Cultivating a Conscious Conversation: Intentions, Resolutions, and Theme Words

In the spirit of *collaboration with love*, I asked a few of my peers to share their perspectives on creating in the new year.  I respect their wisdom and love their energy, so it is a joy to share their reflections with you! 

I recognize that every breath in a new beginning, so we do not “need” to wait for a new year to begin something, nor do we need to begin something just because it is a new year.

In fact, might I suggest, as we choose to create by tapping into the current of flow, there truly isn’t a beginning or an ending; there are cycles of unfolding fully from one moment to the next.  When we choose to practice movement in such a way, we experience freedom and peace as we connect and create.

From such a space, we feel the ability to soar…

In such a space, others who practice in similar ways, who love–and live–the feel of infinite possibility, join us in celebrating this gift of life.

This article is a beautiful example of the above concept.

As you read, I invite you to consider these points:

1.  There are myriad ways of creating.  There isn’t a “right” or “wrong” way.  There is a way of resonance and a way of non-resonance.

2.  If we like how something feels (it resonates) we can choose to cultivate and amplify it.  If we don’t like how something feels, we can choose to release it.  We choose.

3.  Our choices can vary from one moment to the next.  When we honor that internally, we are honoring individual path.  When we honor that in another, we are honoring full creative expression within individual path.  (When we resist, we may feel restricted, confined, ill, tense).

From: Sibyl Chavis – The Possibility of Today

When creating for the new year, what technique do you use: intentions, resolutions, a theme word (a combination/none)?

When it came to creating for next year, the first place I began is with my intention.

I generally ask myself two questions in order to determine what my true intentions are and what I should focus on. The questions are: Is there anything that just feels right and like something I am meant to create? What do I feel most passionate about right now? I gave myself some time to let both of those questions just marinate in my mind and then when I had an answer for both, I was able to determine the projects I wanted to focus on for 2013.

How do you gauge your progress with this technique?

The gauge I use is whether or not I feel confident that I have arrived at the right conclusion. I know that if I continue to feel very passionate and confident about my conclusion as more and more time passes, that I have landed in the right place and there are no further adjustments I need to make.

However, I have had those times where time goes by and my passion for the idea fades a little or I end up realizing I need to modify the idea a little. I always try to give myself enough time for that process to work itself out so that I know for sure I have arrived at the right decision.

If we wish to use this technique, what would you consider the first and/or essential step to take?

I think the most essential first step would be to ask yourself the two questions. Take some quality alone time and reflect on both questions. It’s okay and even to be expected that the answers may not come right away, but just sitting and asking yourself the questions, starts the process. Then just patiently wait for the answers to rise to the surface. It may be the next day or even the next week and as time goes on, you may realize you need to make some changes to what you initially thought. The key is though to not force anything and just be confident that the answer will come — and they always do. 

May you share with us your intentions, resolutions, and/or theme word for 2013? 

For 2013, my intentions are to (1) work very closely with the community at Possibility of Today and (2) to write my next book on the Power Circle – which is the engine behind my mantra – “Live Today Better than Yesterday”.


From Evelyn Lim – Abundance Tapestry

I usually set an intention and a theme word for the new year.  The intention is usually tied to the projects that I intend to work on for the next 12 months.

I find it amazing that whatever I am working on offers me the needed opportunity for personal growth as well.  So the intention could also be related to the theme word itself.

I also break my intention to broad objectives to complete by the month.  I measure progress by knowing that I have been working on my intention gradually and towards completion.  I don’t abandon what I set out to do.  My timeline may stretch as it always does, due to a variety of unexpected factors.  However, once I decided to work on something, I persist no matter how hard or daunting it seems.

I think the first step is to set an overall intent on the desired direction.  This overall intent can serve as a guide for the next 5-10 years or even forever.  Then, it becomes easier to break it down to “smaller” intentions for each year.

Intention setting is an inside-out approach.  It also involves the use of heart and mind.

