Cassius Life Featured Video
Man sitting outside, listening to music

Source: Electra K. Vasileiadou / Getty

Starting a new year tends to put people in a pensive, reflective mood, when we consider all of the ways we’ve succeeded and messed up—and what we want to change in the year to come.

While New Year’s resolutions can sound tired a little bit scary, setting your intentions for the year feels less daunting. It brings you into the moment and allows you to reflect on what you want most. But most importantly, intentions demand that you take control of your life each day.

Here are some simple steps for setting your intentions in 2018.

1 Reflect on Your Year

Self-reflection comes naturally at the end of any era in your life. What have you accomplished this year? What did you willfully let go? What were some of the mistakes you made? Answering these questions is essential to figuring out how you will move forward.

2 Determine What You Want to Accomplish in 2018

Based on what you’ve reflected on, now it’s time to hash out what you’re going to do next. Maybe it’s something small like trying to be a nicer person. Maybe then your intention would be, “I intend to open my mind up to the joy and positive energy that life has to offer and reciprocate it to others.” Of course, it doesn’t have to be that elaborate, but make sure to use strong, purposeful words that ring true to what you want to achieve.

3 Keep Your Intentions Open

The cool thing about intentions is that unlike goals, they are expandable. Intentions should be open in order to not deter you from accomplishing whatever you set out to do, even if it’s on a microscale. If at first you don’t achieve your full intention, you’ll be able to see the progress you’ve made.

4 Write Them Down

Once you come up with your intentions, it’s important to write them down in order to hold yourself accountable. Put them up in a place where you’ll see them every day, such as by your bed, your dresser, or your mirror. You can also consider saying them out loud to yourself every morning as an exercise in empowerment.

5 Set Check-In Dates

As the year goes on, you should be able to track your progress. Have you been complying with your intentions? Set time with yourself as frequently as you need to (anywhere from once a month to once a day) to really sit and figure out whether or not these intentions still serve you. If they don’t, it’s never too early or late to set new ones.