• by Vika

Intentions setting PRACTICE

A few thoughts on intentions/goals setting for those who’s a tidbit late to the party or unsure how to vividly articulate an objective.


I. DRAFT ONE

Remove a sense of pressure in your pursuit of a complete and immediate result in intentions/goals setting practice by naming it DRAFT ONE. Revisit weekly in the month of January.

Go ahead and blub on paper every single item that is currently suspended in your mind. Later on you will go and edit it with a dash of realism.

Or stick with a bare minimum of only a few points if that strategy ease your overwhelm. Future revisit will be your invitation to a greater appetite which you know comes with eating.



egg on plate by Josef Sudek, 1961

II. REFLECT

Self-reflection can provide immense compassion and appreciation for self if done constructively.

You can use last year journal, diary or even camera roll on your phone* or a combination of all the above to help you recover memories of the past year events, themes, trials and tribulations.

Take a quiet hour and for each month of the year write down things that you’ve experienced as

  • LIMITATIONS - setbacks, restrictions, contractions, upsets, mental disarrays, emotional downs etc.

  • EXPANSIONS- growth, development, moving on, joy, creative ups, content etc.


Perhaps some topics may have stretched over the course of months or could be fit into both categories - record them with your best accuracy.


*note: if phone is your choice of time-tracking gadgetry keep yourself on track with the exercise by avoiding temptation to edit your photos or to create a list of every single book you’ve taken picture of in the last year (damn, latter was unbearably hard to resist for me!). However, both make an excellent choice for a new year’s goal in declutter of things department.


An epistolary attentiveness to your past year life will reveal that perhaps you’ve achieved much more than you gave yourself credit for. Or maybe accomplishments of a lesser trajectory than originally desired can now be explained? You went through so much.

Touch your heart and whisper ‘You amaze me, babe. Thank you.’



Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, The handkerchief’s opera, 2014, Manifesta 10, St Petersburg, Russia



III. IDENTITY SHIFT

Reflection practice outlined above may give you a clue to set a few intentions for the year ahead in a form of

LESS _______ , MORE ________

AWAY _______ , TOWARDS ________

(fill in the blank)


It will be your immediate perception to focus on your outcome (what) and process (how). That’s your short term (few months to a year) or stepping goals. But if you want any of the intentions to be inspiring and motivating when January gone, bringing your attention to an idea of identity shift.

Example. Instead of just setting I want to lose 5 kg weight or I want to exercise 4 times a week, say I want to live like an athlete who’s confident in her body, enjoys moving it and devotes her attention to health and well-being.

Or, rather setting I want to contribute a great deal to a project at my company, say I want to be a leader with a purpose of serving others.


If your old identity, that idea of who you believe you are isn’t upgraded after you gradually moved into a new life (lost weight, up-levelled at your career, got a degree, coupled with a partner of your dreams) you’re risking to run amok of self-sabotage. Your subconscious will try to reach equilibrium by matching I’m fat, I’m inexperienced, I’m incompetent, I can’t sustain relationships for long identity with your current reality. Ever wondered what happened to some pals in your circle who might’ve regressed after they hit the thing they’ve tenaciously strived for?


Identity shift is not WHAT or HOW. It’s your crucial WHY. Why you set a particular intention/goal?

A couple of questions that might help you clarify your desired identity shift:

  • Whom I want to become? or Whom I becoming?

  • How do I want to feel?


Start practicing identity shift weekly by getting silent for 10-15 minuets and envision yourself to be that person you’re becoming (in all the details and quirks), allow the beautiful unfolding to reveal itself, ask how does it feel to be that me?

What does it look like to be that me?

Got it? How it becomes your action to bring your WHAT and HOW?



Marino Marini by Herbert List, 1952


IV. OKAYING

Well, let’s ask Google on the topic of successful goal setting, after all if your name became a verb you must know a thing or two about success.


At Google quarters people ‘goaling’ on premises of a rather surprising rule.

50 % of your goals should have a 50% chance of failure.


If your rates of achieving anywhere in 80-100 % range it means you set your goals too low and you totally failed to okay your failure.

Yep, that’s exactly what Google creatives practice:

  • Loosen up and think HUGE.

  • Okaying failure.


Okaying failure should be our new societal norm, after all the list of all things we okayed collectively is staggering - votes for women, Jazz, Vegemite.

What about your ability to expand your thoughts? Go ahead and see how far can you think big before your rational mind comes in to adult with ninjatic ‘You can’t do that! That’s impossible!’



The second thought chair by Ugo Mariano, 1986

V. GO TO YOUR TWENTIES

Things that you can finish are very satisfying and necessary. What we need is satisfaction of these uplifts that we get psychologically from finishing something.

After you shed some light on your big intentions commit to the smallest step. Focus on regularity of your steps not the impact or tempo of each step.


Set yourself a twenty minutes bench mark for each of your goals and apply it everyday. Increase some days if you can but never drop a day without doing your 20’s.

When life will happen (oh, yes it will) give yourself a loving permission to gently descent to your 20’s even after you might’ve scaled higher before.



moulded stairs of leaning tower of Pisa, Italy


Write down your 20’s and 30’s and 40’s. And review when going gets tough. Make a withdrawal from your satisfaction account. See how much you’ve stacked there already.

Editing your prime intentions to three can help. This way your twenties won’t be demanding and discouraging. It can be your 20/20/20 power hour.


Example: 20 min exercise / 20 min meditate / 20 min read



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