At this point in time, I have not quite decided what theme and intention I would like to set.  Things usually become clear to me by mid-January or end of January.  However, due to the Dec 21, 2012 shifting of energies, I have decided to take a longer period to process and reflect this time round.

From Karl Staib  – Work Happy Now 

When creating for the new year, what technique do you use: intentions, resolutions, a theme word (a combination/none)?

I always take the last week of every year to review my progress. I always make sure to focus on the positive accomplishments. Looking at all the stuff I did wrong over the year would take too long. Once I have a list off all my positive accomplishments I look at how I can do more of these activities to bring in even better results. Instead of focusing on concrete goals I create broad resolutions that help guide my actions and keep me focused on doing the activities that give me the most bang for my time and money.

How do you gauge your progress with this technique?

If we wish to use this technique, what would you consider the first and/or essential step to take?

The first step is to do work that makes you happy. Never do work or create a goal just because you think  you should. When you focus on doing work that engages your happiness that’s when you will see great results.

May you share with us your intentions, resolutions, and/or theme word for 2013? 

My resolution this year is to connect with amazing people who need my help and can help me. That’s the best way for me to view my ability to grow my network and my business.

From Sandra Pawula  – Always Well Within

When creating for the new year, what technique do you use: intentions, resolutions, a theme word (a combination/none)?

Each year I choose a single word or phrase as my guiding star for the next 365 days.  A tremendous power seems to unleash itself when I place my attention gently but wholeheartedly on one designation, one destination.

How do you gauge your progress with this technique?

This year I will gauge my progress through a daily reflection.  I’ll examine my thoughts, words, and actions each day.  Have they been loving and compassionate?  Have I fallen into any negative traps?  How can I improve tomorrow?

If we wish to use this technique, what would you consider the first and/or essential step to take?

To listen, be receptive, and patient.  I don’t “choose” my word.  Instead, I allow it to bubble up from deep within.  The word must resonate profoundly with the most essential and important personal change I would like to make in the coming year.  The perfect word doesn’t necessarily fall out of the sky like a meteor although that could happen.  It usually announces itself gradually and then finally congeals in a burst of clarity.

May you share with us your intentions, resolutions, and/or theme word for 2013? 

My 2013 word is “nying jé” – a Tibetan word commonly translated as “compassion”, but which actually represents a constellation of heart-based qualities including:

  • love
  • affection
  • kindness
  • compassion
  • gentleness
  • generosity of spirit
  • warm-heartedness
  • sympathy
  • endearment

Compassion is a powerful antidote for overcoming self-cherishing and self-grasping, recognizing our interdependence with all living beings, and ultimately realizing our true essence.  All of which leads to true happiness and freedom.

From Andrea Briggs – Inside Thread Studio

When creating for the new year what technique do you use: intentions, resolutions, a theme word (a combination/none)?

Embracing what you feel within yourself is vital. The new year is an auspicious time. This year, I have decided not to start the year with a resolution, theme or intention. This year I will encourage myself to express and open to a natural flow of living. A mindset of no expectations, judgments, or limitations. I like to call it the ‘Here I am‘ mentality.

It is simply being open to the flow of your own nature. Living life from a place that is kind, wise, and at the same time pushing the self to love, embracing the ever present human potential. It’s a freedom from uncompleted resolutions and intentions that seem to find themselves to the way side. It is a feeling that everything is possible and everything is abundant, regardless of the material possessions, economic wealth, or social status of our life. This mentality gives us the freedom to express our potential without disguise and without stagnation.

How do you gauge your progress with this technique?

Progress in this state of mind rests in the simple knowing that you’re not collapsing in expectations of what you think will be or what you want to be. You embody the feeling of openness to any situation or any person. Progress can be seen when there is a relaxation to the potential of a situation or project you are involved in. Our progress rests in the continuation of the openness, relaxation, delight, smiles, and sense of presentness in all fronts of the physical, emotionally, and mental states of humanness.

