Your Future Self: Setting Intentions for 2017

Just as one might set an intention before a yoga practice, setting an intention for the new year sets a trajectory for where one would like to go in the future. During this time, reflecting on the past and planning for the future helps to clearly define goals. And though the holidays seem to be spent outside of ourselves and our normal patterns (visiting with family and friends), this time of dark coldness naturally leads us to become introspective.

Whether taking this time now or in the future, I encourage you to look within yourself and set an intention for the next moment, week, month, or year of your life. What will it take to become the person you’ve always dreamed of being? Below are some questions, meditations, and videos to help you become your best future, awakened, happy self. Use the resources you feel most pertain to your life, this is not a one-size-fits-all, but a take-as-you-need guide to setting intentions.

May your life be filled with joy, happiness, and freedom. May we all be happy and free.

Happy New Year



Practice #1

Reflecting, Weeding out, Moving Forward; Who doesn’t need one less energy sucking moment? How about more energy giving!

(Using a journal or pencil and paper are beneficial)

Begin by identifying what’s working in your life. These could be things you do for yourself which make you happy, supportive relationships, weekly or daily events which support health. List at least 3.

Next, identify what’s not working. This could be anything; Events, people, jobs, living situations, you name it! If it doesn’t feel right or throws you into a cycle of pain or aversion, put it on the list. Even if it’s something you cannot change, write it down. There is relief from pain just by acknowledging it’s presence.

From the list above, choose two or three items you could change or discontinue in your current life. It could be as simple as not discussing a certain topic with a loved one, begin looking for a new job, going to a different gym, saying ‘No’ more often. Then, write the two or three commitments down.

  • I will begin (or discontinue) ______________________. This will benefit me because ___________________.

You have now found ways to create a happier life for yourself. Even the smallest changes in our everyday life have profound positive effects.

Practice #2

See it, Feel it, Know it

Take a minute (7 minutes to be exact) and listen to Tara Brach’s Your Future Self Meditation. Then, using a pencil and paper, reflect on the following questions:

  • Describe how the presence of your future self felt? Was is pleasant? Uncomfortable? Calm?
  • What was their message?
  • What needs to change in your life to get you to become your awakened future self? Are their barriers in your path? People, locations, financial obstacles? Physical or mental hindrances? List at least 3.
  • Choose one (or more) of the items on the list you can change or do differently to begin on the path towards your most awakened heart or to reaffirm the path.

Now, say your intention in the present tense.

  • This year I will do _______________ to move toward the past of my most awakened, happy self. 

Remember, it isn’t the finish line you are striving for, but the individual steps taken along the way.


Resources for a happy, joyful, AWESOME you!


Sarah Blondin: Make it Sacred

Sarah Blondin: Accepting Change

Sarah Blondin: Heeding the Call of your Soul

Tara Brach: Your Future Self Meditation (7 minutes)

Thich Nhat Hanh’s 4 Mantra Video on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday (3 minutes) 

Thich Nhat Hanh’s “I Have Arrived” Produced by Plum Village (1 minute 30 seconds)


Author: Caitlin Hegwood

I create healthy recipes, share natural self-care tips, provide mindfulness practices, offer private and group yoga classes, and health and wellness coaching to my amazing community of wellness seekers. I hope you'll join me on this journey to wellness by subscribing below!

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