Mindfully Set Your Intention for the New Year: 4 Steps to Follow

While hiking the other day, I noticed a young plant growing through the crack in a big rock. I imagined some wind carrying a seed and dropping it into the crack. In a dark place hidden from view, the seed had an intention to sprout: the intention to penetrate the hull, reach out to the sky and embrace the wonder of the world.

The sun and rain noticed it. They sent their blessings down into the crack. Faint light and drops of water caressed the seed. Little by little, transformation occurred. A tiny sprout emerged; the journey towards fulfillment had just begun.

I believe we’re like the seed that has fallen into the crack in a rock. However small the chance for manifestation is, we’ll eventually fulfill our desire if we keep our intention alive.

In the first month of the new year, you can descend into a quiet space within and listen to your heart’s whisper. What does it want? What does it yearn for?

After listening to your heart, here’s how you can set your New Year’s intention and begin manifesting it.

Listen to your heart


Create space

Create a space where you can sit quietly without any distractions. Turn off your phone, computer, music and any other entertainment devices. You’ll need at least one hour to explore your inner world, but it would be best to take a day of silence for this practice.

Pay attention to your breath

Once you set up your space for quiet contemplation, sit with good posture and close your eyes. Begin paying attention to your breath. Notice its quality. Is it shallow or deep, fast or slow, steady or erratic? Your breath will slow down and become deeper once it receives your attention.

Acknowledge thoughts and images

When a thought or image comes to your mind, acknowledge it without judgment and bring your attention back to your breath. Repeat this process until you feel grounded.

In this calm and relaxed state, explore the following areas of your life: family and friends, romance, work, finance, personal growth, health, living conditions, play and hobbies. Assess your satisfaction level in each area:

  • Where are you most and least satisfied?
  • Which area needs more attention and improvement?
  • What do you value most in that particular area?
  • What would increase your satisfaction level?

Identify your greatest desire (such as achieving financial freedom or improving your family relationships). Pay attention to the images that surface. Tune in to the sensations in your body. Open up to the signals that your heart is sending to you. Which thought puts a big smile on your face and makes you want to dance?

Set your New Year’s intention


Purple crocus growing from ground

Have an inner dialogue with your heart

Once you identify your heart’s longing, write it down in your journal or notebook. Now, ask your heart: Do you want to realize this wish in the new year?

If your heart says YES, think about whether it’s really a good time to follow this vision. For example, pursuing financial freedom may create a conflict if you just started graduate school. Decide whether you want to make your wish into a New Year’s intention or save it for the future. If your logical mind chooses the latter, tell that to your heart and ask its permission to let this wish go for now.

It’s important to move on only after having an inner dialogue with your heart. A lot of our internal conflicts result from disharmony between the logical mind and the intuitive heart. We tend to follow our minds when our hearts say a different thing, but the heart has its own way of making its wishes known through the body. Any strong wish that is ignored or suppressed will eventually express itself as symptoms of stress.

Create a positive, present-tense statement

When you’re clear about your wish for the new year, make it into an intention by creating a positive statement in the present tense. Instead of saying, “I want to achieve financial freedom,” you might say, “I have more than enough money to acquire what I want.” If you want to improve your relationship with your family, say something like, “I communicate very well with my family, and we enjoy each other’s company.”

Verbally manifest your intention

To manifest your intention, write it down instead of just thinking of it. There is power in writing! Using your hands and eyes will enable your whole being (the body, mind and heart) to declare your intention loud and clear. Once you write down your intention, say it aloud several times, in a convincing voice. The more you repeat it, the more powerful your intention will become.

Stick to just one intention

Stick to just one intention. I know it’s tough—we all have so many wishes, don’t we? Yet, manifestation requires focus: steadfast, singular focus. It would be harder to manifest multiple intentions in the same year, because your focus would be constantly diverted from one to another.

A seed that falls into a crack in a rock has only one intention: to sprout and grow. Since it has no other intention, Mother Nature recognizes it and blesses it with everything the seed needs to grow. Likewise, for yourself, set just one intention, focus on it and wait to see what will happen. 

Manifest your intention internally


The manifestation of your intention will occur internally first. Native Americans believe it’s the soul that dreams, and what happens in dreams becomes real. Honour your soul’s desire and let her express it freely in your heart and mind.

Visualize your intention

Visualize yourself behaving, acting and interacting with others as the person who has already achieved his or her intention. The more detailed images you envision, the greater the power your intention will gain. In the field of manifestation, time isn’t linear. It’s not a straight line from the past to the present and future. It’s more cyclic, expansive and fluid. You won’t manifest your intention in the future if you can’t experience it internally now.

Imagine your ‘realized’ self

Imagine how your realized self would be feeling. If your intention is financial freedom, how will you feel when you have enough money to cover all your expenses (plus more) in your savings account? Joyful, relaxed, calm, generous, fulfilled, empowered? Visualize your realized self and feel your positive emotions right now.

Manifest your intention externally


Manifestation of an intention is twofold: internal and external. While you cultivate your future self internally through visualization and embodiment, you’ll also need to work externally by taking action and interacting with people.

See also

two people on a park bench breaking the word love

Next comes goal-setting and achieving. While your intention is a reflection of your principles and values, and a declaration of who you want to become, your goal has to be specific, measurable, time-bound and action-oriented. Your goal is not your final destination, but a milestone on the path to fulfillment, and there are many paths.

Set a goal

Set a goal that will help you realize your intention. If your intention is, “I have more than enough money to acquire what I want,” your goal for the new year may be to get a raise, switch to a job with a higher income or add a second job to your schedule.

If your intention is, “I communicate very well with my family, and we enjoy each other’s company,” you might set a goal of calling your family members every other week, sending them gifts with heartfelt cards or organizing a family trip.

Recognize forces beyond your control

Some of your goals will be under your control. Whether you’re starting a new discipline or creating a new project, you’ll be solely responsible for achieving them. On the other hand, external factors (such as other people, the economy and trends) will affect your other goals. You’ll be able to reach them only when external elements align with your vision.

Since you (along with everyone else in the world) won’t have total control over matters outside yourself, some of your goals could be stalled due to forces beyond your power. While keeping that in mind, make a great effort to achieve your goal and enjoy the process. If you reach your goal, celebrate it and thank the powers greater than yourself. When you have to let go of your goal, gracefully surrender to the force of the universe, give yourself a pat on the back, rest, rejuvenate and set a new goal.

Keep your intention alive


Even if your goal fails, your intention can survive, because it’s your fundamental need when it comes to who you want to become. Keep your intention alive and vital, no matter what happens in your life.

«RELATED READ» YOUR END-OF-YEAR RELEASE: Get ready for the new year»


image 1: Markus Blüthner via Unsplash; image 2: Pixabay

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