For example, instead of enlisting a resolution for losing weight, making more money, or traveling more, you simple embrace the mindset of ‘here I am’ and think I’m full of potential, abundance, love, and wisdom. By standing in the place of presentness along with embracing an attitude of ‘am-ness’, the natural flow of life runs through you. You naturally begin to do the things you’re designed to experience and feel.

If we wish to use this technique what would you consider the first and or /essential step?

The first step would be to observe where in daily life our reactions towards situations have become stagnate. Where do we constantly doubt ourselves? Where do we limit the flow of our energy? Secondly, we must acknowledge the abundance in our lives and send out waves of gratitude. These allow us to invoke those energies within us and with that we begin to change how we respond to situations and how we view ourselves within them. These attitudes change mental patterns and allow us to become more open to the natural and abundant flow of life.

From Tara Wagner – The Organic Sister 

When creating for the new year, what technique do you use: intentions, resolutions, a theme word (a combination/none)?

Somewhat of a mashup between the three with a heavy emphasis on a Guiding Word. Primarily I spend my time Digging Deep into the past year to examine what it’s brought me, how it’s challenged me and what Life asked of me. I use that along with whatever resonating word has been speaking to me. Usually my word speaks to me through Life, something that has been mentioned to me or popped up over and over again. Sometimes it’s intuitively there, a word being whispered in my ear (or screamed, if I’m not listening!).

From there I use my word to guide the goals I wish to set for myself, the intentions for my year and how I want to experience it. I find it to be part conscious creation (doing my part) and one part active trust and allowing (letting Life do guide me or change the course).

If we wish to use this technique, what would you consider the first and/or essential step to take?

I would say spend time with the last year. It’s hard to be conscious and mindful in the coming year without first becoming conscious and mindful of where you are now, and how you got there. There are always patterns to see and our own inner stuff to acknowledge (with compassion, I might add). I’ve found that when we give these things some space to be seen and heard they begin telling us our next step, but only if we sink beneath our thoughts and our resistance to where it’s leading.

May you share with us your intentions, resolutions, and/or theme word for 2013? 

My guiding word for the year is Surrender. This past year taught me exactly what happens when I don’t let go. ;) It was exhausting and a lot more work and didn’t include the organic flow of Life. I began hearing my word awhile ago, but I did a really good job at resisting it, until finally I wore myself out and had no other choice but to Surrender.

I have some idea of how this will look…a lot of slowing down, letting go of things I thought I “had to” do (come to find out the world keeps turning even if you stop trying to spin it), and making a lot of quiet space to breathe and be alone, connect with Nature and myself and others. I have no intention of it being big and shiny and busy, but rather just flowing with the organic path Life unfolds.

From Dr Alice Chan – Rediscover You and Love Your Life

When creating for the new year, what technique do you use: intentions, resolutions, a theme word (a combination/none)?

I have a practice that consists of 2 guided visualization processes to vision for the new year that I do every New Year’s Eve. One of them is very simple, yet powerful, which consists of 4 questions:

1.     What is your highest vision for me in 2013?

2.     What do I need to release or let go of for this vision to be realized?

3.     What do I need to embrace or become for this vision to be realized?

4.     What else do I need to know?

These questions are posed to my God, which is Universal Energy, not a deity figure. I let the answers/insights come to me and guide me on intentions to set for the new year and actions to take. On NYE 2010, I was told to write my book: Finish REACH book. Just do it. You have a message to share. Don’t delay. Following this guidance, I started writing in earnest in 2011, and finished my book while holding down my business in 3 months. It was the most exquisitely beautiful and expansive experience of co-creating with the Divine!

