As 2020 comes to an end and we prepare for the new year, it is a great time to reflect on the past year and focus on intention setting for the year ahead. This past year was one of the toughest in American history. It’s good to acknowledge the difficulties, reflect on the successes, and think about what you would like to see happen in the coming year.

An intention is not the same as a goal or a resolution. Rather than a solution to a problem, an intention is about connecting with your mission, aspiration and purpose. Good news: setting and revisiting your intention(s) can help you realize your goals.

Intentions come from the heart and help to bring your heart and mind into alignment. For example, you may consider setting an intention to live a healthier lifestyle as opposed to a resolution to walk five times a week. Living a healthier lifestyle can include getting more exercise, focusing on getting quality sleep, eating healthier meals, or increasing the amount of water you drink. Intentions are more about the things you want to bring into your life rather than hard and fast rules to live by.

In preparation for reflection and intention setting, take a few minutes to answer these two questions. You can write them down or just think about them in your mind.

  • What REALLY matters to you in your life?
  • What brings you a sense of joy and happiness?

Now I invite you to join me in this brief meditation practice to get you into the mindset to set your intentions for 2021.

Do your intentions and resolutions for 2021 include making some changes related to your health and well-being?

Live Whole Health Mobile App

VA’s new Live Whole Health mobile application is a free, easy to use tool created for Veterans and others who are ready to take the next step in their Whole Health journey. Whole Health is VA’s holistic approach to care that supports your health and well-being.

Whole Health centers care around what matters to you – not what is the matter with you. With this app, you can fill out your personal health inventory, set goals, get virtual resources and learn more about Whole Health.

Live Whole Health is available for download on iOS or Android devices. The Live Whole Health app is not meant to replace professional care for clinical or mental health conditions.

Learn more in the Live Whole Health Mobile App Fact Sheet.

Alison M. Whitehead, MPH is the acting director for the Integrative Health Coordinating Center in the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation.

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Published on Dec. 28, 2020

Estimated reading time is 2.2 min.

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