How to set real and authentic intentions for 2017


This can be a crazy time of year with huge expectations. As if the pressure of the holidays weren’t enough, suddenly there is:

  • all the advice for making next year the best year ever
  • packages and programmes to achieve all your dreams and goals
  • courses to launch your business, lose weight, have everything
  • blogs telling you to look back and appreciate everything that has happened this year…good and bad.

All good stuff, but I feel exhausted just looking at my inbox full of all this stuff at the same time.

A different way of doing things

Time for some simplicity. How about reviewing the year and setting intentions for next year in a much more fun and authentic way?

I want to revive the lost art of the Christmas letter. This idea comes from the wonderful book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. As the name suggests, it is about simplicity, which is key to my sanity at this time of the year.

However, this is not the Christmas letter of perfect, manicured lives that we send out to friends and family, editing out the bad stuff and just making ourselves look good. Those times are well and truly passed.

This is about being real, engaging the emotions and having some fun. For this Christmas letter you are merely going to write to yourself, in a journal or an email…which ever works. Either way, it is just for you.

The review of the year

First, write a letter about the things that have happened this year, good and bad. Write about what has made the biggest difference to you? What are the simple changes that make a difference?

Write about the things that have made your heart soar and taken your breath away. Tell the story of the things that have been heartrending or rubbish.

What have been the greatest lessons? What mistakes have you made and what have you learned from them?

Most of all, write about what you appreciate about this year. What have been the good things, no matter how seemingly small and inconsequential? What brings that feeling of appreciation and gratitude to you?

Remember this letter is completely and only for you. It is also not about putting a happy face on the year if it has been a crap year BUT there is definitely merit in looking for the good stuff. If nothing else, pulling out the lessons for the year can make a huge difference for next year.

Authentic intentions for next year

Now write a letter dated this time next year in which you describe how all your dreams came true. Describe in intimate detail all the amazing things that have happened. Write in wonderful technicolour about what you have got up to, the places that you have been to. Explain how you have done what you have done and with who.  Let your intentions fully come to life!

Remember, this letter is for your eyes only so dream big! As Ban Breathnach says, “What we are really doing is setting down our New Year’s aspirations in concrete terms”. This is not just a letter to yourself but to Life itself.

It is a wonderful tool to really bring about your aspirations for next year. It engages your creativity, your emotions and the support of your subconscious mind. In other words, all those parts of your biggest best self that can change reality and bring about your dreams.

So forget looking good or living an edited life. Write your Christmas letter and give yourself the biggest present you can give…authentic life, straight from the heart of you.

Leave a comment below and tell us what is your authentic intention for 2017?