New Years Intention Setting exercises I love

Dec 26, 2022 | Meditation, Yoga | 2 comments

As someone who has been very goal orientated for a huge part of my life, I have found the most effective and efficient ways to really harness the fresh newness that a brand-new year brings. These are my Top Activities, ones that I do at the beginning of each year that allows me to set goals in a way that I’ll actually achieve them.

Before I share my favorite goal setting activities with you, here are my 3 top tips for New Year’s resolutions:

1. Don’t set New Year’s Resolutions.

Hahaha. Honestly- the last few years especially, we’ve started the year off in a fatigued state and that’s absolutely okay!! We often crawl to the end of December feeling so fatigued from the year. We then enjoy holidays and celebrations, and so we should too. Coming into January, we’re still in the summer vacations and feeling a bit more relaxed with life. It’s no wonder why New Year’s resolutions often fizzle by the time February comes. The downside is it often sends us on a downward spiral of feeling like there’s something wrong with us because we didn’t stick to it.

2. Don’t start anything new until February.

Trying to come out of a Holiday period and straight into rigidity and goal orientation can be exhausting and counterproductive. Give yourself a week or 2 to settle into the groove of regular life, whatever that is for you. Then bring in the routines, goals and habits that will help you to live a healthier and more positive life. You’ll also have more energy to give towards any new habits that need to come in, rather than feeling like you’re pushing a boulder uphill. Just getting back into the swing of things takes a lot of energy and is enough.

3. Check your motivation style.

There are certain ways in which we are motivated- whether we respond to external expectations or internal. I highly recommend, before setting any goals, checking out Gretchen Rubin’s quiz about the 4 Tendencies. This quiz shows you whether your tendencies are aligned with following your internal motivation- meaning whether you can keep yourself accountable. It also tells you whether you respond better to external motivation factors. It might mean that you need a coach, a PT, a mentor, a support system in place, to even achieve your goals in the first place. Surprisingly, a huge percentage of people need to be externally motivated. They need a due date, a boss, someone telling them what to do and when to do it by. I’m one of those people! There are also some people that don’t respond to either internal or external (those rebels!!). Honestly- this quiz can be a game changer for anything that you wish to achieve:

Rubin discovered that people fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behaviour, so understanding this framework lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively. The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t act.” See full quiz here:



  1. Bucket list

Instead of just thinking about the goals as in the things you want to achieve in life (such as weight on the scale, promotion at work, etc.), consider making a bucket list of all the things you want to tick off throughout the year. Think more along the line of achievable experiences. That trip you’ve always wanted to take but never have- put it on there!! The hike you want to conquer, the hobby you’ve wanted to pick up, the activity you’ve wanted to do- put it all on there!!

What I’ve found is, these are the goals we generally don’t set for ourselves. We can forget to take those opportunities for the adventures we truly deeply crave for. There’s SO much more to experience in life than aiming high in work and slogging ourselves in the gym.

You will receive SO much more out of life by fulfilling these activities and adventures you put on your Bucket List. Sure- have the goals of health and work and what-not too, but not to the detriment of actually LIVING! My Bucket list tends to be about a whole page long, and I’ll continue to add things to it throughout the year. It’s always so much fun to tick things off, and these are usually the greatest memories I make through the year.

  1. Vision Boarding:

When it does come to those big vision’s you set for yourself this year, thinking about it is the first step. By writing it down in a journal, you’ll have a greater chance of achieving those goals. By creating a Vision Board, you’ll have an even greater chance of those goals becoming a reality.

Imagine every single day, you glance at a Vision Board hanging on your wall or a digital version set as your desktop background! That constant reminder every single day of all the things you’re going to tick off this year is incredibly powerful!

To create a Vision Board, put an image that represents everything you want in your life. Let it be a visual representation of how your life will be at the end of the year. If you’re calling in a baby for next year, put an image of a pregnant belly on. If you’re seeking more outdoor or overseas adventure, use a travel or nature image. If you’re calling in more friendships, put an image of a group of friends doing something you love. Fill the whole board with these amazing images, letting your dreams be wild and free.

Once your collage is completed, hang it, or post it somewhere you can see it. Then watch your dreams come to life. You’ll be so surprised at what will come from it by the end of the year.

  1. Let go of Achieving

If life begins to take you in another way and those goals don’t end up being achieved- there’s NOTHING wrong with that!! There’s 1 thing to set goals and I think an important thing to remember too- is that we’re here as Humans to also live and co-conspire with the Universe. We may have goals and visions that look one way, but then an incredible opportunity presents itself in a completely different experience. Go for it!!

The way that manifestation works, and a big part I believe is missed out in most manifestation conversations- is you also must be prepared to flow with life and to not attach to the achievement. Life might have GREATER plans for you that what you can first imagine. So set those dreams, for sure. Also be willing to let them alter, expand and grow beyond what your first vision is.


With the blank pages of 2023 approaching, let go of what this previous year has been. Cleanse and clear away all that has been and open yourself to the brand-new experiences that are just waiting to be had. Enjoy a beautiful Christmas and summertime, however you celebrate it. Bring LIFE back in through joy, playfulness and letting your hair out.

2023 is going to be amazing in all the ways it needs to be!


  1. Di Cranshaw

    Great read and some very useful tips here. xx

    • Karina Henwood

      YAY! I’m so glad you loved them. 😀


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