Setting Your Intention: Beginnings

Happy New Year! This year, as I look forward to all the lovely beginnings any new year brings, I’m exploring the concept of intentions.  As we flew home from our holiday vacation–we spent Christmas on the lovely island of St. Thomas, and celebrated New Year’s Eve at 30,000 feet somewhere south of Boston Logan International Airport–I began thinking about what the new year might bring for our family, and for me as an individual.

St. Thomas (c) P. Oberg, 2017
St. Thomas (c) P. Oberg, 2017

I’ve never been much of a resolution kind of girl; it just never made a lot of sense to me. No one ever seemed to accomplish their resolutions, so what was the point, I reasoned.

Mindfulness, on the other hand, speaks to me. In recent years, I have learned a lot about the concept of mindful living. So, when I spotted articles in the magazines I toted along on our flights about setting intentions, rather than resolutions, I was intrigued.

According to, “…an intention shouldn’t be confused with a goal—it’s not something you attach an expectation or evaluation to. It’s just something you want to align with in your life. It’s an aim, a purpose, or attitude you’d be proud to commit to.” For me, I love this idea of focusing on how we choose to engage with those around us and where we choose to aim our focus, rather than trying to count pounds lost.

A great post on Wanderlust  includes this tantalizing tidbit: “Connect with the elements of your life that are most significant to you and bring you the greatest joy, satisfaction, and energy. What gives you passion and fills you with a sense of purpose? Listen to that inner voice.”

I love this so much.

At my office, we’re working on a new management philosophy, one based on positive assessment of strengths vs. the traditional focus on weakness. (If you’re interested, start here.) We’re learning to identify our strengths, and focus on them; what are the natural talents that lie within you? It’s a lovely change of pace, and inadvertently fits right in with where my head is these days.

I haven’t quite figured out my intentions yet, but I’m working on it. It’s a beginning within a beginning, really. But as I think about what purpose or attitude I’m proud to commit to, and follow that with what brings me joy, satisfaction, or energy, a picture begins to emerge. It’s still out of focus, but I see giving myself permission to make my writing a priority, to enjoy the act of writing with a lessened focus on the product. I intend to place a greater focus on the positive, the things I can impact or change, rather than the things outside my control. And I definitely intend to think more about the all things that bring me joy, true happiness.


Author: Pamela A. Oberg

Pamela is a portfolio manager at an educational assessment company by day, writer by night. Founder of Writers on Words (a discussion and critique group), Pamela enjoys spinning tales of murder and mayhem, with an occasional foray into the world of the paranormal.

9 thoughts on “Setting Your Intention: Beginnings”

  1. What a wonderful way to look at new beginnings! I am also looking at intentions this year, as opposed to goals. More about that later. Lucky you to go to St. Thomas! What a great way to start the year!


  2. Oh, St. Thomas is beautiful. I was there briefly many years ago. I love this concept of intentions. Resolutions are easily abandoned and you can get stressed if you think you’re falling behind your stated goals, but intentions are by nature something you work on all year. Great idea.


  3. Agreed. I have found that focusing on intention is much more conducive to inner peace than setting up goals. I haven’t noticed if my productivity is impacted. In the long run, is it about how many words we crank out, or piles of laundry we fold, or errands we can squish into one day. Or is life about being in the moment? As time progresses and I’ve attended more and more funerals, I never once heard someone say, “Wow, she could drive to five different places on her lunch in the snow, work all day and still make a home-cooked meal.”


  4. Keenan, you’re so right. As my daughter gets closer and closer to college age, I’m more focused on what is meaningful time with her. Will she remember a clean house, or will she remember the joy of time spent together?


  5. Pamela, your response was spot-0n. The things I remember most, with my parents, siblings, and children are NOT related to cleaning anything, but to DOING and SHARING “fun” things. The last time I checked, the dirt and dust were still waiting for me, and had not disappeared at all.As far as I can tell, there will always be “housework” but there will not be another story-time, dancing, playing catch, talk, or recital the same as this one again. I INTEND to do way more of these things in 2017.

    Although, honestly, the dirt, laundry, and dishes could all be cleaned by someone else and I would not mind a bit — hint for my next birthday.


  6. I want to tattoo this blog on my forehead! Thank you. It makes so much more sense than making resolutions. Perfect. I love St. Thomas. Have not been there since 1989 when I used to go frequently. I need to google map the places I used to hang out. Maybe it’s time for a visit again.


  7. I just had a conversation with my adult daughter this morning about only focusing on that which you have control over. Everything else is just wasted energy. and I love the concept of mindfulness.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s