New Year Intention Setting & Meditation

Happy New Year! In this post I share my experience with New Year Resolutions and Intentions. PLUS a meditation and journal exercise to help you align with your intentions for the New Year. Enjoy!

First, I never liked New Year Resolutions. I found that I would come up with some kind of goal, like losing weight or exercising 3 times a week, and it would never hold out. I noticed a lot of people did this too, setting resolutions to quit smoking, go to the gym more, cut down on the work hours, etc. They might go a week or two, or a month or so, but as soon as they fail once, they throw it out and go right back into old habits.

I decided years ago (before I even knew about “intentions”) that instead of resolutions I was going to look to the new year as an opportunity to reflect on the past and grow in the future.

So what’s the difference between a resolution and intention? According to the online dictionary a resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something. An intention is an aim or plan. Basically a resolution sets limits and is very specific with boundaries, and an intention aligns with passions and is flexible.

Here are a few ways you might alter your resolution so it isn’t so rigid, into an intention that is more directed towards your overall purpose in life:

Example: Weight & Health

  • Resolution: This year I am going to lose 15 pounds.

  • Intention: This year I’m choosing health and happiness.

    • Then you can set goals to move you towards your intention, like losing a few pounds, cooking more at home, exercising and so on. You create the intention to be happier, and then you make and change those goals as you move through the year.

Example: Patience & Compassion

  • Resolution: This year I won’t let my road rage take control.

  • Intention: This year I’m going to cultivate compassion and patience.

    • Instead of placing all your focus on road rage, choose to cultivate patience and compassion through your life so it carries into all areas.

This leads me to a Meditation and Journal Practice you can use to align with your intentions for the New Year.

Click above for your guided meditation, or follow the written prompts below - you might journal between each section, or at the end.

Start by finding a quiet space where you can take a few moments for yourself. Have a journal, piece of paper or something to record your thoughts. Find a comfortable seat, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Allow the mind to focus on your breath, letting go of any distractions, and becoming present with yourself. Take a few moments or minutes and sit with yourself.

Start to bring your awareness to your passions and desires. What brings you joy?

Now envision your life one year from now. What does that look like? Where do you live? What are you doing? How do you feel?

Now look back to the past, reflect on challenges and obstacle you’ve encountered. What have you learned from them? How can you use them to grow today, and move towards your future self?

Now, reflect on what you want this year. What are some words that come up that describe your intentions? Compassion. Love. Happiness. Growth. What is your intention for the new year? What is your purpose, your passion?

Now write down any thoughts, ideas and words that come up for you. Write about your intention and how you can live your truth. Write down any changes you can make in your day to move you towards your intention.

You can practice this meditation and intention setting practice anytime, it is not limited to the New Year. Also, sharing with a friend is a great way to support and hold each other accountable.

I wish you happiness and love in the New Year!



Danielle McCourt