How to Review Your Year & Set New IntentionsThe last week of the year is a good time to prepare for the following year. We can do this by evaluating the actions of the past year and set new intentions for the following year (even the first week of the year is good for this!).

First it’s important to confirm your purpose and vision for your life. Discovering your purpose is an intensive process (and frankly would need its own blog post). Even uncovering it at one point in life, doesn’t prevent it from changing based on how you develop as a person.

At the beginning of 2016, my vision for myself was very different than the one I have today (I underwent a DRAMATIC transformation!). That said, my purpose is:

To spread a vision of unconditional love.

How this happens varies depending on what role I’m filling or area of life I’m examining, but it drives everything I do. It is my central motivation. Everything I do in all aspects of life needs to reflect this. Knowing my purpose and vision helps me direct the intentions in each area of life. This is why it is so important to having a central purpose in order to know if you’re living intentionally.

So how does a person know they’re on track throughout life? The best way is to look at the different areas of life and consider their present state. To do this, it’s important to review the following areas (there are different ones you could add, but these are the ones I consider and will use in my personal example):

  1. Mind – this has to do with education and development and may include perspectives, awareness, or skill acquisition.

  2. Heart – this is the area of emotions, and also relationships. For this I include friends, partners,family, and community.

  3. Body – this is physical fitness, food, sleep and all the things that maintain your physical being.

  4. Spirit – this has to do with all areas of the spirit, divine, ritual, religion, faith etc.

  5. Work – includes things of a professional nature.

  6. Home – this is the immediate environment and includes clothes, transport, furniture, and of course, the actual place where a person lives!

To review each area, all you need to do is check your purpose against what you did in the last 12 months. Once you list out the items accomplished in each area, you can check to see what works (keep doing this as a new intention for the next year or move onto something different) or set new intentions to better reflect your purpose.

I think it’s easier to understand the process by example. As such I will break down each area, discuss the things I did in the past year, and then set new intentions for the next 12 months. Through that, I think you’ll see how my purpose has been reflected in these different areas (and even how it shifted – which is okay if it happened for you too!).

My hope is that by having the following example, you’ll be able to understand how to apply unconditional love to every area of your life.

Note: The following example is from 2016 in preparation for 2017. I was able to complete the majority of my intentions that I set out to achieve for the 2017 year. As I move into 2018, I’m using the information I gained from this process to adjust and reassess how I want to tackle the next 12 months. This is complicated by the fact that I’m pregnant (due in early July) which *could* throw a monkey wrench in my productivity.

Live intentionally in mind, heart, body, spirit, work, and home!

Mind

To review “mind” I listed a number of skills and things I adjusted in relation to this area.This past year was a big year for me in a variety of ways, in part because I learned a lot of new skills:

  • Spent time every day reading articles on a variety of subjects

  • Learned a great deal about cooking and DIY products

  • Learned a great deal about business

  • Learned a great deal about spirituality

  • Learned a great deal about culture

  • Read several books (both fiction and non-fiction)

  • Began writing poetry again

  • Took countless classes

  • Consciously shifted mindset

  • Began a super minimalist bullet journal

  • Cleared out money blocks

  • Rewrote worthiness story

  • Forgave myself

  • Accepted myself

  • Created morning routine with affirmations

For the next year I set the intention for the following:

  • Learn how to grow and maintain plants

  • Devise and implement better bullet journal

  • Maintain my morning routine

  • Continue my daily learning practice of reading articles and books, as well as attending classes.

  • Continue developing and maintaining a mindset that best serves me.

  • Learn about traditional methods of living

  • Visit the library more often

ntentions from my first bullet journal

Heart

In the area of heart, I’m considering changes in emotional states, social interactions, relationships, marriage, and parenting. I made a lot of changes in the past year in the area of the heart:

  • Made family friends

  • Made personal friends (no small feat as a work-at-home parent!)

  • Scheduled regular date nights with my spouse (and followed-through)

  • Changed the way I talk to other people (see what I mean here)

  • Made conscious effort to be patient and appreciative of people in my life

  • Made conscious effort to refocus and redirect conversation to being more compassionate no matter where it takes place (real life and social media)

  • Set boundaries to content on social media, news, and entertainment (the kinds of content I consume and how often)

This year I intend to:

  • Be a source of light and love to those in my sphere of influence

  • Make new and maintain old friendships

  • Continue regular date nights

  • Participate in the community more through either volunteering or attending different meet-ups and events

  • Continue to express gratitude for goodness of people in my life

  • Continue to speak with love to others

  • Foster and maintain patience with myself and others

Body

The body is a little easier to evaluate because it’s very concrete. This includes fitness, sleep, hydration, and food. I’m very proud of the changes I made in how I treat my physical body:

  • Began going to bed earlier

  • Spend time dancing several evenings a week

  • 10,000 step daily intention

  • Began a morning routine (helps with sleep)

  • Added sun salutations to morning routine

  • Gave up coffee

  • Began drinking hot lemon water

  • Began drinking hot tea & tisanes during day

  • Began drinking chamomile at bedtime

  • Began taking cod liver oil supplement

  • Started eating more vegan and vegetarian meals

  • Added arm and leg workouts several times weekly

  • Healed wrist and hand issues

  • Set boundaries and listen to my body’s needs

  • Gave up most of my commercially produced hygiene products

  • Replaced them with DIY, holistic, natural products and routines.

