New Year Intentions


Happy New Year from your Work/Life Team!

Lisa here.  I don’t really do “resolutions” in January, but I have set an “intention” before and loved the way I was able to focus my thoughts and behaviors around it.  Part of why an intention works better than resolutions for me is that it is simple, easy to remember, and after about a month of reminding myself, I find my mind just drifts there throughout the day without prompting.  An intention is a word or phrase that you pick to help you remember something you want to incorporate into the next year.  I chose “pause” this year.  Simple, directive, and it can be applied to some many things I value.  Pause before I respond when I am angry.  Pause to enjoy what is happening at this moment.  Pause to appreciate the day to day life with a teenager who goes to college in the fall.  Pause when I am growing impatient with someone who doesn’t move or think as fast as I do.  Pause before I commit to one more thing in my already ridiculously overcommitted life.  Pause before I fall asleep to reflect on the things I am grateful for that happened throughout the day.

I shared my intention idea with the Work/Life team, and of course, they excitedly agreed to share their intentions as well.  (One of the reasons this is the best job in the world!)


My intention this year is to be “mindful”.  This is in contrast to my normal “mind full” set point.  I want to be more present to the moment in my relationships at home and more present to the moment when I am coming alongside SAS employees and their family members on their life journeys.  Traditionally I have been energized by having lots of ideas and learning new concepts.  I’ve clutched my high-capacity image as a “two-bucket woman” tightly.  This does not serve me well in my relationship with my 98-year-old father who lives with us… nor, in all honesty, does it serve any of my relationships well- at home or at work.  Being mindful is my intention this year.


My intention this year is to live an authentic life- one that is congruent with my core values.  I realize that when I am feeling stressed or out of sorts it is usually because I am acting in a way that is not consistent with who I know myself to be.  This will require knowledge, self-awareness, and a willingness to be vulnerable.  Living authentically will allow me to connect with others in more meaningful ways, and will greatly enrich the work I do with employees and families.


Mine is “nourish”.  I will think of my body/mind as something to be perpetually nourished.  I wish this for all people, but I can only genuinely inspire and hope to provide this to others if I start with myself.  For example, I’m done feeling cold all winter.  If I have to wear leggings under my pant or carry a blanket, so be it!  I shop for foods that are nourishing to my body.  I am trying different hot teas.  I use insight Timer for guided meditations- not out of obligation but as a daily reward.  I’ll go to bed earlier if I feel like it.  The positive feeling of sweating in now my motivation to work out.  If negative thoughts aren’t nourishing I gently redirect.  I celebrate laughter as nourishment.  It’s taking practice but I want to stick with it.


My intention for 2018 is to ooch more and deliberate less when making decisions. In the book Decisive: How to make better choices in life and work by Chip and Dan Heath, they introduce the concept of “ooching” or trying something on a small scale before you leap into a big decision. There are times I feel overwhelmed by all the outcomes I contemplate when there is a decision to be made. This year, I will see if there is an ooching option for decisions both at home and at work, freeing up more time for action instead of deliberation!

So what about you?  What is your intention for 2018?  We would love to hear it!


About Author

Lisa Allred

Work Life Program Manager

Lisa Allred comes to SAS with a long history of working with families throughout the lifespan. After receiving her undergraduate degree at Wake Forest Universtity and her Masters in Social Work from UNC-CH, her career began as a child therapist focusing on parenting, anxiety and trauma. She then moved into college counseling where she emphasized student wellness and balance.

1 Comment

  1. Love this! There are elements of each intention shared here that speak to me and recent reflections. Thanks for sharing. Best wishes to the Work/Life team for an amazing 2018!

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