Intentions for 2014

love life

I’m a study-er and a planner. I always have been.

I have a tendency to study something to death until I know the subject matter like the back of my hand and I feel confident in the path forward. I would spend hours organizing notes and information until everything lined up in some logical order.

I like having a plan.

But sometimes, it leads to analysis paralysis. I want to know every option, research every possibility before making a decision about how to move forward. I have a hard time trusting my gut (and myself) to find the right path.

My focus for 2013 was Intention – connecting my every day actions with my larger vision and goals, doing things for a reason and not just for the sake of doing them, and learning to connect my head and my heart. In essence, learning how to trust my gut more.

I think that I did pretty well and made some big strides over the year. But I know that there was so much more that I could have accomplished.

One thing that I realized was that while I can be clear on my intention for doing something, I still needed to act. I still needed to do and that’s where I continually got tripped up. That’s where I began to overthink things, stress and worry. My analysis paralysis just shifted a littler further down the line.

2014 word for the year

A few months ago, it became clear to me that my word for 2014 had to be DO. I had to focus on taking steps forward and not just planning those steps ad infinitum.

I was supposed to be a doctor and then I was supposed to be an executive at a nonprofit organization but I didn’t choose either path. I wasn’t supposed to be a yoga teacher or a writer. Those two options never fit into my plans in any way, shape or form.

I have no idea what this path will look like in the next 1, 3, 5 or 10 years. I just know that I need to start.

brene brown daring greatly

The first sutra of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali says: Atha Yoga Nushasanam or Now the study of yoga begins.

Atha means now, as in in-the-moment now or this present moment. In that sense, Patanjali welcomes us to the practice and this specific juncture in time as we are about to begin the study of yoga. No matter where we came from, what our past or our experience was prior to this moment, it doesn’t matter. The point is that we have arrived and we are ready to begin.

But Atha also implies a readiness and a commitment to the study and undertaking before us. It requires being fully present and finding a balance between effort and ease, acting and letting things happen, and placing trust in the Universe.

Starting is the hardest part but the exciting part too.

Now, let us begin.

Did you set an intention for the New Year? Do you choose a word to focus on?

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  1. says

    HAHA “analysis paralysis” ! I have suffered for YEARs from this. And I realize that I need to just live in the moment and make some stumble and falls to find out the right path. One can be book smart, but sometimes you gotta play the field. 😉 I tell myself this all the time. And I think I’ve made great strides this year too.

    So yay for both of us!

    MizFit posted this article on FB . I think it will work for those us that suffer such a disorder. 😉

    We are going to CRush 2014! 😀
    Christine @ Oatmeal Bowl recently posted..10 Instagram Yoga Challenges for the New Year!My Profile

  2. says

    Love this. I suffer from the same thing – lots of thinking and analyzing and planning but not much doing. For what it’s worth, the things you do amaze me every time I come here :)

    I make a good set of resolutions for the year. I’ve never really been able to choose just one word, exactly, but I think this year one word chose me: calm. I want this year to be calm. Not boring or uneventful, just full of peace, less frantic and chaos.

    Happy new year to you! I know it will be a great one :)
    Tricia recently posted..Happy New YearMy Profile

  3. says

    Happy New Year!!! Yes big planner here too! I often find that I can’t move if I don’t have a plan. Sometimes the unknown paths are the ones that lead us to our greatest joys! You may have wanted to be those things but look at the joy yoga and writing has brought you! I’m working on my word/phrase for this year….hard to sum up it all in a phrase!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Here We Go 2014!My Profile

  4. says

    Happy New Year, Christine! I recently took a course about communication styles, and your analysis paralysis sounds just like the ‘systematic’ type, which happens to be my husband’s communication style. He’s an engineer and researches everything to death and then some more. I’m pretty analytical and detail-oriented too, but I’m a little less prone to the process trap. Instead, my extroverted, often too-emotional ways tend to get me into trouble, like when I blurt things out without thinking. Maybe that’s what I should work on this year!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Happy New YearMy Profile

  5. says

    My word is patience. I’ve got to slow down so that I can live in the moment and enjoy the being instead of the longing. The end of this piece really resonates with me. It’s Atha.. in yogi terms.

