To some who know me well, it may come as a shock that I am not setting any goals or resolutions for 2023. Yes, pick up your jaw from the floor. 

Over the past several years I’ve come to realize that my long, ambitious list of goals overwhelms me and makes me feel like a failure when I don’t achieve them—which is just the OPPOSITE of what I’m trying to accomplish. Bye bye, negative self-talk. 

So, instead, I’m trying something that I’ve dabbled with in the past—setting an intention for the year. If you’re in the same space as me and are looking for something more manageable—more of that guiding light to help you throughout the year—then join me on this journey.

What I love is that intentions offer more flexibility than rigid goals and resolutions. They connect to who you are and what’s important to you—your core values. They honor the ups and downs, ebb and flow of life, and give you room to be more nimble and to explore. 

Here are a few steps I’m hoping you’ll find helpful if you want to join me in setting your intention for 2023:

Step 1: Define or re-define your core values (mine have changed over time, so feel free to give yours a refresh, too!)

Core values can feel BIG. Like really massive. How do you sit down and rattle these off when there are so many things that are important to you? 

  1. One thing I do is to ask myself, “What brings me joy? What brings me meaning? What does it look like and feel like when things are going really well?” From there it starts to flow, and I capture it all on a whiteboard or journal. 

And if you’re not the list making type, then talk to a close friend. Friends know you—what irks you—what lights you up inside. Often they can be a mirror of your own values when they reflect back to you what they’ve heard you say during those late night talks.

  1. Once you’ve created that initial list, organize it into themes. Are there some things that just go together like PB&J? For example, if you mention exercise, getting more sleep, and feeling energetic as things that bring you joy, then a core value might be Living a life of optimal physical health. 
  2. Once you have your initial 3-7 core values (themes), get specific about your actions and behaviors. What moves you closer to your values and what moves you away from them? 

For me, one of my core values is Connectivity. When I work too much (which happens all too often!), I move away from my core value. When I make quality time for deep conversations and one-on-one time with myself and with others I care about, I am honoring my value of connectedness.

Step 2: Focus your energy. 

For those of us who struggle with FOMO (fear of missing out) or thinking you are a superhero with endless hours in the day (yes, I’m guilty of both), it can be excruciatingly tough to pick just one or two things you will concentrate on in the year ahead. 

Listen to your inner monologue or your instincts. Is there something you dwell on often or dream of just as much? Focus on those one or two areas of your life that you want to look and feel different by the end of 2023.  

Step 3. Set your intention with a short, powerful phrase or word.

In the past when I set goals or resolutions, they often made me cringe and break out in hives. “I will lose 20 pounds by summer.” “I will finish cleaning the garage.” “I will [insert any obligatory, painful “to do” item here.]” These never worked. They brought a sense of dread and overwhelm. They also led to that huge, uninspiring, never-ending “to do” list I mentioned earlier. 

Set an intention that energizes you and gives you something to look forward to. Remember, your intention is those one or two areas of your life you want to focus your energy in 2023. 

Words matter, so make your intention short, active, and inspirational—something that evokes positive emotion and compels you to action.

Step 4. Make a visual reminder.

You’ve done the work. Now it’s time to keep it top of mind. Whether you put this on a vision board, write it on a sticky note that lives on your bathroom mirror, or set an alarm on your phone to remind you a few times a day, make sure it’s visual.

And for those, who are wondering, my intention for 2023 is to be my own best friend because I am worth it.

Here’s to an intention that brings you closer to the life of your dreams!

P.S. I’d love to hear the intention you create and hold you accountable to reaching it. Looking for a partner in your intention setting journey, shoot me an email, message me on social, or give me a ring, and we’ll discuss how to make this YOUR year.