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I caught my colleague’s eye at the holiday party as he scanned the room. He. Looked. Exhausted. He had been negotiating around the clock, trying to push a big deal over the finish line before Christmas. But things weren’t going as well as you might think. As they got closer to signing, doubts began to kick in.

He shook his head and said, “The one good thing about negotiations taking so long is that it’s given us time to take a step back. This company looked great from the outside, but we’ve learned they have a lot of problems. And those problems would be our problems once we bought them. I looked around the conference table and asked, ‘Wait a minute. Does this deal even make sense?!'”

As we leave January, have you asked yourself that question? It’s easy to look at your social media feed and come up with 20 new things to do every day. But think again before you lock your 2018 intentions. A long list of aspirational goals that sit in a drawer just doesn’t make sense.

Let me give you the good news: You’re not failing. You’re actually succeeding beautifully. That’s because you’re going beyond the popular thinking of intention setting simply as a game of, “I want, I want, I want.”

Like my colleague, you’re taking a second look to understand what that intention will add to your life. You’re thinking hard before you make a commitment. And that’s because you’re already planning all the steps it will take to get there. You’re ready to follow through. That kind of insight – connecting head and heart, a key Soul Boss principle – is priceless.

Let’s recap what we’ve learned this month:

  • In Temporarily Satisfied, Sam Adams founder Jim Koch learned that the “why” of his intentions was just as important as the goal itself, the “what”. Although he was a successful management consultant, the realization of “if I don’t want to do it for the rest of my life, I probably don’t want to do it tomorrow” changed his career path.
  • In Your First Thing, illustrator Mari Andrew showed that limiting yourself to one passion is, well, limiting. Her passions like acai bowls, dancing and Chance the Rapper go much further than her drafting table.
  • In Hiding in Plain Sight, we saw how Steve and Kara thought their only intention was improving their eating habits. In truth, their desires to connect, have fun and introduce ease into their schedule were right in front of them.
  • In Accept the Download, Denise Linn showed how to align intention with action. She could only experience consistent abundance in the outer world by changing her inner core beliefs.

Here’s a hack for setting intentions. Just finish this sentence out loud: “This is my year to ______.” Whatever comes out are your true intentions. These ideas – goals that will make you feel whole, aligned or healthy this year – are messages from your soul.

You might even use Audrey Hepburn as your inspiration: “People need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed.” That sounds like five perfect intentions for 2018. Get on it!