The New Year is a great time to reevaluate our journey thus far and make any necessary course corrections that will bring us closer to the life we desire to live. What makes the New Year an auspicious date, is that our 12-month calendar is an internationally accepted cycle that we use to help us coordinate our lives. The beginning of a new year marks the end of one cycle and the beginning of another in our collective conscious. The sheer number of people focusing on the hope that the new year will provide an opportunity for change and growth actually creates the possibility for change and growth. We can access that collective power by setting our intentions.
What Makes an Intention Different from Goals or Resolutions?
An intention is different than a goal or a resolution. A goal is a tool for accomplishing a task or desire within a certain time frame and they are necessary for getting things done. A resolution is you resolving to attain perfection in a particular area, such as “I resolve to give up drinking” or “I resolve to go to the gym 3 times a week”. The problem with this is that you make these resolutions while you are inspired by the New Year and high on hope. Unfortunately, radical change often results in frustration and causes many to give up self-improvement completely. An intention, however, is a desire to live a better life, one day at a time, and usually has to do more with your relationships with your higher self, your higher power, your family and friends, and your environment. Since this is a Tarot blog, I will use Tarot to show you a fun and easy way to set your intentions for the year.
Step One: What Kind of Intentions do You Want to Bring in the New Year?
The first step is to decide what sort of intentions you wish to bring in the New Year. Ask yourself; Who do you want to be? What do you wish to contribute? How to you want to show up in other people’s lives?
10 Examples of Intentions;
1. I intend to love unconditionally.
2. I intend to manifest happiness.
3. I intend to stop taking things personally.
4. I intend to forgive others and myself.
5. I intend to make at least one person smile each day.
6. I intend to be open to success and abundance.
7. I intend to see the goodness around me.
8. I intend to be kind, especially when under pressure.
9. I intend to be respectful of Mother Earth and her limited resources.
10. I intend to show love and compassion to all sentient beings.
Take a moment now and write down your top three intentions for the New Year. Although this may be difficult to narrow down, you want to keep it to a manageable number so they can stay clear in your mind at all times.
Incorporating Tarot into Your Intentions
Let’s say, for an example, that you chose the first three intentions. While shuffling your Tarot deck, keep repeating out loud or to yourself: “I intend to love unconditionally, manifest happiness and to stop taking things personally”. Do this until you feel like it’s time to stop shuffling. Cut the cards and restack in whatever manner you choose, then select twelve cards. You can either turn over the first twelve cards in the deck or spread them out and choose whatever cards you are drawn to.
On a piece of paper, list the months January through December, and then write down your cards in the order that you selected them, next to each month. Once you have done that, look at the card for each month and ask yourself how that card relates to your intentions. Write down all of your thoughts and how the card’s advice could translate into action items for you that month. It may also be helpful to also write down your impressions of the card’s meaning or look at the keywords from the deck’s “little white book”. For example, if you received the Knight of Cups for January you might translate it as this;
January/Knight of Cups (Keywords: Romantic, Imaginative, Sensitive, Refined, Introspective)
Intentions with Action Items
1. I will show my spouse how much I love them by surprising them with flowers on January 8th.
2. I choose a date night with each of my kids, doing something they enjoy, and with the intention of showing my love and learning more about them on the 15th.
3. I will imagine, all day on January 30th, that everyone I speak to is a part of my family, and I will treat them as such. (assuming you like your family!)
1. On January 4, I will spend a whole day without complaining once. And when I do complain, I will also think of three things I am grateful for about whatever I am complaining about.
2. On January 10th I will spend the whole day at the beach, with nothing but a sack lunch and a journal to record my thoughts.
3. On January 19th I will take a class learning about something I enjoy.
Stop Taking Things Personally:
1. On January 2nd, when I am about to take offence at anything said or done, I will first assume good intent by the other person, or at least that no harm or offence was intended.
2. On January 13th, I will keep reminding myself that my own happiness is my own responsibility.
3. On January 28th, I will forgive three grudges I have been keeping for far too long. (You don’t have to do this in person, you can do it in your mind, or on paper and then burn it. It is for you, not them, after all.)
Book the Dates!
Now that you have a list of at least nine action items (you can do as many as you want) it is time to book the dates in your calendar. If you use an app like Google Calendar, or something similar, first create an even for January from January 1-31. (If you use a paper calendar or planner, simply write in all the information. The title of the event will be your three intentions. Then book each action item you created. Then, when those dates roll around, do those things! By the end of the year you will have spent a good deal of quality time working on manifesting your intentions, more than you have probably ever done before! Toward the end of the year, add in one more action item. Add “review my year of intention.” On this day you will look back over your year and evaluate how this went for you, what went well, what could be improved and what intentions you want to set for next year!
Most of us have good intentions when we begin the new year, but we fail to follow through on them. By completing the suggestions mentioned in this article you can turn your good intentions into life changing results and live a more meaningful, more purposeful life! What new intentions will you begin to manifest next year?