Setting 2024 Intentions

As we start a new year, it is the time that most of us start to think about our plans for the year ahead and what we want to achieve both personally and professionally. In our latest blog we will explore four different ways to identify your goals and ways to keep them alive beyond the first week in January! 

Personality Preferences

Depending on our personality, we will approach setting 2024 intentions differently. Before you choose an approach consider your personality preference, do you prefer:

  • Methods and logic
  • Data, numbers, and facts
  • Feelings and emotions
  • Visuals and stories
  • Handwritten or electronic format
  • Being planned or spontaneous

Once you understand how you work, you can then consider the approach that best fits your personality preference and the words we use to describe this activity. For example, I much prefer “intention setting” to “goal setting”, because that suits my way of thinking.

Different Descriptors

Using the list below, consider what is the best way to describe this activity for you. Feel free to add your own personal descriptors:

  • Goal setting
  • Hopes and dreams
  • Intentions
  • Plans
  • Ambitions
  • Vision
  • Targets

Different ways to set intentions

There are many different ways in which we can capture our ambitions, dreams and plans. Below I wanted to share four different methods that work for me and I know that many of my clients enjoy using.

1. Vision Boards

These are a visual creation of your intentions. You can print or cut out magazine images and put them onto a board. The advantage of this approach is that you have a visual reminder all year round of your intentions and it looks inspirational too. This works well for people who enjoy feelings, emotions and having a visual reminder of their intentions around them. The vision board can include pictures as well as words and it sets a desired pathway for the year ahead. 

2. Life Wheel

Consider using a life wheel to identify the portions of your life that matter to you the most. The topics you may wish to consider, might include:

  • Health and wellbeing 
  • Finances
  • Social 
  • Relationships
  • Professional Growth 
  • Career
  • Spiritual 

Firstly, identify what you are aiming for in each of these areas – ask yourself – if I scored myself 10 on this portion being “at my most satisfied”, what would be happening? Next, consider where you are currently. This gives you an opportunity to see the potential for change.  Like the vision board approach, this is also visual, and includes the data approach of noting your satisfaction scores. You also have the freedom to choose the different areas you put into the life wheel. 

3. SMART Objectives 

This gives a data driven approach to objectives and is in the written format. It ensures measurement is clear from the outset, i.e., how will I know I have achieved this? You can write your objectives and then pass them through the SMART test, i.e. are they:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic or relevant 
  • Timebound

4. Positive Statements

Using positive statements is another way of establishing our intentions for the year. Some examples are given below; however, the language can be tailored to the approach that works best for you. The objective is to set positive statements about the way you want to feel or think by the end of the year. It usually works best to brainstorm these statements out loud and works well in a coaching conversation, as you have a sounding board to listen and notice things as well. In 2024 . . . .

  • I want to see/ picture
  • I want to feel 
  • I want to think
  • I want to achieve 
  • I want to know   

Reviewing your Intentions

Now that we have looked at a couple of different ways we can capture our intentions, it is important to review them regularly across the year. In coaching sessions I notice that people who frequently put time aside to review their get the most from them, rather than just use it as a one off activity.

When setting 2024 intentions, useful questions to ask ourselves can be:

  • How will I know I have achieved my goals?
  • What is my motivation levels for doing them?
  • What support will I need and from who?
  • What are my first steps?
  • When will I review progress and how? (plan time in the diary to do so)
  • What feelings do I have towards these intentions?
  • What would be different for me if I achieved them?
  • What’s missing?
  • What would progress look like? 

In Summary

As you start to reflect on the year ahead, I would love to hear how you plan to set your 2024 intentions. For me personally, I use a mix of a vision board as well as positive statements and for my business I also set a few SMART objectives. A blended approach works well for me and I value the creative, visual element that the vision board provides, as I am inspired by pictures to express an intention. If you would like some help in setting 2024 intentions and would value a sounding board through coaching, please get in touch

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