The same process on NYE just this past week yielded such powerful and profound insights that it brought me to tears. It reminded me of what Marianne Williamson said about our deepest fear being that we’re powerful beyond measure. I was told to stop hiding from my power and be a leader, that others hunger for my leadership, and they need me to be fearless, so that they can be encouraged to live fearlessly. So, this visioning process guided my intention for 2013. (If you’re interested in reading more about this process, you can see my blog post on this experience.)

If we wish to use this technique, what would you consider the first and/or essential step to take?

Be open to being guided. Leave your rational mind out of it, because this isn’t about logic, but about allowing the highest vision for you to come through and guide you on how to live and what to do that’s for the good of all involved, including yourself.

May you share with us your intentions, resolutions, and/or theme word for 2013? 

My 2013 Intention: To do my best to be my best self and live my best life, including saying “Yes” to being the leader I’m asked to become, to be more of a channel for Universal Love in how I show up and what I do in 2013.

I also have a mantra for 2013: Do it for Love.

To a great 2013 full of love, ease and joy!

From Arvind Devalia – Make it Happen 

When creating for the new year, what technique do you use: intentions, resolutions, a theme word (a combination/none)?

For 2013, my theme word is funnily enough is JOY. My intention for this year is to create much more joy this year and do to at least one joyous thing each day.

he idea is to bring more joy to myself AND others every day. I’ll know how I am doing as each night in bed, I’ll review the day and reflect on just how joyous it was. That’ll then also give me more ideas for creating joy the next day.

The first step is get clear about what “joy” means to you and to realise just how easy it is to create joy in our lives.  Some people feel that joy is about big things but it could be as simple as appreciating a tree or a birdsong.

I suggest you start by creating a list of simple things that bring you joy – and then applying these ideas and adding more as you get more used to the idea of joy. Remember, it’s a virtuous circle and it’s infectious!

May the joy be with you in 2013!

And, that, my friends, is a “wrap”! Thank you all for collaborating with love!  Here are two distinctly different messages that inspired the theme of this article:

13 Questions for the New Year by Tara Sophia Mohr

Strategic Planning Exercise by Nathalie Lussier

And, I have created my own heart whisper to begin this year: The Gift of Presence: Musings at Sunset 21- day self-study. 

I love the idea of gifting, so I would like to offer one complimentary session in a raffle.  To enter your name in the raffle, simply leave your answer to the following question in the comment section by 9p pacific time January 14, 2013.  The winner will be notified by email, and the name posted here. ** Thank you to all who shared their reflections in the comment section!  I am so excited to share this study! I decided to gift each person who commented two complimentary sessions–one for them, and one to share!**

Question: I would love to know, as you consider each reflection, what is the first thing that arises within…that your heart says: “oh yes, please“…to…and what is one action step you may take to honor the meaning of that whisper?

Much peace and abundant love,


Reminder: Linger.  Savor.  Relish.

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Comments on: "Cultivating a Conscious Conversation: Intentions, Resolutions, and Theme Words" (14)

  1. What an amazing mix of inspiration and ideas! I felt so uplifted reading all these different ways to go about setting your direction for 2013.

    When I read how Dr. Alice Chan was guided to write her book and did so in three months, my heart fluttered! Interesting question, Joy! And, interesting respond for me.

    Thank you for bringing all this clarity and guidance together for us. Thanks to everyone who participated and thanks for including me.

    • Thank you for your contribution to the article, Sandra, and your participation in the conversation here!

      When I conceptualized the article, I opened my heart through “fear of rejection” with the result of this wonderful conversation, containing a depth and range far beyond what I could have hoped for, asked for, or fathomed. An example I might apply in many areas of my life, and an affirmation of the power of listening to heart whispers.

      I am thrilled Dr Alice’s writing experience resonates with you; now that your “heart fluttered” I look forward to seeing what unfolds…

      Love to you!

  2. Thank you for bringing together this conversation about setting intentions and theme words. It is definitely very interesting to learn the different perspectives and all of them in valid in creating more conscious lives.

