I write down my intentions at the start of every year. Here's a peek at my annual reflection and manifestation process on January 1, 2018.
I’m writing this from my kitchen table. Dennis and Luna are in her room playing. I can hear her laughing from here.
The dishwasher is on and the house is clean after last night’s mess, thanks to my dear husband and his unbelievable ability to rally and do something completely awesome just when I need it.
I’m diffusing wild orange essential oils, the Roomba is going (bless this machine!), and in a second I’m going to open up all the windows and sage every room of the house.
It’s a new year! Out with the old. In with the new.
This NYE was the first one in 8 years that we didn’t spend on the beach. It was different, quiet, intimate and beautiful. We cooked, drank champagne, toasted at 12, baby slept and all was well.
I love New Year’s Eve; not for the parties but for the idea of a blank page. I’m big on setting intentions and goals and I LOVE making lists. It’s how I manifest!
I’m not a fan of the “new year, new you” idea - on this one day we’re all suddenly going to change everything about ourselves just because it’s the turn of the year. We have to operate from the fundamental value that we are good enough the way we are and if there are changes we want to make in our lives, make them out of that place.
I arrived at my final intentions and goals for 2018 last night, but it was pouring rain all night long so I didn’t get a chance to sit in the garden in ceremony. I’ll do that tonight, but for now I’m sharing my intentions with you!
Warning: they’re big. And there are many. That’s just how I roll! Under each main intention I add specific action items or changes that I want to make or sub-goals to help me get there… And it works. I consider my list below my overall game plan for 2018!
Last year I manifested everything I set out to create aside from one thing (it goes on the list for 2018!):
- We opened Island Yoga (even though everyone told me it was too big, too expensive, too complicated).
- I successfully led my first 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training.
- We grew the business – a lot.
- We hired key people to help structure the companies.
- We bought an apartment in Sweden!
- We built a pool as a reward for all the hard work (something I’ve dreamt of doing for years).
- I led 4 retreats at the studio.
- We had over 13,000 people practice at Island Yoga throughout the year! In Aruba! It’s wild.
- We acquired a property for our animal rescue.
- Raised a ton of money to fight childhood cancer.
- Supported missions all across the globe with 109 World.
In addition to the specific things above, love happened. Lea Luna came. Dennis and I grew closer than ever before. Even though it’s been a challenging transition to enter parenthood, it’s been the most beautiful thing we’ve ever done.
I look back at 2017 and it was one wonder of a year. Not all easy, of course. At times it was super challenging. Becoming a mother has forced me to look at all my issues - my need to control, my inability to let go - and all of my deepest fears.
I’ve been challenging myself to grow and I’m looking at my struggles, my patterns, my triggers. I want to become a better person. I want to continue growing.
My intentions for 2018 are all about how I can grow, and I use 4 categories to set each main intention:
- Personal Development & Love (usually 2 categories but this year love and personal development totally merged!)
- Health & Body
If they resonate with you, I invite you to use this as framework to set your own goals! Grab a piece of paper and get writing. The 4 categories don’t always apply, but for me these are areas I always want to grow in. I narrow everything down to these 4 main areas, and when I look at the 4, I always arrive at 1 single thing that connects them all. This becomes my mantra for the year. So, here goes!
Personal Development & Love
1. Slow down and make space to receive.
This is one of my big, big life lessons: I don’t know how to stop. I work and work and work and have the ability to keep going forever. Until suddenly, it doesn’t work anymore. In the end, if I don’t slow down my body suffers and I don’t feel whole. I don’t want to work myself into the grave – especially this coming year with so much on the horizon! I need to balance my giving with receiving and my output with my input – GUILT FREE.
So. I want to get a bathtub. Yes! Simple but magical. I feel this deep need to return to the ritual of soaking in a quiet space that I’ve missed since I moved to Aruba. So, making this happen somehow very soon.
And I need more body work. Once a week, I want to have something done; that 1 hour where I allow myself to receive. I am privileged enough to afford it so what am I waiting for? I should treat myself and make it part of my practice of self love. A massage, acupuncture, energy work… Something! Weekly.
- Get a bathtub by next month (this may be more complicated than I think but let’s hope not)!
- Book body work sessions for the next three months and add to my calendar.
2. Be sensual.
Yup! I have been laughing with Dennis about this so much, but I have an entire drawer in my bedroom closet that’s filled to the brim with pregnancy underwear. Sometimes I put them on just to spite him. But yes, it’s as sad as it sounds. No more!
I was pregnant for what felt like lifetimes, then gave birth and then breastfed a baby… It hasn’t been the sexiest time of my life if you know what I mean. Luna is 9 months old and even though I’ve tried and tried, she doesn’t want to nurse more than once a day. So maybe it’s a sign! I can transition back to feeling like a woman now! No more giant underwear and nursing tops. Time to feel sensual and sexy again.
- Clean out the underwear drawer and store everything related to pregnancy.
- Bring out the beautiful undies!
- Make an effort to feel pretty again - for me. I wear yoga pants 7 days a week and never put on makeup… I’ve forgotten what it’s like to make an effort! I’d like to get back to feeling more like myself, or at least not wear pajamas every damn day.
- Have more sex. Yup. Baby sleeps in her own room now soooo… This one is a no-brainer!
3. Ask for help.
I never do. But having a baby has taught me that I can’t do everything myself. And I don’t have to! But sometimes I get confused and start thinking that I do. It feels really lonely to be in charge of everything. This year I want to let go of control and ask for help whenever I need it.
