Five steps for a more intentional 2022

By Saree Janz
Guest Author

Don’t miss Saree Janz at FLOW: The Ladyboss Retreat, taking place March 3-5 at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN. To find out more and to register, visit ladybossmidwest.com/retreat.

It’s that time of year. We feel motivated to finally make that change or start that thing we’ve been putting off. Willpower is high now, generating increased confidence and motivation. We are excited to start something new and anxious to fix what isn’t working. Then, sometimes, we feel disappointed in ourselves when we revert to old ways. Sound familiar?

Is fast and permanent change possible? Sure. Is it likely? No. As a hypnotherapist, I’m trained to work with the subconscious. Willpower only activates roughly 12% of the mind. To set our minds up for success, we need to activate the other 88% – our subconscious mind. Have you ever heard the phrase, “When man makes plans, God laughs”? I like to say, “When willpower makes plans, subconscious mind laughs.”

A mindset of gradual progressive change creates more success long-term than sporadic overnight change. We just experienced the shortest day of the year on Dec. 21. The Winter Solstice is a time of self-reflection. When we don’t pressure ourselves to make immediate changes, the flow of seasons and Earth’s energy support our intentions with the energies of new life and inspiration building slowly within us – just like daylight gets longer now until we reach the Summer Solstice. When thinking about gradual and progressive change following a spark of inspiration, it naturally feels easier and lighter.

As Ladybosses, our minds are busy! We think about home and financial responsibilities, while also strategizing ways to move our businesses or professions forward. This creates a lot of busyness in the mind, and often the mind’s response to all of this is, “I feel stuck.”

Feeling stuck is a normal reaction of the mind when it feels overwhelmed, but feeling stuck when we have businesses to build and families to care for can feel downright frustrating! If you are like me, your response to feeling stuck is that you need an answer and you need it fast!

Unfortunately, this mindset naturally leads to us searching for answers outside of ourselves, which only creates more resistance. Here are some ways to be more intentional this year.

Step 1: Trust and Listen to Your Intuition

The answers that connect with our soul come from a deeper space than willpower or something outside of us. They come from our intuition.

Let go of the internal voice telling you to “hurry up.” Surrender to what is going on now. When you let go, you should feel a shift within yourself. You will notice that when you finally surrender to what is, you will begin receiving downloads of insights on the most effective way to move forward. These insights will feel more in alignment because they come from you rather than advice from a friend or a book or workshop you’ve taken.

The key is to write these insights down when you receive them! Insights can easily slip from our minds if not captured. I know you’ve heard this before…journal your thoughts! Journaling is a powerful way to activate the subconscious mind, allowing insights to emerge. It also slows down the part of us that feels the need to figure things out.

 

Want to learn more about trusting your intuition? Join me on Saturday, January 15, for the Ladyboss Wellness Lab at Fit Elements in Fargo, ND. Click here for event and ticket information.

 

Step 2: Take Intuitive Action

When feeling stuck, you can feel incredibly uninspired. Not too long ago I felt stuck in areas related to my business. I shared with close friends that “my give-a-shit meter hit an all-time low.” As Ladybosses, our creativity is the catalyst that moves the needle in our businesses and professions forward, so we kind of need that! When it’s gone, we lack motivation.

I remember waiting for passion or inspiration to hit. Days and weeks would go by, and nothing shifted within me. I remember hearing the phrase somewhere, “Mood follows action.” I thought to myself, “If that’s true, I need to stop waiting and start doing.” This is when I started journaling and acting on ideas that flowed into my mind instead of “poo-pooing” them away.

How many ideas are you already receiving from your intuition that you are pushing away?

Our intuition always gives us the next step. It won’t give us the whole plan. But if we act and trust that once we take the first step, our intuition will provide the next step.

This is not easy to do. Suggestions from our intuition don’t always make sense because the information is coming from a different space than our minds. Our minds like things to make sense, so this level of living requires a lot of trust. Once you begin following the whisperings of your soul, however, your life will flow much easier.

Step 3: Feed Your Inner Child

Why is it that when we feel uninspired, blocked, and empty, we are more drawn to toxic choices? When you feel blocked, does Netflix receive more of your time? How about your snack drawer and wine fridge? I thought so.

Typically, when we feel a lack of passion or stuck, our inner child begins acting up. She feels sad and lonely and isn’t feeling heard. And she probably isn’t having any fun!

