We frequently view the start of a new year with a sense of intention and excitement. We celebrate the victories, revisit the heartbreaks, and reflect on the journey of the past year as we close out one chapter and enter the next. We begin imagining the new year as we’d like it to be. We fantasize about idealized versions of ourselves and our lives, while also recognizing the anxiety that accompanies facing unknowns, or looming events in the new year. Especially as we approach the two-year mark of the pandemic’s hold on American life, incredible uncertainty fills many of our hearts. Societal pressure to set resolutions can feel daunting as we consider the uncertainty of another pandemic year. Often the resolution mindset encourages productivity and achievement-based goals, even though many of us yearn for rest or connection or nourishment. This January, as we consider the fresh starts and new beginnings, let’s consider how we can embrace an intention-oriented mindset as opposed to a resolution (or goal)-oriented mindset in order to care for both ourselves and our loved ones in 2022.
Setting intentions rather than resolutions can help guide our everyday actions, relationships, and experiences without the pressure to achieve a set end goal. Instead of committing to resolutions that quickly become empty promises or hopes, intention setting provides us with a flexible reference point that we can use to continually check in with ourselves. Creating guiding principles loosely based on values or goals can shift our mindset away from goal setting and instead prioritize the ways we spend our time and energy.
The WCA Prevention team challenges you to set intentions that promote meaningful connections with the different folks in your life. Some examples of these intentions could include spending more quality time with your children, practicing active listening with a partner, or having conversations with friends about where you see opportunities for civic action in your community. Deliberately building healthy relationships and communities is a radical act of violence prevention, so setting intentions that strengthen the bonds in our lives can help create communities where all individuals can thrive in safe and equitable relationships.
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