by Christine Sine
Welcome to 2023 and the chance to start with fresh intentions and visions for the future. This year I am not making resolutions. Instead I am setting intentions. “Setting intentions is powerful when done properly” says AnnaMarie Houlis in How to Set Intentions “It is more than setting goals – it is about being purposeful in pursuing your desire… an invitation to step into your preferred story especially when your intentions solidly align with your values.” She then goes on to say “When setting intentions, it is like laying foundations for what you would like to have, feel and experience, providing you with the opportunity to actively participate in your life the way you want to live it”
As I reflected on AnneMarie’s words, I realized that for me intentions are far more powerful and necessary than goal setting . Goal setting is about what I want to do, intention setting is about who I want to be and who I think God wants me to be. A I look ahead the most important thing in my life is growing into the person that God wants me to be and I need to remind myself continually of who I perceive that person to be. Intentions help me to focus on the inner work God is doing within me.
Here is the process I developed during my retreat time last week. I will talk about this more in our retreat Following the Star on Saturday so I hope you can join us.
- Ask yourself “What kind of life do you want in 2023. We often set goals that increase our busyness and often set us up for disappointment and failure. When we think about the kind of life we want we focus more on values and relationships which are really far more imprint than tasks.
- What values do you want to undergird your intentions? Writing down the values that are the centre of our lives is often a good reality check for the dreams and goals we set. Love for God and family, concern for others and care for God’s creation are the values that came to my mind as I thought about this.
- What limitations might stop you fulfilling your dreams and intentions? In a couple of weeks I will turn 72 and I realize that the intentions I set for 2023 need to take this reality into account. I move slower than I did when I was 20 and have less energy which definitely affects what I will be capable of in 2023.
- Keep it simple. We are much more likely to remember and stick to guidelines that are simple.
- Revisit frequently for refocusing and encouragement. One of the reasons I love going on quarterly retreats is that I read through notes from the last couple of retreats and remind myself of my intentions for the future. It helps me get back on track and refocus on God’s intentions for me. I have also made these into a card that will sit on my desk at least for the first few months of the year.
Someone suggested that 2023 is a year of sevens. (2+2+3=7) Now I am not into numerology, but setting seven intentions for 2023 certainly seemed like a good idea. So here are mine. As you will see they are inspired by Joyce Rupp’s beautiful New Year’s prayer. I would love to hear what you come up with.
- Strengthen my spiritual practices.
- Live in awe and wonder.
- Seek regular intellectual stimulation.
- Dream and be creative.
- Take time to retreat.
- Build relationships and connections.
- Relax in the presence of unanswerable questions and unknowable mysteries.
In January we celebrate Epiphany and the coming of the Magi to visit Jesus. Like them, many of us feel we are on a long journey following a star that is sometimes bright and shining, sometimes completely hidden yet still guiding us towards Christ. 2022 taught us important lessons that will shape the coming year. We sense God wants to do something new in our lives and we want to follow in the right direction.
Join Lilly Lewin and Christine Sine online Saturday, January 7th 2023 from 9:30 am PT to 12:30pm PT as they help us reflect on the past year and take time to hope, dream and pray for the year ahead. We will engage in some fun practices like chalking the door and interact with each other in ways that strengthen our faith and draw us closer to God.