When you ignore your inner child’s needs, she will sabotage you! You may not have extra cash for a spa day or winter excursion, but this does not mean that you don’t deserve FUN! Find time to play every week so your inner child doesn’t become unruly.

What happens when you ignore a toddler? Do you get the picture? This inner child needs to feel loved and cared for while also feeling free to express herself. You also need to feed your inner child regularly to spark your creative side!

I used to run outside in nature. I liked it. I quit because I felt like I didn’t have enough time. I told my inner child I was too busy for her. She rebelled. I self-sabotaged. I felt more stuck. Running doesn’t cost anything. I found new routes with pretty scenery and started feeding my inner child again.

She felt heard. She calmed down and I traded my Netflix binging with a run. My creativity emerged again. I feel more inspired. Get the picture? Good. Now go grab your inner child and take her on an adventure. Your business needs your creativity, and your inner child needs her life back!

Step 4: Create Strong Boundaries With Your Time and Energy

As Ladybosses, we are typically ahead of the curve. Leadership is an important part of our lives because we are intentional about expanding personal development and creating an impact. For many of us, people look to us for advice and support, so initially, we take pride in helping. We feel important and needed. There is an innate part of us that wants to serve and improve the lives of others.

Over time, when we say yes for external validation, however, we find ourselves saying yes when what we really want to say is no. We are then betraying our own wants and needs. What we are telling ourselves is that this person is more important than me. Some reasons we say yes when we are seeking external validation:

  • We feel guilty for saying no
  • We fear being seen as selfish
  • We are afraid of what people will say
  • We have FOMO (fear of missing out)

We are more effective leaders when we assert our needs and feel comfortable saying no. High-level leadership requires saying no more than saying yes. We are clear on the way we wish to make an impact in the world, and we say yes to what is in alignment with that mission.

When we do something for external validation and don’t receive the validation we seek, it diminishes our self-esteem and crushes our confidence leaving us feeling empty and unimportant – the opposite of the very thing we seek!

When our validation comes from within, we say yes to things that are connected to our passions, goals, heart, and soul – and people feel that! It feels authentic. We also feel when people do things for external validation. It feels distant and superficial.

Practice saying no with a friend or family member in a style that is connected to your personality and feels natural, building your confidence to say no when you need to. When you say no to something that is not in alignment with your soul, acknowledge yourself for doing so. For what you are doing is freeing your energy to say yes to activities that contribute to the way you wish to create an impact in this world!

Step 5: Practice Mindfulness

My passion for this topic started with my own personal struggles to calm my mind. I have most of the symptoms associated with adult ADD and struggled with chronic anxiety. Several years before I started teaching mindfulness and meditation, I worked in a busy law firm. I recall a specific experience where I had a 5 p.m. deadline to file a document with the court and it still required several changes. It was mid-afternoon and I got a call from my son’s daycare that he was sick and needed to be picked up immediately. My mind went into overload, and I froze.

Feeling totally out of control, I called my friend who practiced energy work at the time. She guided me in a deep breathing technique, which calmed me down, allowing my mind to find solutions for my current predicament.

Mindfulness is the simple act of being conscious and present with what you are doing as you are doing it from a state of nonjudgment. In this experience, I simply focused on my breathing, and it saved my sanity and allowed me to think more clearly and objectively.

Focusing on the breath is just one of many mindfulness exercises. Carving out just five minutes per day or a couple of minutes each hour to simply focus on our breathing sends a message to our body (our vagus nerve to be more precise) that it has permission to calm down. As we calm, we begin to see things more objectively and clearly and even activate areas of the brain associated with creativity and intuition.

Practicing mindfulness over time increases our ability to regulate emotions and decreases stress, anxiety, and depression. We find we have more time in our day and our daily activities feel more enjoyable. To be more intentional in 2022, practicing mindfulness as your first priority may likely resolve issues associated with the first four steps!

When you start a mindfulness practice, remember: your mind is a muscle. You don’t go to the gym once and expect six-pack abs. Repetition strengthens the mind muscle. Be patient with yourself.

As you step into this new year, allow the excitement and motivation you feel now to jump start your action. But remember, long-term change requires being intentional in our everyday moments. Practicing self-love and patience with yourself will develop a deeper connection with your own soul. Life is a journey – enjoy each moment.

 

Join Saree at FLOW: The Ladyboss Retreat on March 3-5 at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN!  Saree will lead a session of guided meditation utilizing coaching techniques in combination with hypnosis and mindfulness practices to help you connect with your deepest inner self. For more information and to register, visit ladybossmidwest.com/retreat.