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Episode 65 - New Year's Intentions


So, we made it! 2021 is behind us, and here we are in the new year with new possibilities and opportunities to create something new in 2022. And that something new could be you!

In last week’s episode, I talked about coming into this new year with a new view of yourself. An opportunity to love and appreciate all that you are - all that God made you to be. To recognize that you are fearfully and wonderfully, uniquely, made in the image of God. That’s reason enough to celebrate for sure. It’s not being proud. It’s just giving the Creator the credit that’s due Him. I truly hope that you’ve given that some thought and have decided to love and value yourself just the way our heavenly Father would want you to. I hope that this sets you on a course to be completely settled within yourself - within your being - so that you quit questioning your value and worth in this life; that you see in you what God sees in you, so that you can go and do all the things God has uniquely designed you to do. This New Year is an opportunity filled with new, beautiful, hope-filled possibilities just waiting for you.

Even when and if this past year has been full of pain, there is always the chance to choose something new. I talked about the first time I moved into a new year after Brian died in Episode 12 called Something New. It was difficult to consider “moving on” into the new year without him. I remember saying over and over, “I just want my husband back. I want my life back.”

So, maybe you’re there, too. Maybe if you could be honest, you’d also say you just want your old life back. The life where things weren’t full of pain, the life where your loved one was still here, the life where there was certainty and stability. But the reality is that we can never have our old lives back. It won’t ever be the same. Not like it once was. Something might get restored, like perhaps a job or relationships. But, for sure change has occurred, and so things will not look the same. So, what do we do? We’re moving forward, whether we like it or not. But is it going to be okay? Am I going to be okay? Am I going to be happy again? Is there hope up ahead?

If these are your questions, too, friend, I want to encourage you to go back and listen to those three “Something New” episodes - numbers 12, 13, and 14. They were all about getting a new perspective on creating mental and emotional space for moving forward towards something new, even in a place of brokenness, all because there is a God who cares deeply to redeem your pain and reclaim your freedom to live - truly live - in joy and peace in spite of heartbreak and loss, and maybe even because of it.

Okay, so now that we’re set up with a new view of ourselves - we know that we’re created special, for something special - it would be helpful if we turned our attention to that for the new year. But let me suggest something that might sound contradictory. Don’t make a New Year’s resolution list. Don’t even make one New Year’s resolution. Don’t’ do it. Why? Well, New Year’s resolutions have a history of coming from a place of shame or regret or disappointment in ourselves. It’s based on what you DIDN’T accomplish in the past years. And then it just becomes a list of things you SHOULD do?

I should eat healthier and lose weight. I should read through the bible this year. I should be stronger, not as noticeably grieving. I should be better with money. I should be happier and smile more. I should be nicer to my spouse and kids. I should have control over my anxiety. I should be more organized. I should be okay with my single status. I should put myself out there so that I’m not single anymore. Ugh. Have you already made that list this week? You put so much pressure on yourself based on the negative emotions as you reflect on last year, and possibly all that you didn’taccomplish last year. So much pressure. And then so much more shame and self-hatred when we don’t live up to our “shoulds”. So, your motivation to do something is coming from a negative place. And guarantee, nothing will be sustained -weight loss, exercise, quitting drinking or smoking - nothing will be sustained if your motivation is coming from a negative place. And even though some of these “shoulds” look like they’re helpful or even good, if they’re coming from a negative motivation, they will be a crushing weight of expectations that will prove to be our downfall and the reason we’re unable to keep our resolutions.

But, if we have already recognized and accepted that we are fearfully, wonderfully, uniquely created for a purpose, then the things that we aspire to will come from a place of love and appreciation and gratitude. Even healthy eating and exercise and weight loss will be sustainable throughout the year, because it’s coming from a place of self-love not self-hate. “I hate my body. I shouldn’t look like this. I should be thinner.” Instead, it’ll be: “I love this body God created and placed my spirit and soul into. This vessel. And I will love it and keep it healthy so that I have more opportunities in it to do what God has designed for me to do.”

Another example of the negative motivation: “I should be acting more Christ-like.” Sounds righteous, right? It’s still coming from a negative place: “I’m not Christ-like. I don’t act nice, and patient, and kind. I’m not gentle and I lose all self-control sometimes.” It’s coming from a place of condemnation. Instead, coming from a place of love, we can say, “I am growing more and more Christ-like every day. I falter, miss the mark, yes. But by grace I am able to get back up and try again. I act more Christ-like because of my love for Christ and His love for me.” Can you see the difference in motivation? One is from a place of pain, and the other is from a place of love.

Let me tell you about why you won’t ever be able to accomplish or attain the things you want when they’re motivated by pain. Your human brain will sabotage all efforts every time because of its motivational triad. Your brain is motivated to do something or not do something based on these three things. 1) Seeking pleasure 2) avoiding pain and 3) reducing effort or energy. If your resolution list is coming from a place of pain, your brain will make every effort to avoid the pain. It’ll quit. Give up. Sound familiar?

So, let’s not make new year’s resolutions. If you’ve already started that list, it’s okay. You can just tear it up. Yep, you sure can. There are no rules. You can do whatever you want to do. So instead, let’s set some intentions. And let’s set them from a place of love and appreciation for how God made you to be. What would you like to see happen this year that’s rooted in or coming from a place of love - love for yourself, love for God, love for others? And how could you map out your journey towards that intention that celebrated your value and worthiness as God’s image-bearer? How could you love yourself more as you’re moving towards that intention?

Friend, remember, not appreciating the glory of God’s created being is an afront to the Creator. He loves you - tremendously - and He’d love to see you love you, too. It’ll make all the difference in the world. In your world. Maybe that could be your first intention: To love yourself well, and to see yourself the way your Creator sees you. To appreciate the way He made you and for what purpose. That is coming from a place of love, not pain. And you will always be able to meet those intentions. Every time. Guaranteed.

Friend, are you ready for a new you in 2022? Ready for version 2.0. Let me help you! I’d love to be your Life Coach and Mentor.

I have two ways we can work together - through private one-on-one coaching or my new 8-week group coaching program. If you’re interested in finding out more about either of these,

I’ve put a link in the show notes to my calendar to book at quick 30-minute chat to see if we’re a good fit to work together. Or you can visit my website and send me an email there.

Have a wonderful week, friends! See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life podcast.

Group Coaching Program:

Calendar Link for Life Coaching Consult Call:

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