lifestyle

How to Turn Resolutions into Intentions in the New Year

It's the new year - a fresh start and one more year ahead. We love the idea of resolutions but sometimes regret the stifling finality of those goals. We start strong and fall short because, well, life gets in the way. These resolutions that are meant to motivate often transform into heavy weights and expectations that can burden us.

So to truly honor the bright future of this new year, we're setting positive intentions - aims to guide our actions and how we adapt to everything that life throws our way. Good intentions require quite a bit of honest flexibility.

Eat Well. No, we don't mean exclusively eat at five-star restaurants. Instead feed your body as you would your mind. Learn what foods love your body and avoid trendy indulgences and/or abstinences. For example, not everyone needs to avoid carbs, but some people really do need to limit gluten. And remember, convenience doesn't necessarily equate to unhealthy. Look for fresh and vibrant foods even when you're on the go.

Learn Something New. While this may sound ambitious, it can be as simple as finally attempting to make fresh bread or tackling that kettlebell class you see at the gym. Trying new things opens us up to the vulnerability of making mistakes - but who said failure was a bad thing? You know, the light bulb you turn on 57 times a day took Thomas Edison 1,000 prototypes to get right. Every learning curve is accomplished eventually, with an infectious and clumsy grace.

Cultivate Everything You Plant. As farmers we naturally want to steward every seed to its fullest potential, literally and figuratively. Passion is always at its peak when you start a project but often wanes as things become difficult or monotonous. Our challenge is to revive that passion - because the end result is so much more fulfilling if you actually finish.

Find Balance. Sometimes life offers abundance. New opportunities at work and chances to travel. Friendships, relationships and even parenthood. This abundance is a gift, but it is a gift you need to carefully balance. Be open about your priorities, and set positive limits. And don't be afraid to be a little selfish to find time for yourself.

Be Mindful. In an age of convenience and the persistent presence of a screen as the facilitator of conversation it's easy to forget about our connections - both human and with nature. The absence of these connections can allow us to lose our compassion and responsibility. This year we want to break away that barrier, to rediscover tangible connections.

Unplug Often. We love the wide expanse technology offers us. (We wouldn't be connected to you right now if it weren't for the advent of the Internet and social media.) We also know all good things need moderation. Our brains and our lives were not designed to look at a computer screen all day. It affects our sleep, our eyes, our stress levels and our relationships. So this year, let's unplug together.

Love from Within. Spreading appreciation and positive intentions can only start in one place: within yourself. The strongest roots make the strongest tree. So love yourself more this year. Force out negative thoughts and divert them into positive affirmations. Accept every challenge as an opportunity. And, most of all, compare yourself to the one and only you!

What intentions do you have this year and what do you want to accomplish? Join us and keep the conversation going on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!