- Set up an advisory board to help make big-picture decisions
- Hire more super awesome people!
- Get babysitter we can trust to call when needed.
4. Be of service.
This is a huge one and lies at the core of every single initiative I am manifesting this year. I have two new foundations that I want to open, and I want to focus much more of our attention in Aruba, where we live. I need to get started!
- Open a new Aruban foundation with the focus on children.
- Do research needed for the cause.
- Open new global foundation (the Yoga Girl® Foundation) to help funnel funds and volunteers to the right places.
5. Manifest friendship.
This is a big one! I want good friends that have babies. Aruba gets lonely. All of my best friends live far away now (Sweden, US, Costa Rica...) and I struggle with making good friends here where we live. I lost an important friend this year after more drama than I’d wish upon anyone and am understanding just how important it is that I surround myself with real, genuine people.
I am quick to judge people as “not my type” and I can be a pretty difficult person to get close to… This year I want to soften and open up more.
- Ask the universe to provide good friends!
- Be a kind person.
- Open up to new people – maybe start going to a Mommy & Me class…?
6. Focus on love.
Keep my and Dennis’ relationship as the most important priority no matter what.
7. Send people who have hurt me love and kindness.
To release resentment, this is the only way. This year I refuse to be weighed down by lingering on people who have taken advantage of me. I don’t want to waste any energy on the negative! I have written a list and have some specific work I’m doing on this… But that’s for another blog post.
- Reinstate date night! Super important. Once a week! This will require finding a babysitter we can trust – get on it right now!
Health & Body
All my intentions around my health and my body connect back to my main intention: to slow down and receive.
1. Keep the last two hours of the day phone and work free.
I work all day. Every day. Usually the last thing I do before going to bed is check my email. I used to have great rules about not using my phone or talking about work before 10am or after 10pm, but somehow that’s gone out the window! And my and Dennis’ guilty pleasure these days is watching The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight in bed. It’s a fun routine and all, but it basically means that the last thing I think about before going to bed is politics. No bueno!
Luna sleeps 12-hour nights now but I get less than half of that! Makes no sense! In the spirit of slowing down I want to make my evenings sacred again. No phones, no work. Bedroom is for sleep and sex, nothing else. I want to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, and I set the tone for that during the last hours of the day.
- Plug in the phone charger downstairs in the kitchen and charge the phone there overnight instead of in the bedroom.
- Get Dennis to hold me accountable! No phone after 9pm.
Ugh! This is one of those New Year’s resolutions that I used to laugh at because it’s such a cliché (like saying “I’m never going to drink again!” after a party night), but honestly, I never cared enough about my teeth!
I went to the dentist in Sweden for the first time in forever this summer and was shocked over how little I think about my dental hygiene. Is it an age thing, to suddenly start thinking about your teeth? Maybe I’m getting old… But I actually want to floss. Ha. So I put it on the list! Every day. Let’s see how long this one lasts.
3. Stay vegan.
This one is easy! I’m 3 months in and feel so, so good. Piece of vegan pie.
4. Eat less sugar.
Note the “less” and not “no”! Being vegan, I have automatically cut way, way down. This is just a little side note for me.
5. Run with the baby in the stroller twice a week!
This is something Dennis has been begging me to do since she was born; he wants us all to go “running” (i.e. walk fast) together when he trains for Iron Man. I got him a running stroller for Christmas so now we’re all set! I’m a crap runner and always have been, so this is a huge challenge for me. But I like the idea of moving as a family… All I do is yoga and its always by myself. So let’s see!
1. Launch our new, super exciting platform and grow the business with love!
2. Open a second yoga studio.
I want to open one in Stockholm!
3. Write for two hours every day.
I plan to make this happen when Luni has her afternoon nap and continue until I have submitted my final book manuscript.
4. Get super structured
(and cut down unnecessary spending across all entities!).
5. Work smarter, not less!
6. Blog more!
7. Three very specific but secret goals that I won’t share for now...
All action items are set in terms of business aside from my writing hours:
- Set up the apartment here at the house as a writing den! Move desk in there and make it cozy.
- Decide the daily schedule. Write every day around 12.30/1pm when Luni naps.
- Adding: never, ever try to work while with baby. Separate the two!
I look at the above and it doesn’t even feel like that much! Just writing this stuff out feels SO GOOD. Seriously! Putting my flaws and weaknesses out there is scary, but it’s necessary. There are big items that aren’t at all on the list, like things surrounding the baby or my relationship with my husband, and it’s because those areas flow so beautifully already. Everything works. It’s easy.
It’s the things that are not easy that I need to work on, and that’s my plan for this year.
When I look at it, all the main things that I keep coming back to are slowing down and getting structured. I want a strong body and a strong business – but a soft heart. So my one-word intention this year?
It’s new, the idea of softening and moving slowly. But Lea Luna teaches me more of this every single day and I want my heart to be as open as hers. Soften, soften, soften.
I’m printing my list now so I can connect back to it again and again.
Some things are easy to remember, like flossing daily. Running twice a week, Dennis will be in charge of. Some things I can delegate and other people can help me get them done. Other things, like releasing resentment toward people who have hurt me, are abstract and require emotional work and remembering to connect back to a place of love whenever my mind drops back into that negativity.
Everything is a work in progress. I am a work in progress! Always evolving, growing, learning.
You don’t have to wait for January 1st to set your own intentions! What do you want to manifest? Take 10 minutes right now and write it all down. Get specific and look for the theme. Then share it with me in the comments below!
PS - If you’d like some journaling help, take a look at my intention-setting video on oneOeight.