It seems like everyone is setting goals for the new year, but I don’t think I will. Don’t get me wrong, goals are great in theory and help people achieve results. However, I’ve never had much luck with goals. I always end up either convincing myself the goal was out of reach to begin with or I talk myself into a simpler version of the goal and end up feeling guilty once I accomplish it.
So, I’m not setting goals for 2017, I’m setting intentions.
Intentions aren’t measurable like goals are, but I’m not looking for calculated growth. I want to be focused on the energy and the feelings around the changes I’m going to make.
In an effort to keep my intentions in focus all year, I decided to create a vision board. I first heard of vision boarding a few years ago when a friend made one for me. She had seen how much I had grown in the previous year and thought it would inspire me to continue making healthy choices. At the time, I taped it to the wall near my closet and it provided me visual guidance as I started each day that year. Since that had worked for me before, I decided that’s what I’ll do for 2017.
The only rule of making a vision board is that there are no rules. It’s important to choose words and pictures that inspire you to strive for the energy and feeling you want to reach. This year, I wanted to make intentions specifically about the relationships I have in my day to day life.
Here’s a little more explanation of each of the four areas on my vision board and how it relates to relationships in my life:
- Meal-time. My intention is to make preparing and consuming food a social experience rather than an isolated one. I will (1) encourage my kids to help me prepare their lunches each night, (2) eat lunch with a coworker at least twice a week, and (3) help my husband make dinner so we can spend the time together talking about our days.
- At home. When I’m at home, my intention is to spend time with whoever else is home. On Saturday mornings, I will get out of bed 10 minutes earlier to share a cup of coffee with my husband before we start the day. After dinner on Tuesdays, I will encourage my family to do something together instead of each retreating to our rooms to spend the night alone.
- Date night. I want fresh start to date night with no expectations, besides that we spend time together. I will erase the obligation to go out to dinner and do “something.” My intention is to schedule date night often and let the details be more spontaneous because the most important detail is that my husband and I are spending time together.
- Technology. I am terrible at responding to text messages and lately I’m finding my email response time is dragging. I’m becoming overwhelmed by the obligation to respond and the expectation to do so in a certain amount of time. My intention with technology is to identify the meaningful conversations and move as many of those offline as possible. Communicating through technology has a time and place in my life, but it shouldn’t be the main vehicle of developing relationships.
I’m going to start each day of 2017 looking at my vision board. I encourage you to make one as well! Share your intentions below in the comments.