Year 2020 is not only a new year. It’s the dawn of an iconic, new decade, inspiring many of us to set goals for our personal and professional success.
This journey starts at the Center for Health & Wellbeing. January is New Year, New You Month. To celebrate, we sat down with Licensed Medical Health Counselor Jill Hamilton-Buss, a host of several programs presented by the Winter Park Health Foundation at the Center for Health & Wellbeing. We asked Jill why intentions are important and how you can set them to achieve your best self in the new year:
What are setting intentions?
Setting intentions, or living an intentional life, is a continuous process of examining our lives and acting in accordance with our values and priorities. My intentions drive my life versus my to-do list.
For instances today, if I weren’t being intentional, I would feed the cats and do the dishes. It would turn into executing my to-do list versus who I want to be today. What are my priorities? What do I value? Spending time with my son or being healthy is important to me. Being healthy is an intention so I am going to make sure I exercise.
Setting intentions is important because if we’re not constantly and continuously examining our lives and how we’re spending our time, we find that we’re often spending our time on things that don’t matter.
If we say we value family, learning or health but we’re not living in accordance to those priorities like finding the time to exercise, cook, take care of ourselves or for reflection, prayer or mediation, then our to-do list, like laundry, takes over. How we’re spending our time needs to match what our values are.
What are some tips you have for setting intentions for 2020?
Some of the strategies to incorporate which become habitual, like brushing your teeth or doing your laundry, include journaling, meditation or having an accountability group, someone you check in with, and even choosing a word for the year. There are also phone apps for mediation that share with you how to meditate for 30 days.
How does one choose a word for the year?
Choosing a word is dependent on the person’s circumstance. You might be struggling with a health issue this year so your word might be ‘health.’ So, you focus your attention and focus around that word. What are you doing that’s related to your word?
Intentionality is my word. We can use intentionality in a lot of ways. It can be used in work settings, setting your intentions right before your work meetings or for the conversations in your life. Expressing your intentions early on can improve your relationship with your husband, wife or a loved one. The core of your life can also be making sure you have more joy and more fun.
What are some health benefits of setting intentions?
When we get intentional, we are usually doing more self-reflection. Maybe that includes journaling, meditating or just pausing and getting in touch with who we are, what we value and what we want. I am a big proponent of walking and getting out in nature. Data shows that walking lowers our blood pressure and reduces anxiety.
Why should a person try to set intentions for the New Year?
There is a saying that most people plan their vacations better than they plan their lives. I think it’s very true. The rest of the year, we float along and we’re just not conscious. We’re not thinking about how we spend our days and our lives. If your day is work, to-do lists and chores, where are you going? Where are you wanting to end up? And if you’re not intentional about where you want to go, then you might end up going nowhere.
Are you planning your life like you plan your vacation?
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