Setting My Intentions for 2013

We’re already a few days into 2013. How are your resolutions going?


I was hoping to have more time over the holidays to reflect upon 2012 and spend some time journaling or doing some creativity exercises (vision board, anyone?) to help me focus on what went well — and didn’t — during 2012, and winnow down where I am going in 2013. The past year was a exciting and busy, with five conferences all around the country  (two of which I spoke at), blogging from the Democratic National Convention, being nominated for a Social Media award from the Women’s Media Center. I also participated in my first art show in San Francisco with the Asian Women Artists Association. On the family front, we took a ten-day, four-state road trip and didn’t kill each other, and my baby turned ten years old. My life has been full. Sometimes, too full. Such as coordinating childcare duties between my husband and parents during my travels, or fitting in exercise and healthy eating with working at home.


I’ve been hearing a lot about choosing a word to represent your wishes or hopes for the upcoming year. Santa brought the boys pencils carved out of twigs, each with a word inscribed on its side. Big Brother’s says Dream. Little Brother’s says Happy. HapaPapa got one that says Relax.


Twig Pencils


“Did you get a pencil?” Little Brother asked me on Christmas morning.

“No, Santa didn’t bring me one.”

“If you got one, it would say Stressed.”


Ugh. So that is apparently how my children see me. Something’s got to change.


I have started the change already, beginning with physical changes. In November, I made the decision to clean up my eating habits and lose the pounds that affixed themselves to my waist when I started spending less time in yoga class and more time eating scones in front of my computer. I indulged a little over the holidays, but it’s a lifestyle change that I’m going to have to continue in the new year.


As Little Brother reminded me, change would also be a good thing when it comes to work-life balance, and having a boundaried, engaged family life.


One of the words which has been jumping out at me as I’ve been reading articles and blogs about New Year’s resolutions is “intentions”. Setting your intentions is a Buddhist concept that is intended (hee hee) to help a person consciously focus on having the right attitude in the moment. So instead of setting your eyes on a lofty — and formidable — goal, you think about what you need to do right now to make the present more in line with your ultimate goal. At least that’s how I understand it, being a non-Buddhist.


So the word that comes my mind is “focus”. Focusing on what’s most important to me out of the many choices I’m blessed to have. Focusing on the children who are growing up right in front of my eyes (one of whom I will probably be eye-level with sometime this year). Focusing on what will ultimately be professionally fulfilling and meet our family’s practical needs. I have a lot of thoughts, but my kids are only home for a few more days of Winter Break, and right now I need to focus on them.


By the time I get to focus on my intentions for the year, the rest of the world will have probably moved on to another Google keyword, but what can I do? I have to live in the moment.


  1. says

    Grace, I think that’s a great word! I loathe to think what mu kids would think my pencil should say. I’m with you on creating a healthier lifestyle. Here’s to a great 2013 to you!

  2. says

    I think we can all stand to refocus from time to time; it’s so hard to maintain that view with the ordinary stuff of life getting the way all the time. I hope that it goes well for you!

  3. says

    Kids can totally pick up when we’re stressed – my DD does the same, though she doesn’t know the word stressed. She’ll just say, “Are you happy?” Yeah, gotta work on the work/life balance more. As a self-starter, even though I’m working from home, I can really work non-stop because I always feel like there is so much to do. And there is…but I have to remind myself often to stop and enjoy why I decided to leave the traditional corporate office – to spend more time with my daughter.

  4. says

    My resolution was to clean up & organize the house. Big goal! But little by little, I’m hoping to get it done. So far, we’ve done the shoes and the hall closet. The dining room mess is next!


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