Looking forward and setting intentions for 2021

Mental Health

Friend of Happiful and life coach Carly Ferguson shares her thoughts on how to begin to look forward to the future and set intentions for the year ahead

Life, career and business coach Carly Ferguson joined Happiful’s podcast I am. I have to discuss how to reflect upon 2020, while setting intentions for the new year.

Carly helps professionals from all walks of life, from leaders to entrepreneurs, to reimagine how they work and reclaim their personal power so that they can thrive doing the work they feel called to do. Something, she shares, that is more important than ever now, after a year filled with so much uncertainty.

“Throughout 2020 we’ve been living in survival mode and there’s been this sense of waiting; waiting to go back to normal, waiting until we can travel again, waiting until we can go back to the office. We’ve been essentially putting our happiness and fulfillment in the hands of others and their decisions,” Carly explains.

“So what’s really important for us all in 2021, is to take back that control, regardless of what’s going on around us.”

Carly’s thoughts on reflecting and setting intentions

Carly suggests that reflecting back before planning the year ahead is a good place to start, and there’s a special day coming up that could help us to really make the most of our contemplation and intention setting.

“We’ve got Winter Solstice coming up on Monday 21 December, which is a really powerful day, energetically to do some reflection rituals and letting go exercises as well,” Carly shares. “It’s a good idea to get outside in nature on this day, and maybe reflect with friends. It’s a beautiful thing to do with others.”

So where do we start when we’re beginning to reflect? “I have a personal practise where I look at the seven chakras,” Carly explains. “It’s a good way to really go deep, for example the questions around the root chakra are about stability and looking at where you did and didn’t feel secure this year.

Where did you use your voice? Where did you not use your voice? Then when you start to look forward, you can ask where you are going to use your voice in 2021?

“Looking at the throat chakra, where did you use your voice? Where did you not use your voice? Then when you start to look forward, you can ask where you are going to use your voice in 2021? There are so many ways to reflect.”

Carly’s suggestions for reflecting

  • Write down what your top 10 best moments of 2020 were. The moments that you really felt joy and pleasure in this year are going to be really simple and easy to replicate going into next year.
  • Ask yourself what isn’t aligned or needs to change. Where are you not aligned with your values, whether that’s in your business, your career or your relationships? Where are you misaligned?
  • What do you want to let go and shed? What can you no longer put off addressing?
  • What do you want to bring in? More love, more laughter?

Really focus on the simplicity as opposed to the big audacious goals.

Your theme for 2021

Finally, Carly suggests choosing a theme for the year ahead. “Pick a word that you want – it can be anything; freedom, momentum, courage. Draw it, paint it, find a symbol or a piece of jewellery that represents it. Then, every time there’s a decision, go back to the word and it will help to guide all choices.”

Carly’s prescription for future resilience

Yoga, meditation and mantra are the three suggestions Carly has when it comes to building our resilience for whatever the future may hold.

“It’s my prescription to anyone who is feeling unsure and uncertain of what to do next,” she explains. “Together they simply help to build a strong nervous system so that you can manage anything that comes your way.

“We can’t predict the future, we can’t know what’s going to happen,” Carly says. “But what we can control is our response to whatever might come.”

Find out more about Carly
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