For over 20 years, on New Year’s Eve I‘ve had a very elaborate ritual of creating intentions for the upcoming year. For simplicity, here’s a blog from 2014 that outlines a fun and rewarding way to kick the habit of failed New Year’s resolutions and charts a course for success.
Though, for some reason, this year, I feel compelled to reflect and determine whether this ritual is relevant for me in 2022.
As we approach our third year of living with the Corona virus and the variants that have emerged, it seems we are all redefining and adapting our lives in ways that we never could have imagined in 2019.
Since March 2020, so many people have made bold and brave decisions about what’s important to them and how they want to live their lives. By October 2021, more than 34.4 million people quit their jobs. Another 35.3 million people quit their jobs in all of 2020. That’s almost 70 million people who made major changes in their lives.
And just when I think that many of us have become more intentional, more deliberate, more decisive about we want and what we don’t want, I see this posting on Facebook:
Aacckk. I think there are many people who may like this statement because it can provide an escape hatch for inadequate planning, limited risk taking or comfort in playing the role of victim or martyr. Although, I doubt they would ever admit to any of that. They also are probably not interested in learning 7 ideas on creating intentions for the life you want.
But as I read the comments attached to this post on Facebook, I was reminded (to quit being so judgmental…) and that life can throw us curveballs, regardless of the intentions we create.
So here I am, faced with the decades of my commitment to creating intentions, aligning thoughts, words and actions to achieve and experience desired results and then, trusting the universe to provide … With the fact that life throws us curveballs.
No amount of intention-setting, planning or risk-taking can supersede what life has in store for us as part of our life experience.
Geez. I hate that.
I love the orderliness and tidiness of making a plan and then taking the actions to fulfill it.
Yet, sometimes taking a step back, and asking a few poignant questions, can put things into a whole new perspective. Consider these questions:
How many of your life’s desires have you achieved? You might be surprised if you take stock of your accomplishments!
How many have you achieved in ways that were better than your original intent?
And how many have you given up on?
Intentions Beyond The Expiration Date
Another question could be: how did your intentions or life’s desires change over the years? Or are you holding on to ones that are way past their expiration date?
For example, at the age of 21, I was without a college degree and making minimum wage, $1.60 an hour. I was newly married to an attorney and had visions of grandeur being a “corporate wife.” And as cringe-worthy as it sounds now… I even joined an organization called “law wives.”
Thank goodness that didn’t go as planned.
Instead, when I saw signs of failure ahead or life as a Stepford Wife, I took action. I created a group called “Former Law Wives” or “FLAWS” and got a business degree. I then became a corporate executive for a company now known as Humana and later for AMC Entertainment, the largest movie theatre chain in the world, before starting my own national consulting and speaking business in 2000.
The Intention That Eluded Me
As I said, I created personal and professional intentions for almost 25 consecutive years. And despite my capacity to manifest probably 95% of my life’s ambitions, the one that eluded me for decades was to meet my life partner and have a healthy, loving relationship.
Life threw me many curveballs in the relationship department.
Yet, “never-the-less, I persisted.”
And every year, I wrote my intentions of finding love and being with a man who was healthy – physically, emotionally, and financially, fun, enjoyed travel, good food and wine.
Every single year… I wrote this.
Joy And Peace Of Mind
Ironically, as I re-read my 2019 accomplishments and intentions for 2020, I was struck by how happy I was, despite having completed several major contracts and had limited engagements booked on the horizon. And, per usual, no prospects for romance.
Yet unlike all the previous years, I wrote no intentions of finding love.
What I wrote instead, was that in 2020 I would only “do things that bring me joy and peace of mind.”
Rest Of The Story
So, for those of you who follow my blogs, you know “the rest of the story…”
And, if you don’t know the rest of the story:
Marty Stanley, now writes occasionally, coaches people once in a while and speaks to people on Zoom from her home overlooking the Caribbean in St. Croix Virgin Islands. She and Jerry are planning food and wine trips this year in California, New York City, Paris and Bordeaux.
May 2022 bring you joy and peace of mind in all you do.