    The first word that came up for me is contentment, which when I delved deeper in is peace. Interesting! I hope to gain further insights into these. I have to let all these sink in deeply before I know which is the one that will be my power word for the year.

    Thank you once again for being the light that you are, Joy! Have a most awesome year in 2013!

    • Thank you for your contribution, Evelyn, and your presence in the conversation here!

      One intent in presenting this conversation is to encourage us all to amplify our bonds through similarities as our different perspectives inspire us to step into our own version of exploration of expansion, and celebration of connection and creative expression within that.

      I wish to continue to share different perspectives throughout the year; how fun to *collaborate with love*!

      Love to you!

  3. Thank you, Joy, for bringing us together for this collaboration, the first manifestation of your theme word for 2013! I enjoyed reading what other contributors had to say, and I especially resonate with “Compassion” and “Surrender.” It also struck me that, even though our processes are different, our intentions and theme words all came from within.

    Also wish to thank Sandra for your kind comment about my experience writing my book!

    A magnificent 2013 to all!

    • Thank you, Dr Alice, for your contribution to the article, and your presence in the conversation here!

      The first manifestation of my 2013 theme word is the collaborative eBook I created with this Facets community and launched on the 1st. As I move forward, I find it essential to create with my “family”, then others (this conversation), then World (oooh…what will *that* look like?).

      I love this insight, it affirms my intent for the article: “though our processes are different, our intentions and theme words all came from within”. May we feel this in each conversation we choose to vest presence to!

      Love to you!

  4. I loved reading this! Thank you! :-) I am grateful today.

    Love, Vidya

  5. jean sampson said:

    Wow, so much wisdom here! I REALLY resonated with two, sort of opposite things —–one, the intention to get quiet, be by myself and be in Nature more. Even though i go for a long walk out in nature as many mornings as I can, it is with a friend and we do lots of wonderful talking—–AND I need to do it by myself sometimes. I love walking with my friend, but I sure do miss walking with me! :) I used to live a little bit like a Monk, and that is one whole side of myself that is NOT getting any time now that I am so very public in a Community Arts Center studio. I have no idea how I will do this, but I am setting the intention now. :)
    The other urging is to get in that studio and paint, paint paint! And get those paintings out, out, out! So I am going to tackle that right now. I mean TODAY!
    Thanks for all of the wonderful intentions and methods of working with them. You folks ALL ROCK! Thanks, Joy.

    • Thank you, Jean, for your presence in this conversation!

      Perhaps there is almost “too much” wisdom here! My intent was to share a variety of perspectives’ not at all to overwhelm readers (which may have happened due to the length of the article, although the *feel* is light!).

      Silence invites full creative expression…and I love that reflection (how might I turn that inward, where might that lead me?).

      I love your enthusiasm for life, connection, creation! As you walk with your friend, you celebrate–essential–as you walk with your self you celebrate in different ways–also essential. I am interested to see how this unfold for you as you continue to create from this empowered space!

  6. Joy: Thank you for putting this together. I really am so honored to be included so thank you. I have learned and continue to learn so much from you and the other people you included in the compilation. Thank you for all that you do and here’s to an amazing 2013:)

    • Thank you for your contribution to the article, Sibyl, and your participation in the conversation here, and for your kind words!

      Yes, please, to an amazing 2013!

  7. The first thing in my heart that says “oh, yes please” is to “stop hiding out, express your authentic self”! One action step I plan to take to honor myself with this would be to become more visible in my life. I plan to do look fear in the eye this year and write my book and to promote me and my new business “Brite Life Transformations”. No more playing small. Thank you all for the inspiration :)

    • My heart is celebrating your clarity and enthusiasm, Colleen!

      I can feel your excitement as you declare: “express your authentic self”. And, you have taken one step already, by choosing to share here.

      May you celebrate that step, and recognize that fear has already dissolved…when you look it in the eye, I bet you will find it has evolved to determination and spirit!

      Thank *you* for the inspiration!

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