Annual Intention Setting Ritual

We all have had great intention setting sessions where we get clear on the changes we’d like to see in our lives, right? Maybe yes. Maybe no. 

Many of us get swept up in the excitement a new year has to offer and we are ready and willing to do things in a whole new way. We lean into the idea that anything is possible with fire in our belly as the energy in the air with posts and advertisements enticing us to make the best of a “clean slate.” 

Cut to a few weeks into the year, your energy is waning and you’ve forgotten all about the big goals you had because life got lifey. Wah, wah, wah….

Here’s the deal with intentions. They don’t really work without taking action. 

Intentions alone are only the first part of creating real lasting change. You will never see any results from simply setting an intention. 

You will only see changes after you take the action(s) needed to create change. Those actions will impact your life. 

Intention is what you’d like to see happen as the result of your actions (vision)

Impact is the result of the actions taken (success)

How do you make an intention that lasts? Let me show you in the process below. 


Make a list of what went well last year AND what’s not currently working. This can be in a list format or a stream of consciousness mind dump. The most important part is to do the work and write it all down. 

Here are a few thought starters: 

What have I done, created or experienced that am I most proud of? 

What was a good investment/money well spent? 

What was my biggest challenge?

What was the most unexpected (can be something upsetting or amazing)? 

What goal did I stick with that felt really good?

What do I see as an opportunity for this coming year?

What goal do I want to dive into with my whole heart this year?    

If you are honest with yourself about what feels good and what doesn’t, setting intentions will get you to a place of crystal clarity for the year ahead.  


Within each of the categories outlined below (these are based on the feng shui bagua map) write down one to three goals for this coming year. 

Wealth & Prosperity

Remember that wealth is not only about money but also the abundance of other resources such as time, support, love, etc. Do your best to call in prosperity from any and all areas where you’d like to experience more wealth. 

Fame & Reputation

This one isn’t about becoming a movie star but rather creating a life that leaves a legacy. If you are constantly worried about what others are saying about you which leaves you crippled with fear and not taking the next step, examine how to let go of judging yourself and worrying about what others think of you. Is there something you are willing to risk in order to help others? Do you have a gift you’ve been hiding? 

Love & Marriage

This section of the bagua map is about all relationships in your life, not just romantic partnerships. All relationships require examination, taking stock of how to improve communication, reviewing what is working and what isn’t, navigating hurtful situations and celebrating the joyous moments. Anyone who desires better relationships better be working on the relationship with themselves at all times. 

Children & Creativity

Even if you do not want children or do not have them currently, this area is about the creative play and imagination that all humans have inside of them. How can you make life feel more fun? Could life simply be a game that we are playing and doing best to make pleasurable? What feels alive in your life? What makes you happy? What makes you laugh? 

Travel & Helpful People

Do you have a supportive community you can rely on when times get tough? Are you a lone wolf and secretly long for a trusted friend? Examine where you are with allowing more adventure and support in your life. 


Is it time for you to make a big change? Are you satisfied with the work that you are doing? Is there a difficult conversation you want to have that could shift your relationship to work? Are you working too much and burnt out? Feel into what work means to you and how you might be able to shift the dynamic. 

Knowledge & Skills

Is there a new skill or learning that has been getting under your skin or coming to you in the night? Think about an area in your life where you’d like a deeper knowledge or learning something new.  

Family & Ancestors

How is your relationship with your family? Do you connect with your ancestors or know much about your lineage, or family of origin? Would learning more about your family roots benefit you at this time in your life? 


Is a new plan of eating, getting more consistent sleep or moving your body on a regular basis one of the many things you desire for your physical body this year? Maybe you are getting colds more often than you’d like or a new case of recurring acne that is straight up annoying! Let’s commit to uncovering the root of any physical ailments and feeling like our best physical self.  

Healing & Spirituality

Is there a recurring ailment or issue that you continue to struggle with? Having a strong spiritual anchor can be a way to navigate life’s toughest times. If you find that there is a particular issue that keeps coming up for you to process, it might be time to get clear on what blocks you are carrying. Finding a spiritual practice, a new therapist or a somatic movement group might be your calling this year. 

When you hone in on the specific areas outlined above, and create a detailed picture of what you’d like to shift and grow this year, your goals are more achievable. When we make vague statements such as “I want to make more money,” there isn’t a clear plan or path to follow. 

Working with the feng shui map also creates a beautiful bridge between you and your space. Your personal intentions can be infused into every room of your home creating visual reminders and a web of support for your heart’s desires. 


Create 1-3 realistic daily action steps you can take to achieve your intentions.

Here are a few examples: 

HealthI want to move my body, eat more vegetables and find balance with my hormone fluctuations. The Class, pilates, walking and hikes will be on my calendar. 

Travel and helpful peopleBuilding a bigger network of moms is something that is important to me this year. I committed to building a village and finding the best folks.

Knowledge & skillsNervous system and trauma work has long been an interest of mine. I am committed to finishing two Kimberly Ann Johnson courses and her book Call of the Wild


Add an action step from each category to your calendar each week. Yes, each week. Mabe you work on each of your goals a little each day or you are able to dedicate one day per week to fully immerse yourself. For me, I can commit to 15 min every morning to working on something from my list of goals. 

If it is helpful, set loving reminders in your calendars on your phone. Anchor into why they matter when you see the reminder pop-up on your phone and remember to make the time even when it seems impossible, annoying and hard. 


Use habit trackers (you can download mine here), a notebook, a buddy or visual aids to stay motivated and accountable. Be realistic about your schedule to ensure you are taking a small action toward your bigger vision every single day!


Life gets busy and as annoying as the saying, “you make time for what’s important,” sounds, it is the truth. 

When you set aside the time to put pen to paper and outline what you really want this year, nothing will stand in your way from getting it. 

  • No more hitting the snooze button 10 times
  • No more scrolling for hours 
  • No more mindless shopping
  • No more making list of lists and never taking action  

The activities I mentioned above are ways in which you are wasting time and not making time for your goals.

You may not like this tough love approach, but we all need these reminders as the world is an extremely distracting place.

Now go set your intentions, do the exercises as outlined above and allow the actions you take to have a gentle and beautiful impact on your life. 

If you enjoyed this read, check out Gentle January.