This year I intend to:

  • Learn how to bake bread from scratch

  • Make my own yogurt

  • Try Kombucha (because, why not?)

  • Be more intentional about meal-planning

  • Be more intentional about eating foods that enhance my journey

  • Continue with yoga sun salutations in my morning routine

  • Learn about the benefits of different herbal treatments (possibly make my own tisanes)

  • Continue to listen to my body’s needs

  • Continue and enhance my exercise regimen (including 10k steps, plus arm and leg workouts)

Spirit

Sun and wispy cloudsThe area of spirit is a little difficult for some to evaluate because many people do not spend time on this area (or don’t recognize things as spiritual even if they are!). If you’ve been following my blog, you know I underwent a dramatic spiritual change this year. This is what happened over the course of the year:

  • Awakened

  • Embraced my spiritual abilities

  • Meditate every day (from short breath meditations to hour or longer guided)

  • Tried a variety of different kinds of meditative practices

  • Engaged in deep forgiveness, gratitude, and acceptance practices

  • Discovered deeper abilities of clairvoyance and spirit communication

  • Came to understand the Greater Path and its relationship to religion

  • Came to understand the continued importance of religion’s social role

  • Uncovered and developed my healing abilities

  • Uncovered my mediumship abilities

  • Developed a grounding and clearing practice

  • Uncovered my purpose

  • Took action based on intuitive urgings and communications

This next year I intend to:

  • Continue developing and fine-tuning my spiritual abilities

  • Meditate daily

  • Connect with colleagues and mentors in this area

  • Read and study information on abilities and matters of Spirit

  • Continue to participate in a religious community

Work

This is another area that is a little easier to evaluate, but can be a minefield to living intentionally if you’re not working for yourself. Be gentle with yourself and celebrate the successes you had while being open to the possibilities of what you can do no matter your situation for the year to come.

Wow – covering these things makes me realize just how much I’ve done this past year! It’s crazy! And my work is no exception:

  • Published Six Degrees of Separation World Religion Curriculum

  • Published 42 Days Through Faith interfaith devotional

  • Got a new laptop.

  • Got a new smart phone.

  • Submitted work to a variety of contests and journals

  • Went to two writing conferences

  • Guest posted on variety of websites

  • Guested on several podcasts

  • Began mastermind group

  • Created and published first online class

  • Began offering coaching

  • Began offering intuitive services

  • Researched and implemented social media strategies across platforms

  • Created several Facebook Groups (and participated in many others)

  • Took many classes and webinars on various business concepts

  • Retooled and relaunched my newsletter as The Compassion Letter

  • Tried a variety of list-building tactics with varying degrees of success

  • Had several posts go viral

  • Helped several clients facilitate breakthroughs personally and professionally

  • Began the Intentional Writer Interview Series

  • Gave several talks on life direction and resilience.

This year I intend to:

  • Update my hosting situation to better serve me

  • Plan my posting schedule well in advance

  • Consider developing and or retooling products and services to best address the needs of my readers and fans

  • Continue my successful social media strategies

  • Create a clear client flow process

  • Create financial processes

  • Declutter computer files

  • Seek more podcast interviews

  • Seek more speaking engagements

Live intentionally in mind, heart, body, spirit, work, and home. #intentionalliving #loa #newyear Click To Tweet

Home

Again, a very concrete area that is easily assessed against one’s purpose. This area of my life probably had the least visible movement this year:

  • Decluttered my papers.

  • Decluttered my clothing

  • Decluttered baby clothes

  • Threw out knick-knacks

  • Cleaned out car

  • Made much needed improvements to car

  • Only brought new items that spark joy (reflecting my purpose, principles, and aesthetic as much as possible!)

  • Visualized ideal home situation

drinking tea, making plans

This coming year I intend to:

  • Continue with decluttering (another pass maybe?)

  • Explore new life chapters in home

  • Get closer to zero waste

  • Begin a garden

  • Let go of furniture that no longer serves

  • Declutter boxed items

  • Declutter books

  • Declutter artwork

  • Declutter art supplies

  • Learn about chickens

  • Learn about rabbits

  • Learn about rain-catchment

From Here

As you can see from my example, it is relatively simple to use your purpose to evaluate the past 12 months and set new intentions for the coming year. Just keep in mind what worked, what didn’t, and the direction you’d like to go.

There were plenty of things going on in my life this year. My direction changed and I overhauled nearly every aspect of my experience. This next year looks to be just as full (if not more so!) in that I will continue this process through further development, exploration, and fine-tuning.

I urge you to go through your past year and assess what you did, as well as what you would like to do for the coming year. It was an eye-opener for me as to how far I’ve come in the past 12 months and I’m really excited about the next 12!

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Alexis Donkin

Alexis Donkin is a life coach and intuitive helping creatives build lives based in unconditional love. She is the creator of The Compassion Letter weekly newsletter, and the online course, The Heart Unboxed: How to Love the Unloveable, as well as host of the Intentional Writer Interview Series and author of over 17 books.

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How to Review Your Year & Set New Intentions
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