Now that there is only one month left in A Year of Humble Intent, I look back at the monthly intentions of 2020 and realise that if I achieved each of those intentions, I’d be living a healthy, fulfilling, disciplined and gracious life. In the interests of keeping it real: I have made some inroads — of which I am proud — but most of these intentions are still goals. I have days when I don’t exercise and nights when I ruminate — and my gratitude journal is craving an entry. Do I need to try harder at these intentions and try harder at being an all-round better person?
I always thought of myself as a laissez-faire kind of person due to my impulsivity. I never thought of myself as someone who was ‘hard on themselves’ — possibly because I have friends who run marathons and cycle for hours, which is beyond my scope as a human! Yet, ‘don’t be so hard on yourself’ has been said to me countless times; so there must be some weight in it.
At the risk of cueing the Pollyanna soundtrack, here are my intentions being teased back to life with calm questioning:
January: exercise every day
If I remember that I am lucky to be able to put one foot in front of the other and breathe in clean air, will I exercise every day?
February: go to bed by 10pm
If I continue to take magnesium and listen to a bedtime story for grown-ups as I nod off, will I be more able to go to bed earlier?
March: meditate every day
If I accept that I need to lean on a wall to avoid back pain while meditating, will I be more likely to surrender to its benefits?
April: write in my gratitude journal every day
If I leave my lovely, turquoise gratitude journal on my desk, will I write in it more often?
May: clear out and look out
If I continue to be of service to others, will I discover even more ways to help others?
June: be proactive
If I accept the past and my circumstances, will I accept that only I can create a bright future and even more favourable circumstances?
July: reactivate February, March and April’s intentions
If I acknowledge that change takes time, will change become easier?
August: look on
If I practice self-compassion, will rumination dissolve over time?
September: drink no alcohol
If I continue to only drink in other people’s company and not treat alcohol consumption as the default setting of Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, will I consume much less?
October: stop procrastinating (my life’s mission in two words!)
If I develop my curiosity about why I put off the most beneficial activities, will procrastination become less habitual? If I laugh at how preposterous my dedication to procrastination is, will it be easier to ‘get my stuff done?’
November: give up sweet treats
If I think before I eat instead of taking pride in impulsivity, will I loosen the hold sweet food has on me?
I originally used words like ‘soothing,’ ‘easeful’ and ‘simplicity’ in this blog and I want to reconnect with the blog’s purpose.
December’s intention and new habit is to go easy on myself. In the midst of the pre-holidays frenzy, the Covid-19 restrictions, the gift-buying and re-opening of shops (here in Ireland) as well as everyday life rowing on, maybe we all need a reminder to go easy on ourselves. ‘Do your best, that’s all you can ever do,’ is what many an Irish mammy, including my own, told her young — and I’m with the Irish mammies on this one. Peace and love to you.