Creating a mindful start to the new year

Why setting an intention for how you want to move through the year is a better approach
Around this time of year there’s a lot of pressure to start setting your goals for the New Year. It doesn’t make sense. Whatever hemisphere you live in, you’re either at the height of your winter or summer, and in a time full of celebrations and gatherings with family and friends. It’s just too busy to be making any type of decision!

What if we took a step back, with a more seasonal approach? Setting our intentions now, but waiting to set our goals in February when they can properly thrive? And what if we spent these few months before setting our goals reflecting on what we like and don’t, and focusing on our values and purpose? Maybe we’d make better, more authentic decisions, that are reflective of our true values and ambitions rather than what we think we should be aiming for.


Setting an intention for the year ahead isn’t complicated. They are just a few words that are meaningful to you and set out how you want to live your life. My intention is to be more open about my own journey, and kinder to myself in sharing. There are certain aspects of my life that I don’t regularly share, such as being a parent, trauma, grief and stress. These have all shaped me and my approach, and why I founded Common Exception in the first place, and I’m keen to share these more.

Our values and purpose can be a little harder, and aren’t always fixed. Perhaps we’ll learn something new and realise that there’s something’s changed, and that’s ok. For me, I value having a meaningful life, and feeling connected — to other people, my body and nature — and having fun. Knowing what your values and purpose are will guide your decision making throughout the year, ensuring you’re saying yes to the right opportunities and no to the ones that aren’t.

So instead of getting caught up in the rush to think about the New Year, slow down, listen to your truth and enjoy the journey. Think about who you are and how you want to move through the year and leave your goals for later in the year.

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