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Setting intentions for the year ahead – Welcome to 2022!

Hello my creative friend! Welcome to New Year! I so feel good about the next Year, and I will be talking about it in the next blog posts, but for now, let’s set 2022 intentions for a beautiful year ahead. January is a month of stillness, quietness and reflection. It is a great time for deep dive into one’s self, to look back to the past year and use it as a tool for better understanding of, well, yourself and Life itself. Isn’t everything really a chance to get to know ourselves better? January is also a great space to think about the year ahead and set your intentions to where you want your energy to reside. What I mean by that and how to set intentions for the year ahead… let’s dive into it. 

Note: This blog post contains audio version at the very bottom of this post. Narrated by: yours truly. Enjoy the ride.

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Welcoming the New Year of 2022

The end of a year, any year, is always a bit overwhelming. A year as we know it is a one way street with a beginning and an ending, and no matter how life isn’t a point A to point B kind of journey but rather it has no clear borders, a year has it’s path and the very ending brings a sense of completion. And it truly is a completion of a cycle through one of many lenses life can be observed. I see the ending of a year starting already in autumn and I feel it’s slowly approach, but at the end of November the New Year starts to unfold and creep in, until I feel it fully arrived somewhere at the beginning to middle of February, when we can start to sense Spring coming. 

Flowers in a frozen meadow, photo by Marina Ćosić

There is a reason for celebration of the New Year. Winter is a beautiful metaphor for death and birth, which are not two sides of a stick, but more like two experiences merging into one, because one cannot exist without the other. And no matter whether we are waiting for one to finally come to an end, or another one to begin, having a ritual of any kind is a beautiful reminder of the cyclic way of living. And isn’t January the perfect time to be in the place in between – just before we get to be born again? A perfect time and space for setting new years intentions.

What’s January all about?

So, January comes in a way full of expectations for many. We choose the one resolution, the one word, the one goal, and we expect to go from one day to another being completely different. Even though that is possible, really, with quantum jumping and all, for most people things don’t work that way. 

That’s why I’m taking this whole month to set intentions for 2022, to slowly enjoy the dark of the winter and the wisdom it holds in it’s shadows, and to reflect to the past year only to learn from it. Mostly, we cannot learn or integrate immediately an insight or a cognition, a learning, but it takes time for that knowledge or those lessons to become an integrated part of ourselves – as we practice them. Just like as with practice of any kind you become better through time, it’s because of the past experience that you grow, not because of what you learn now.

A common misconception about January is that we need to start fresh and be prepared for the year ahead, but the thing is, just a week before New Year the winter starts. This means that this is only the beginning of the deep dark, going to our roots, winter sleep and being still. From this point of view January is a good place to be still (literally or metaphorically, however you please) and reflect on the past year. 

Birch trees in November, yellow fallen leaves on fern, photo by Marina Ćosić

What was it like for you? What value did you gain? And what do you feel you need to leave behind? What did you like and would love to bring more of it into your daily practice? Here’s the thing; whatever you’d love to see more of, you don’t wait for it to show more and more, but you practice seeing it and being it every day, and this is how you bring more of it into your life. You want to be more present? Practice being present every day. You want to have more fun doing your work? Practice having fun. You want to get rid of anxiety? Practice standing still when anxiety hits and practice being still with whatever emotions come your way. Practice is what brings a change and through observing without attaching is where we grow. 

Focusing on wellbeing and vitality

Another thing that I love January for this year is that I’m taking it slow and focusing on my own wellbeing. I was inspired by Christina Greve, a beautiful human and an extraordinary photographer from whom I got a chance to learn from in 2021., who motivated me not to rush into my plans, goals and visions for 2022., but to take time and put focus on my wellbeing. So I did bring some decisions with her guidance (Thank you, Christina!), and cut sugar and alcohol out, but also all unnecessary food such as snacking and emotional eating, I do daily exercises, whether that’s yoga, aikido practice, forest walk, stretching or breathing. 

