[5 minute read]
I know that some might be long over 2017 and ready to kiss it goodbye, as it was a challenging year across our country and globe, and for many people – personally difficult. Yet, it is actually our challenges that help us grow the most – and I feel that way about 2017. The hardships that we are facing as a nation are what are enacting change and movement. They are what have opened many people’s eyes to the things that need attention and have sparked passion in people to make changes for the better within their homes and communities.
We need the challenges to grow – both as individuals and as a society. So, how can we embrace those things from last year instead of wishing them gone, and use them to our benefit as this new year starts?
I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions, as I believe they are all about fixing something within our lives, instead of allowing space for growth and failure in our everyday existence. Yet, I do think that the start of something new is an opportunity to be still for a bit and set some intentions for how you want to BE in your everyday life. So, last year I decided that I would create three BE Intentions for 2017.
I was watching as everyone was posting his or her “2016 Best Nine” images on Instagram, and, out of curiosity, decided to give it a go. As I looked at the nine images looking back at me, it was pretty remarkable the words that bubbled to the top. Having the visual made me realize what was most important to me as I proceeded into 2017. They were the things that I felt strongly about or that I wanted to BE more of or that I felt needed more attention in my life. It was a way to focus my year by bringing everything back to these three BE intentions – which were: BE a Feminist, BE Collaborative, and BE Adventurous.
I used these three BE Intentions to help me make decisions, to re-center me when I was feeling overwhelmed or lost, and as guiding posts in how I wanted to focus my energies for the year. It is what reminded me to support and champion other women in their creative endeavors, it was what made me make the leap to make The Being of a Nation road trip a reality, and it is what encouraged me to find ways to get out of my own head and be in more collaborative environments.
So, this year I did the same with the “2017 Best Nine” (image above) and have chosen the following three BE Intentions for 2018:
BE Heart-Centered ♥
The “2017 Best Nine” image not only helped me realize how I lived out my 2017 BE Intentions, but also helped me realize where I wanted to grow in the year ahead. It is a way to take a social media fad and turn it into an IRL action.
I share this all with you, in my hope that it might be helpful to you as you launch into your new year. I strongly encourage you to set your own BE Intentions for 2018, and use them as your guiding post as you navigate all that is to come in the months ahead – good and bad.
Setting your BE Intentions:
- Find a visual(s) that encapsulates your 2017.
- If you are on Instagram, you can create your own “2017 Best Nine” by going to the website and entering in your Instagram handle. [*Please Note: You are required to have a public Instagram account to create a “Best Nine.”]
- Go through any pictures that you have posted on Facebook in 2017 – you can also request a “Year in Review” video from Facebook or use another program like THIS ONE to create a Facebook visual aid.
- If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can go to the “Memories” button on the bottom of your Photos tab and use it to curate a group of images from 2017.
- If you are lucky enough to be someone who prints out and puts photos in a physical album, take some time looking at all the images you took in 2017. (Also, congratulations on being so organized!)
- Take some time to look over the image(s) and see what comes up for you. It might be instant, or you might need to take some time and reflect on it.
- What are you most proud of from the past year?
- What would you like to foster in your new year that you were not able to last year?
- What makes you smile most when you look at the image(s)?
- What gets you excited in thinking about the possibility for the new year?
- Why do you think these are the most liked images from your past year?
- What are your BE principles that you want to help guide you in your actions in 2018?
- Based on what came up for you when looking at the image(s) choose 1-3 BE words that you would like to use as your BE intentions for the year.
- Make a list of all the words that arise when looking at the image(s).
- See where there is overlap and if there might be a way to combine certain words together (for example: I had confident, risk taker, gutsy, and brave on my list and decided that BRAVE was the word that encapsulated all of these).
- When looking at your list, see if your eyes and heart keep going back to certain ones.
- Choose words that you feel embody how you want to guide your decisions and days in 2018.
- Write your 1-3 BE Intentions in a place where you can see them.
- I used my BE ______________ stickers and placed them on the front of my planner. That way I see them as a daily reminder. If you would like a 8X11 print out of the BE sign, you can download and print one from HERE.
- The key is to put them somewhere that you will see them everyday.
- Feel free to get as creative as you would like – have fun, make them pretty, use markers or paints. Whatever makes it FUN for you!
- Share with others!
- Let others know what your 2018 BE Intentions are so that they can hold you accountable.
- Encourage friends and family to set their own BE Intentions for their year.
- Let me know what you have chosen by posting on social media with the hashtag #2018BEIntentions or email me with the ones you have chosen if you are not on social media!
Wishing you all the best in creating and living into your 2018 BE Intentions!
You got this.