2020 is here. It has a good ring to it – a new year and a new decade. A blank page on which we can continue to write the story of our lives. If the 2010s didn’t work out well for you, here’s a new chance. A new chance for a new beginning. What will you do with it?
I’m not talking about resolutions. I’m talking about setting intentions. An intention has a purpose. It works towards something manifesting itself in your life. It strives to answer the question, ‘What will make this year or decade great?’ For me, I want this year to be a year of joy. Why joy? Because joy means you are present. Present enough to find delight in your life, regardless of your circumstances. You can find delight in small things whatever the big drama of your life. Like my early swim this morning in a tidal pool or my teenage son’s mischievous smile or having a great client meeting. They are small moments which cause a bubble to rise somewhere deep inside you and nudge you to break into an involuntary smile. They are moments, which, if you search for them, give you joy.
My intention is to search for joy every day. And to record the joy every day. I want to actively cultivate it, to look for opportunities to experience it, even if it’s just because I’m breathing in life-giving oxygen or because I’m still here on earth – the most basic joy – the joy of being. My friends with life-threatening illnesses have given me this perspective– to be breathing is joy! If you’ve ever watched toddlers being oblivious to their environment and just bubbling with the joy of being, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Without intention, the world is likely to determine the direction of your life and call the shots in it – from the culture of your day to the risk of hamster-like striving to be even more successful or wealthy. You may end up in a place you never intended. With intentions, you take the lead much like an experienced rider lightly steering a horse in the direction of his intention or water gently moving along a narrow furrow towards land. They are small continuous nudges practised throughout a long journey. They help you arrive satisfied, having enjoyed the journey.
What will your intention be this year? It’s not too late to carve some time out and set an intention for yourself for the year ahead. Don’t just hit the road running hard. Think about what intention will grow the quality of your life in 2020.