It’s a new year! I think we can all agree that 2020 was… well, it was hard. Although hopefully you can look back on 2020 and find things you were grateful for, it was a challenging year for so many people. As we all move into a new year with new possibilities, it’s a great time to set your intentions for the year, your life, and your relationships (canine included!).
First, let’s talk about what it means to set intentions. Intention setting is a little different than goal setting. With goals, you’re focused on a specific outcome you’d like to achieve in the future. Intentions are more focused on the present moment, how you want to feel throughout your day and life. They are independent of you achieving your goals and focus more on how you feel in relationship to yourself and other people while achieving them.
For example, say your goal is for you and your dog to reach the summit of a certain hike near your home. Your intention for the hike is to enjoy the time you and your dog have together and to be mentally present for all the sights and sounds you experience along the way. Maybe weather conditions make it so that you couldn’t reach the top that day, but because you set your intention to be present and enjoy whatever you encountered, you and your dog still had a great time. The summit will be there next week, and you’ve set yourself up to enjoy the journey regardless.
This is what makes intentions so powerful. Because they focus on your relationship with yourself and others rather than a specific outcome, they allow you to be flexible even when the world changes your circumstances.
I think we can all agree that 2020 threw some major curveballs. In all likelihood, the year did not go the way you had planned out on New Year’s eve 2020. If 2020 showed us anything, it was that there are so many things in this life that we can’t control. What we can do is set intentions for how we want to feel and respond, regardless of life’s circumstances.
What intentions do you want to set? Do you want to be more present in the current moment? Do you want to spend more time outside with your dog, whether that’s at a dog park with friends or on a solo hike in the woods? Maybe you simply want to feel more grateful on a daily basis or express your appreciation more for the friends, family, and canines in your life. Take a few moments to set intentions for the coming week, and see if it makes a difference in your daily experience.
Intentions allow us to bend and sway when life throws us curve balls. They help us focus on how we want to feel in the present moment, and give us the flexibility to feel that way regardless of what is happening around us.