Winter completely kicked my ass. For whatever reason, once it’s dark, I’m done. The literal and figurative darkness of the season was exhausting. Even when there was inspiring weather, something in the world would destroy the potential for the day, then it’d be dark, and I’d push off being happy until tomorrow. I desperately needed spring, sunshine, and intended to have a better attitude.
As Dramatic as That Sounds, It’s True.
Not acknowledging how much I struggle with seasonal depression would be rude to my normal everyday depression and anxiety. But instead of wallowing in the depths of my dramatic wintertime despair, I’m focusing my thoughts on copious amounts of sunshine, short sleeves, the smell of sunscreen, and not having to argue with my kids about wearing socks. I’m dreaming of warm days at the barn and listening to the neighborhood kids play outside.
I wanted to get myself in some positive momentum for spring, but I didn’t want to make it stressful. Goals are so focused on a product or accomplishment. Goals are too black and white, success and failure. Intentions allow for even the smallest bit of progress to be celebrated.
An Intention (noun) is a Thing Intended; An Aim or Plan.
By definition, goals and intentions are similar. Both words are nouns, and include making a plan for something. However, a goal needs a result. An intention is just an aim. It’s based on a feeling, not a result. Intentions are completely subjective to the individual.
With an intention, you get wiggle room. It seems less intense and allows for some gray areas. By simply working toward my intentions, I’ve made progress. Even if I only do what I intended to do one time this entire season, it’s progress. With a tiny bit of accountability to myself, progress is progress.
Set Your Intentions For You.
I spent too much time reading everything I could find regarding goals and intentions. My attempts at setting my spring intentions have been much harder than anticipated. I ended up with lists of goals and what I wanted, but that’s not an intention. And remember, you can’t fail so it’s not worth stressing.
When I get overwhelmed, thinking how I would explain it to a child is a good way for me to step back to really understand what I need to do. For me, that means using my favorite classroom accommodation, sentence stems and being clear with how I wanted to feel, do, and be during spring.
I want to feel happy, confident, and twinkly.
I Intend To Do What’s Best For Me, Even When It’s Inconvenient.
It is definitely not just me, but often push what’s best for others before I consider prioritizing what is best for me. Although simple, I ignore my most basic human needs and expect to still function, be a good human, and live happily. How can I expect my car to work if I don’t put gas in it or take it for oil changes? Why should I expect my body to function at its best when it’s dehydrated, getting gross (but delicious) fuel, and limited movement? No wonder I’ve felt like shit all winter.
If I want to feel good, I need to give my body what it needs. For me, that means drinking water, eating healthy, yoga, meditating, practicing gratitude, and journaling. It means being on a horse as often as possible, creating, and learning. When I do these things for myself, everything is better. My perspective improves, I am a better mom, and a better spouse. I have more energy, sleep better, and feel happier.
I Intend To Have Fun and Make Memories.
Since becoming a mom, it is very rare that the objective of any of my time is for me to have fun. I am generally focused on preparing, thinking through, scheduling, or trying to plan for my family to have fun and make memories, not necessarily for me. I will also be the first to admit that I sabotage my own potential fun over the anxieties of having a wreckless toddler or many other problems I can think of.
But this spring, I am going to enjoy my kids, the weather, and whatever comes up. I want to have fun with people that are important to me and let myself enjoy this life. Maybe there will be tree climbing, kayaks, boat rides, horses, or whatever comes up. I don’t want to miss this time of my life or my kids’ lives by not enjoying the big and the small moments.
I Intend To Be Brave and Live a Life I am Proud of.
Although I am focused on spring intentions, I still have goals. In honor of this intention, I’ll share my two current goals, because they are terrifying and I want to be brave. It is change, unknown, leaps of faith, and hoping the inevitable failure provides unseen opportunities and wisdom.
-To make a living based on my passions and what brings me joy.
-To win a ribbon.
Everyone Deserves To Feel Good As Hell. -Lizzo
My first goal is based on over a decade of attempting to love being an educator and being told to stay in my lane. I will not keep my head down and do what needs to be done at the compromise of myself. The great Lizzo says, “Everyone deserves to feel good as hell” and if you don’t feel good as hell, Lizzo (but maybe just in spirit, she’s probably busy) and I fully support you in making those changes. I want to be someone my children look up to as a role model and I do not want them to live their life doing anything that does not make them twinkle from the inside out.
Part of this great change for me was getting back to horses. I rode the majority of my childhood, but stopped when my parents divorced. My childhood was far from what could be considered normal, but I am incredibly lucky to have a horse who kept me sane. Any other horse girl could tell you about this, but my unscientific analysis of my life would indicate that horses are the factor in my life that makes me twinkly from the inside out and what was missing during the times that I was not my twinkly best self.
After quitting my teaching position, horses have become my focus. My spring intentions are allowing me to continue to take risks and do things I did not think were possible. It’s a transition that is terrifying, but so thrilling.
“It’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself.”Roald Dahl
I also want to win. I intend to feel the “I did it” feeling again. Winning a ribbon at a horse show is only to show myself I can ride again. It may be a sixth place ribbon in a class of six horses, but I promise I’ll be beaming.
I Intend For You to Make Your Best Life For You.
Maybe you already live your life with intention, and setting spring intentions doesn’t apply to you. Perhaps you are more like me and need a reminder to do what makes you feel twinkly. Creating intentions for spring is only about making your world better for you. It’s a plan, and only a plan. It’s okay regardless of the outcome, you just have to keep trying to live your life in a way that makes you feel twinkly.