And I’m taking it slow. I’m listening to my body, I am not forcing anything, but feeling what am I being called to do, even on those days when my mind had different plans. My attention is on my physical body, but on my energetic and emotional body as well, where in being present I practice noticing and speaking my truth. 

For some it may be as easy as breathing, for me it’s not as easy as it sounds. Many thoughts repeated over and over again through a lifetime became a system that needs to be rebuilt. So, this is where I am at this January. Being me.

Reflecting to the past year

When it comes to reflecting to the past year, this practice needs some time and space, too. Reflection comes before setting intentions. It’s not a ‘one time sit at the desk and write’ thing. It is more like letting go expectations to be something, anything, someone, and spend time thinking about the people, experiences, occasions, decisions, events, thoughts, writings, accomplishments, wants, needs and desires of 2021. How has everything shaped me, what did I enjoy doing, how did I feel about certain things, what do I need to let go, and what I would love to bring forward or create again. It’s not just business wise, of course, it goes for life in general. 

However, the past is not a place to reside in, a place to stay at. Our past is a book that we can learn from, a tool that we can use for our own growth. All the answers to our questions can be found in our past, and if we’re lucky enough and practice enough, we can learn how to reach those answers now, in the present moment, before they once again become the past. So, don’t get emotional about things that have happened, but try to move away from the experiences and understand how it felt and see how it has shaped you.

Flowers in a frozen meadow, photo by Marina Ćosić

Envisioning the future

After past has been seen, acknowledged and accepted, it’s time to get back to now and look ahead to the future, to 2022. This is the time where I get to envision how I would love my year to look like, what would I love to create, what projects I would love to start or if there are old ones that need to be worked on. Instead of making to do lists here, I love seeing my overall year from a higher perspective. What has come to an end and what did I leave behind? What do I want to create instead? How do I want to fill in this empty space? 

Road in the middle of the forest,

For example, for me that is enjoying in my work more and having fun while doing it. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I need to get crazy and dance in the break time, or have big smile on my face while creating client mood boards. What this means for me is that I want to approach my work with relaxation instead of with tension, with ‘I get to do this’ instead of ‘I have to do this’ mindset. I want my overall years feel to be having fun and enjoying the process of creating whatever I’m working on. 

After all, I did create my job out of thin air wanting to do everything that I love doing and make a living out of it. How lucky am I to actually live this life? If you are anywhere near starting the same, I will have a Thriving Creator Masterclass coming up, so make sure to sign up for the waiting list to get notified when this happens. If you don’t know what The Thriving Creator is, check this link and read more about my signature course. 

Time to set intentions for 2022

After thinking about how you want your year to look like, it is time to set intentions for 2022. This is where you get to write down not only all the projects you’d love to start and work on. You can think about and write down numbers if numbers are your thing. With intentions what is important is to feel how you want to feel during the year (I’m talking about that overall feeling), and to embody it now

Flowers in a frozen meadow, photo by Marina Ćosić

Setting intentions is not about only writing it down and then remembering it every now and then. It is more about taking time and space to feel NOW how it would feel if it would come to life, which of course will eventually. This is where you create a starting point and you can easier bring this emotion to the future. Because, if you know how it feels like, you can easier bring it up if you forget where you are at. This is also why practice is important, as I mentioned it previously.

Flowers in a frozen meadow, photo by Marina Ćosić

To end with…

With this all being said, I will leave you with whatever good you took from today’s reading or listening if you prefer the audio version of this blog post. 

I wish you clear mind, a calm body and an open heart to draw in the experiences that will make you better in whatever way you need in this beautiful and strong New year of 2022.

If you want to sign up for new blog posts updates, you can click here. I will send you an email every time new blog post is published so you get reminded of the good things you love. 

And also, you can join the Inspired conversations weekly Newsletter that I send every Monday where I share my thoughts, insights, experience and wisdom around personal growth, creative living and soulful business. In the last few months this has been my absolute favourite thing to do, and people really love it and get useful thoughts every week. 

Until next time, sending good vibes your way…

Marina

oil on paper blog creative living personal growth soulful business

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