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Natural Awakenings Northwest Florida

New Year’s Intentions: Eight Steps to Setting Satisfying Goals

Dec 10, 2017 09:13AM ● By Jamie Sanders

There is nothing like a clean slate to give us hope and inspiration for doing things better than we may have done them before. With the close of another year, it is essential that we review what has transpired over the past year and decide if we are pleased, not pleased or even content with what we see. We can’t go back and change what we did and didn’t do, but we can set new intentions for how we choose to create our experiences in the upcoming year.

  You and I create our reality through our thoughts, our beliefs and our intentions. To do so in a positive way, we must be clear about what we desire to have in our lives at any given moment:

What would bring me the greatest fulfillment? What would it take for me to accomplish my goals? What must I embrace and release in my life to move forward successfully?

Consider these questions and then write down what comes to mind, so that you can review the list daily as part of your motivational strategy for meeting your intentions and goals for 2018.

You may not think we have the power to recreate our lives, but we do. The mind is a powerful thing, and the power of the mind infused with the intention of the heart can literally remove obstacles in our path when we embrace our spiritual and emotional nature. 

Imagine what would happen if we focused our attention—and our intentions—on what we want, rather than the usual human behavior of focusing on what we don’t want or our fear of what could happen. We’d begin training our body, mind and spirit to respond differently simply by changing our thinking about ourselves and about others.

It sounds easy, doesn’t it? And it is—but it takes practice. 

Steps for 2018

1 Begin by forgiving yourself and others for whatever happened in the past. Holding on to shame and resentment is a prison. Forgive and move on, learn and grow.

2 Make a list of what you want to accomplish. Be creative but practical to begin with (e.g., “to become more organized in my business”). Is this a doable goal? Are you committed to sticking to it? 

3 Identify the challenges in your life as well as your strengths. Be honest with yourself here.

4 Take time to visualize what it would look like, feel like and require for you to accomplish your goals. Seeing is believing and believing is creating, so hold the vision in your mind: see it, feel it and breathe it in.

5 Stay passionate about creating new energy and activities in your daily life. Do new things, or do things in a new way.

6 Recreate or reinvent yourself. Have fun becoming a new, improved version of you—new look, new attitude, new activities, etc. 

7 Create time for self-care and/or meditation and prayer. Dedication to spiritual practice is important for personal growth.

8 Find a support person—or two. It’s helpful to have a team to keep you focused.

Year in and year out, most of us set New Year’s resolutions only to find after just a few days or weeks that we have forgotten to honor these agreements we’ve made with ourselves. I now refer to these plans as my New Year’s intentions—affirming that I intend to do these things because I want to, and I can. These goals are no longer things that must be “resolved,” but are goals I intend to honor within, and for, myself. And if I stumble, I give myself permission to begin again, and again, until the intention becomes my reality. 

Practice makes perfect. Get excited about doing things differently in your life, and watch what transpires. Nothing can ever happen for you if you aren’t committed to seeing it through. We are designed to be creative, so why not begin implementing that innate creative force to get what you want?

The more we practice visualization and goal setting, the more quickly it becomes second nature, and we begin to automatically seek and affirm the positive. Surround yourself with others who are uplifting and tend to see the glass as half full rather than half empty; like attracts like, so hang out in positive circles. As they say in various supports groups, “It works if you work it.” (I like to add, “And it won’t if you don’t!”)  

You can do and be whatever you desire—simply take the first step! The world is waiting.

Rev. Jamie Sanders is a minister at Unity of Pensacola, located at 716 N. 9th Ave. He offers spiritual counseling and coaching with a metaphysical approach, including meditation and affirmative prayer. He also provides spiritual marriage ceremonies at Unity or at a location of the couple’s choice.

Unity of Pensacola offers spiritual teachings that empower abundant and meaningful living. It provides a philosophy that is spiritual, not religious, and love-based, not fear-based. For more information, email [email protected], call 850-438-2277 or visit

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