    About to get on my mat. Have music going and a candle. Atha is today’s intention. Thanks Christine! X
    Martha recently posted..Drape Me in Dresses – All SaintsMy Profile

  6. says

    Oh yes, I am a planner but not much of a doer. A lot of time fear takes over that prevent the doing.My word is fearless this year. And confident. If I can be more confident in myself, the fearlessness will follow. Then more DO. Happy New Year Christine! Let’s DO this!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Happy New Year!My Profile

  7. says

    I haven’t chosen a word, but this is one of the ones that most resonated with me while reading others’ posts with their one word descriptions.
    I feel like we’re on similar journeys, aren’t we? I used to always compare you to my sister but only because you were both doing Yoga. In fact, I often love your words so much because I’m on this path to breaking out of my shell, even though I’m scared witless, and just..doing. And I think like you, deep in my heart I know that I can do this, because I care and study it very much.
    Tamara recently posted..Just A Bit More Looking Back.My Profile

  8. says

    “I wasn’t supposed to be a yoga teacher or a writer.” I completely disagree. I think those two things are EXACTLY what you were meant to be all along. You have a gift with words and intuition that is so big and bright that you can’t NOT share it with the world. I feel like you are doing exactly what you were “supposed” to, you just figured it out a little later :)
    Ari @ Ari’s Menu recently posted..Pretzel Crusted Chicken NuggetsMy Profile

  9. says

    Still haven’t set real goals, but I’m (more-or-less) OK with that. The idea of connecting intention intrigues me, especially if I want to set blogging goals or focus more on it. Here’s an example of a struggle: if I want to get a post written on a certain day, and ensure I get some traffic, I end up reading & commenting on other blogs first and really pushing back my schedule. Bad, because it’s like procrastination, Good because commenting is often reciprocated, the topics I read often inspire my own content, etc.

    In this case, have I connected my actions with my intention (better blog), or am I being random in my time/task management?
    Axel (@ Iron Rogue) recently posted..Just RunningMy Profile

  10. says

    You done well Christine!! Your intentions lead to where you are now!!!

    I just don’t do goals & resolutions anymore.. well, I have things I need & want to do but I keep them private & work on them & if life changes or they don’t seem right, I change with that.. I like to be flexible with this stuff – life is a bit complicated so I have to keep it open.. :)
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..Happy Birthday Brookie!My Profile

  11. says

    To get out there and “do” is one of the hardest things for me, too. It’s been helpful to be advised by wiser folks that things don’t have to be perfect before we take some leaps… we learn through the doing, and clarity will come. Great word choice- looking forward to all you will DO this year!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Your top ten favorite postsMy Profile

  12. says

    I love that term: analysis paralysis. I get that ALL the time. I’m such a thinker and sometimes it makes me afraid to DO.

    I’m doing Ali Edwards’ One Little Word this year. I’ve never chosen a word to guide my year, so I’m pretty excited about the experience. (And over-thinking it, of course!)
    Shana Norris recently posted..2014 GoalsMy Profile

  13. says

    Oh, I too fall into the Paralysis trap. But about a year ago, I read this little post from Leo Babauta (Zen Habits):

    Although it didn’t cure me, it certainly changed my perspective about making decisions. It also reminded me that I don’t have to treat everything with the gravity of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Most of the decisions I’m making aren’t *that* big. I am surprised at how often I find myself reflecting back on his words, and reminding myself to treat a decision NOT as a be-all-end-all, but as an opportunity to collect some more data.
    Holly @ Run With Holly recently posted..Year of Running: 2013 in ReviewMy Profile

  14. says

    Do was my word for 2013.
    And it drove me to DO so much. I put my writing out there. I put myself out there as a social media consultant.
    Returns on investment was amazing.
    I hope that the word DO does as much or more for you, as it did me.
    Alison recently posted..Through The Lens Thursday #1My Profile

  15. says

    I like the idea of setting intentions rather than resolutions. It’s kind of like during Lent, I don’t always give something up, but usually try to do something positive. That’s one reason I really like your word for this year. I’m excited to begin doing new and (hopefully) positive things. Happy New Year Christine!
    Devon recently posted..Little Things: AlaskaMy Profile


  1. […] New Year’s Resolution is to find patience. To slow down and live in the present. My dear friend, writer, and yoga teacher Christine (here) wrote a great post this morning about Atha, the first sutra of the yoga sutras. Her last lines are […]

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