Setting your 2015 intentions

My husband and I have a New Year’s day tradition: after waking without an alarm then a leisurely lunch, we head for the beach to have a coffee and watch the sunset.

I can’t remember when we started doing this, but it’s been so long that it’s a given. I’m not even a sunset kind of gal, but I love to start that first day by watching it close out with the sun going into the sea. It’s a little meditative and grateful moment to begin the year.


I have a Sunrise/Sunset app on my iPhone so I can always see how much daylight I have for outdoor activities. It’s also perfect for knowing exactly when that sun will hit the water. This year we were slightly behind schedule and found ourselves racing toward the beach with ten minutes to spare. We ran on the sand toward the water’s edge and stood there watching as the sky changed colour every few seconds. It was amazing. I kept saying, “Wow, look at that… look! Look! Did you see that?”. As if it was a unique event. As if it didn’t happen every single day.


I think part of the magic is dedicating my full attention to this one activity. No answering the phone, no worries… just my full attention on watching the year begin.

I train a local running group and this year I introduced them to the art of creating meaningful goals and finding hidden motivation. I had them explore, think, write and make group declarations. It was fun, deep, moving, emotional and inspiring. As a Christmas gift I made Words of the Year and wrapped them up in pretty packages. Then each person chose a package, essentially having the word choose them.


As they opened their Words and I asked them to say whether they felt it fit them. They all nodded their heads yes… magic! In Italian the words were: balance, explore, courage, transformation, trust, evolve, discipline, gratitude, dare, persevere, here and now, believe.

I think it’s really important to set your intention. It doesn’t have to be for an entire year; it can be for a one shot situation or running project or plan. Having a word gives you guidance, direction and reminds you that you can take control and direct your energy wherever you want it to go.

I waited a few days before choosing my own word. I wanted to let it come to me, and it did just as I was watching that sunset. My word(s) is: Here and Now, pictured above as Ora e Adesso. (btw, that is not a direct translation but rather an interpretation since “ora” and “adesso” are essentially the same words…)

It’s become such a habit for me to worry about what I haven’t done (past), get upset about (future) happenings that may or may not surface. I have a hard time enjoying and being in the moment. My monkey mind races around, creating havoc in my brain. I get half as much work done and enjoy it even less.

So when I write I will write. And when I run I will run. Here and Now, for the rest of the year.

Is there a Word in the photo that grabs you? What will your intention be for 2015?


  1. Minna
    Thank you, Julia, for this post. Just what I needed to turn a lousy start of this year to a better one. Thinking of my word now...
  2. Julia
    oh Minna, if you let me know what the Word is, I'll send it to you!
  3. Minna
    You will? That would be great! I was thinking the word "joy" or rather "enjoy" as an verb (and don't know what that is in Italian). "Enjoy" would remind me to have fun with my running and hopefully to find some enjoyment also in everyday life, even with a flu. Like to turn my thinking from "this is lousy" to "now I can rest" - or something. But if it has to be one of the above I'd like to choose "balance".