Where do you want to be 10 years from now? What do you want to have accomplished?

Make no mistake, goal setting isn’t homework, it’s a gift you give yourself. It’s that time to sit down, reflect on what’s important to you, and what you, just YOU, need in the future. Not the kids, nor your partner, your family—earnestly gaze inward and look at yourself: what do you need? What do you want out of life? What avenues would you explore if you were to push yourself a little more? A year is your short-term plan, let’s take the long view. Here is a look at some inspiring intentions for the next decade.

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More time spent with the ones you love.

Don’t let your work week or gym schedule dictate your life. A year goes by faster than ever. Set time aside monthly, annually to spend time with your favourite people; all relationships take work.

Build a strong relationship with yourself.

How would you want to treat you? What do you really need, what kind of care and consideration makes you happy? Take time to think about what you’re missing. Do you need to make more time for your hobbies or to cultivate a new interest, do you want to give back, spend more time exercising, taking care of yourself and feeling healthy? How about a solo Paris trip for yourself doing only what you want to do? Do you need more spa days (we all need more spa days). Make a pledge to work on one thing you want and stick to it.

Be thankful.

Oprah is Miss Gratitude, and she ain’t no dummy. As soon as you start acknowledging the blessings in your life, your attention shifts from the negative to the positive. The focus becomes: what can you do more of to get more of the good stuff? How can you spread this good stuff to others? How can you show your important people you appreciate their love and support?

couple hugging each other and laughing in Barcelona, Spain
couple hugging each other and standing in front of church door in Barcelona, Spain
couple sitting down on the ledge of a fountain in Barcelona, Spain

Be a better friend.

Looking back, we can think of plenty of times when we put our needs first. That friend we cancelled on for a night in with our partner/cat. That time we could have done more to help someone, but were run down, tired, lazy and chose the easy way out. Work on tending your relationships with your chosen family, those are bonds that can last a lifetime.

three friends having fun in Palm Springs, California

Saying yes.

There’s a horrible stat circulating that your interest to try new things PLUMMETS at age 35. Thirty-five! That’s a scary thought. As far as we are concerned, as soon as you stop trying new things, you DIE. So our intention is to stop living scared, and always push ourselves to try something new that’s uncomfortable, be it a new activity or a new city (hello, Tokyo!). You can’t possibly have discovered all of your favourite things in life yet. If there’s no risk, there’s no GROWTH. What’s the worst that can happen? You don’t like it (in our case this was chicken feet), you learn from it (no more chicken feet), you move on (get at that xiao long bao).

Saying no.

There’s a lot of guilt and obligation when it comes to being a friend, a mother, a partner, and you need to recognize that it’s OK to say no, don’t let yourself be guilted into giving away too many pieces of yourself, dipping from your life force pool without giving yourself time to recover. Overextended and too stressed to make the dinner party, haven’t had time to be alone at home with yourself, you want to help out more at your kid’s school but you’re running ragged doing everything and you just can’t do it anymore—stop, say no, take time for yourself and the people in your life who care about you will accept it and ask how they can help.

Keep exploring.

The more we see, the more we experience, the more we learn about ourselves and the world around us. The more we travel, we see that we’re part of a global citizenry. We’re all connected, and to make better choices at home, you’ve got to see all of it. Strive to pay more attention to sustainable, ethically sourced products and supporting local, at home and when you travel. Shopping vintage, recycling, upcycling; we can do more and the sooner we start, the better.

Make memories, stop buying stuff.

The clothing, the toys, the makeup (guilty), the bells and whistles, these are all disposable, but experiences are not. These are investments for building a meaningful life, on your own or with others, building bonds and connections—a.k.a. the important stuff. So book a trip with your dad, turn holiday shopping into a family getaway, start a tradition where you and your best friend take a weekend off to celebrate together, try meditation therapy or painting before you try retail therapy. Whatever it is, make the time, you won’t regret it.

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