps: 1) Review past relationship patterns. 2) Identify what is keeping me repeating relationship patterns. 3) Clarify what fulfills me in a relationship. 4) Go on a date.

3)      Are my intentions within my control?
Release. Sometimes we set an intention that involves another person, and we disempower ourselves. Be sure your intention is about YOU. We do not control other people’s life paths. For example, if you are having difficulty getting along with a co-worker at the office, you wouldn’t intend for that person to get fired or leave because that is not within your realm of control. You could, however, intend for there to be peace and harmony in your relationships at work and allow the universe to bring that about in a divine way, which may mean this person leaving the job, having a turn-around in behavior, or you getting a promotion or transfer. It’s important to remember in human form, our ego often keeps us from seeing ALL the possibilities. The universe can see possibilities we often don’t, so let the universal energy work its’ magic in your life by surrendering some control.

4)      Am I being gentle with myself?
Be Gentle. Most importantly, moving forward with ease requires our kindness and compassion. Often times the uncertainty of doing something new and different in our lives brings about fear and anxiety. When we meet ourselves lovingly, acknowledging the fear, and encouraging small steps in the direction we wish to go, our path is usually smoother. Talk to yourself softly. Be mindful of your inner dialogue. Witness rather than judge yourself. Be curious about any pauses in progress and gently inquire within for information that can support you in moving forward.

Here’s to a year of welcoming more peace, love, and joy than ever before! How good can you stand it?

Keri Nola is author of “A Year on Your Path to Growth: Daily Inspirations to Reconnect with Your Soul,” and founder of Path to Growth LLC, a Central Florida-based integrative healing center that blends traditional and holistic techniques for journeys to peace. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Nola provides psychotherapy and facilitates therapeutic retreats for those seeking to reconnect with their inner wisdom, particularly after trauma or loss. She also offers heart-inspired business consultations for healthcare professionals. For more information visit www.pathtogrowth.com, on Facebook and Twitter @pathtogrowth.

NOTE: Picture of Keri Nola by Monica Alfonso