Personal growth and empowerment

- December 19, 2023

By Simone Da Costa

A therapist recommended practice for personal growth and empowerment.

As an integrative psychotherapist I have been on my own journey of personal growth and healing for over 12 years. I still remember the day my mother took me to my first yoga class and the doors to the interesting world of spirituality and self-development opened before me. Ever since then, I have been learning, growing and pursuing happiness, love and fulfillment.

I will let you in on a practice that has been essential to my feelings of purpose, fulfillment and self-confidence over the years; New Years eve intention setting!

That’s right!

Notice that I didn’t call it New Years resolutions because I believe our resolutions sometimes end up being a bit shallow without much depth and meaning. For example, it’s easy to say my resolution for the year is to eat healthier – wonderful, and then what?

We need a bit more depth to transform that resolution into an actionable lifestyle habit. What we truly need is time to reflect on life and decipher what it is we want to align ourselves to for another year of our life. By setting intentions at the beginning of a new year we define the values and desires that we want to align our actions with and cultivate anchors that serve to center us again when we feel disoriented, lost or confused in life.

Here are 7 ways New Year's Eve intention setting has helped me year after year.

  • Marking the Passage of Time
    Time flies. If we aren’t looking, our one and precious life can be flying by without us realizing it. By marking the passage of time at the New Year, at birthdays or other holidays or seasonal events we can remind ourselves to check in with who we are and where we are going in this life.
  • Providing an Internal Compass
    If we let ourselves be swept away in the flow of life, we lose contact with our own inner navigation system. Often, we don’t spend quality time with ourselves getting to know our wants, needs and deepest desires. Therefore, we can’t pursue what fills us with joy and provides us with a sense of purpose because we have no idea what those things are. Self-reflection helps us to deeply know ourselves and provides us with a direction for our lives. Your inner compass is something you can return to when you feel lost and confused in life.
  • Improved Decision-Making
    By regularly reflecting on our experiences and choices, we become more aware of the factors influencing our decisions. This heightened awareness enhances our ability to make informed and thoughtful choices for the future.
  • Greater Success and Achievement
    By setting intentions with meaning, you are more likely to achieve the steps needed to bring those intentions into reality. Regular self-reflection allows us to assess our progress toward goals and make necessary adjustments. It ensures that our actions are in line with our objectives, promoting a more focused and purposeful journey.
  • Building Self-confidence
    By getting to know yourself on a deeper level, you can build confidence in not only what you do, but who you are as an individual. Through reflection and intention setting, you can develop a realistic and compassionate view of your imperfections. Embracing your flaws and understanding that nobody is perfect contributes to a healthier self-image and increased confidence. Understanding who you are and what you stand for provides a solid foundation for life.
  • Improving Resilience
    Examining past challenges and how we overcame them builds resilience. It instills confidence in our ability to navigate future difficulties, fostering a positive mindset and adaptability.
  • Collecting Gems of Wisdom
    If we never pause to look back at life and mindfully reflect on all that has happened we won’t be able to collect the valuable gems and lessons that we have gained. I often tell clients that some of your greatest qualifications are your life experiences. If you are at a crossroads in life, sometimes we have to look back at the road we’ve come from in order to decipher the next path to take.
Personal growth and empowerment

Personal growth and empowerment

The thing is, if we want to see growth in life and want more happiness and fulfillment we have to dedicate ourselves to this and believe we are worthy of it.

This means returning to your intentions periodically throughout the year. Engaging in quarterly reflections throughout the year to review your New Year’s intentions and realign to your goals can help tremendously.

There is no ‘falling off the wagon’ if you keep checking back in and starting again. Maybe your wagon slows down and starts to wobble a bit, but if you keep returning to your intentions, you won’t fall off completely.

In meditation practice we say the moments of meditation are the moments we notice that our mind has wandered off and we simply return to the present moment…. again, and again. The key here is to keep returning to our intentions again and again, just like in meditation.

Start your new year at New Life

Your heart’s needs and desires

In my New Years retreat at New Life Portugal I will guide you through the entire process of reflecting on the past and aligning step by step to your heart’s deepest needs and truest desires for 2024.

We will use self-reflection, group discussion, yoga, mediation and creative projects to help you create a fulfilling next year of your life.

The best part is that you won’t be doing it alone, you will have the support of an awesome community of people with similar intentions to you as well as the nourishing nature all around you.

Enjoy your personal growth and empowerment!

Benefits of solo travel or retreat

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