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Time for Reflection: A New Year's Activity

Dear Beautiful Human,

Here's an important message you MUST read before moving into the new year...

Let's be honest, far too often New Year’s resolutions are tinged with guilt, shame, or regret for what you wish you had done the previous year, but failed to do.

While it may seem that this way of intention setting, through the analysis of what you need more of, or what you should be doing better at, is the correct approach to ignite the inner motivation necessary for (out)growth in the new year, in actuality it falls short of giving you the energy you need for the outcome you desire.

The bitter truth is that the negative mindset of looking at what is wrong with you and setting intentions about what you should do better at, while it may mask itself as self improvement focused, is more likely to decrease motivation and enthusiasm rather than ignite it.

This is not what we want for you, just as this is not what we want for ourselves.

When you focus too much on what is wrong with you, inspiration for change is fragile at best and completely non-existent at worst.

Unlike some cultures, such as Tibetan, who do not even have a word for self hatred, the Western mindscape struggles deeply with the concepts of self worth and self value.

It is as if the cultural milieu thrives on and centers around self degradation as a tool for self development. This results in most all Western minds harboring inside their shadows, what I will refer to as, the inner critic.

The inner critic living in your mind acts out in both subtle and obvious ways. While it may seem as though the inner critic is helping you see what is wrong with you in an attempt to make space for correcting it, the truth is this often quiet voice in the back of your mind is responsible for you continuing along the same path year in and year out.

In fact, even when the inner critic is telling you you can do better in a cheerleader type of way, the hidden message is always the same; there is something wrong with you that is in need of fixing. This message is the problem.

It is with this knowledge that we offer you a different perspective this turning of the year for how to reflect upon your last year and set motivational and inspirational intentions for the year to come.

To help you prime your brain for inspired action, we offer you a series of questions for reflection and intention that center around the positive sides of life you have experienced this past year and help you define what matters for you in 2023.

Reflecting on the previous year in positive ways creates the proper mindset for focusing on your strengths. This strength focused awareness is more likely to lead you to not only set more attainable and uplifting intentions, but is also more likely to increase your feelings of self efficacy and capacity, stacking the odds in your favor for achieving what it is you set your sights on for 2023.

Then, when it is time for intention setting, we invite you to think in 'let go’s' rather than 'get more’s'.

What we mean by this is that when setting intentions, rather than ask yourself to do more, acquire more, or be more, look at what you could do with less of, what you already have enough of, and focus on that.

We encourage you to set aside 20 minutes to an hour or more for this activity, and to even approach it across the first week of the year rather than attempt to pack it all into one day.

To get started you will need some quiet space and a journal. Write the questions for reflection out and pose them to yourself silently. As answers arise, write them down.

Once you have answered all of the questions for reflection, take time to re-read your answers and sit with positive feelings about your capacity to do good things in your life. When you feel connected to your own basic goodness, begin to answer the questions for intention and write your 2023 intentions from this place.

Questions for Reflection

1. What am I most grateful for this year?

2. Who was my biggest supporter and how did I demonstrate my appreciation to them?

3. What is the most valuable lesson I learned this year?

4. What was my biggest success in 2022?

5. In what ways did I show up for myself with love?

Questions for Intentions

1.What am I willing to let go of that no longer serves me?

2. Who do I want to show up as in the world and what things in my life are getting in the way of that?

3. What is the most valuable lesson I could benefit by unlearning this year?

4. What can I do less of this year that will lead me closer to my dreams?

5. In what ways can I show up with love for myself this coming year?

The point of the exercise is to, rather than sett superficial intentions that are easily broken without the internal qualities to support them, dig deep inside and look for what truly matters in your life. See that you are a valuable, loving, and loved person in this world and from that place choose with wisdom what this next year will be about for you.

Intention is the seed that sprouts into weeds or flowers. Walk into 2023 filled with the most beautiful seeds you can imagine and live 2023 from that place.

Until next year,

Live mindfully, be well.

Sarah & Niko Sati

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