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  • Writer's pictureDr. Speshal Walker Gautier a.k.a. Dr. Spesh

Sis, What are your intentions for 2021?

Happy New Year Sis! You have survived a challenging year and that deserves recognition. Take a moment to reflect on your resilience through last year’s challenges. Let go of regrets and desires about what the year should have or could have been. Realize that if surviving is all you did last year, you did enough. Surviving through racial trauma and the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on Black communities is a hell of a load to carry. So put the bag down and give yourself space to breathe and reset.

The start of a new year is often accompanied by deep reflection and goal setting for the year ahead. Some may choose to set resolutions in hopes of kicking unhealthy habits or achieving aspirational goals. While I can appreciate New Year’s resolutions as an attempt to make positive changes, I find that they are often absolute and rigid e.g., starting or stopping said thing. The way that we talk about resolutions can sometimes leave people feeling like they have either stuck to their resolution or not before the month of January is even over. For example, we make statements like “I already broke my resolution.” The ways we talk to ourselves about resolutions aren’t always very forgiving and can move us further away from these goals due to feeling like we have failed to succeed.

This January I encourage you to reframe and shift toward setting intentions rather than resolutions. If you have tried meditation, mindfulness, or yoga before, then this may be a familiar concept to you. If not, setting intentions might be a new and useful practice to incorporate into your life. As you pause and connect to this very moment in your life you can set any intention that your heart desires. Perhaps you might set an intention to be present with yourself or in your relationships. It is an aim or focus that you can return to over and over again. I like reminding myself of my intentions because they allow for the nuances of humanity. While things do not always work out the way I intend, I can reset and return to my intentions at any given moment.

So I ask you Sis, what are your intentions for this year? I encourage you to first set your personal intentions. What needs do you need to attend to? What do you need in order to cultivate your relationship with yourself? Perhaps the intention is to be kinder or more patient with yourself. As you learn to show up for yourself, in deep and meaningful ways, you show up to your life and relationships in healthier ways. Inevitably you begin to develop relationships more intentionally. So commit to yourself and set your intentions for 2021. Cheers to a new year, Sis!

*Dr. Spesh is an Atlanta based Clinical Psychologist, blogger, and diversity consultant.*

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