Hopeful Intentions For A Hopeful Year

Hopeful Intentions For A Hopeful Year

Words by Courtney Hancock
Photo by Mary-Gates Kennedy 

It feels daunting writing about intentions/goal setting for this new year while still in the midst of the one we didn’t see coming. We can all agree after 2020, setting goals probably feels a bit different, so I hope to offer a fresh perspective! My relationship with goal setting has been a roller coaster. I’ve lived my adult life in different seasons of setting lofty yearly goals and running hard after them, to minor weekly tasks that support an overall vision, to not setting goals at all. Every year feels different, but 2021 especially. I think it’s important we find a way to consistently vocalize and document the hopeful intentions we have for ourselves. I believe we all have the power to achieve any goal we want when we focus on growth first. Growth over goals (IMO). 

I want to introduce you to an exercise I’ve always loved and found helpful in every one of those seasons I previously mentioned. It’s a simple “live evaluation” of the following 9 areas:

  1. Emotional/Mental health 
  2. Personal/Spiritual life
  3. Social Life
  4. Family Life
  5. Spouse/Significant Other
  6. Work Life
  7. Physical Wellness
  8. Recreation (FUN!)
  9. Finances

The only requirement for this exercise: HONESTY. 

Step 1: Establish what a healthy 10 is FOR YOU in each of these areas. Here are some examples of what that could look like:

  • Emotional/Mental Health – I feel aware of my emotions, am consistently processing them through journaling (something I enjoy) and am attending therapy once/month. 
  • Spouse/Significant Other – We are committed to our weekly date nights, actively communicate our needs and listen to the other person with empathy. 
  • Recreation (FUN!) – I started gardening! This new hobby brings me so much joy. I’ve been able to keep my herbs growing… for now!

Step 2: Rate Yourself Honestly 

Be real with yourself, no one is perfect! Award yourself a 10 if you feel like you’re killing it! But don’t be afraid when you have room to grow. Not every area should be a 10.

Step 3: Write Your Hopeful Intention

Document one thing you can do in each area that’s not a 10 to move towards health! Start each statement with “I hope to.” Here are a few examples: 

  • Social Life – I hope to host more gatherings in my home with the people I love. 
  • Finances – I hope to open a new savings account and deposit a portion of my income.
  • Physical Wellness – I hope to cook at home more often and find an exercise I enjoy doing. 


  • To take this exercise a step further, write down one action step you can take to accomplish your hopeful intention in each area.