Intention Setting for the New Year | Journaling + Yin Sequence

Titles for Website (15)
Carole Merritt

This is the season for intention setting!  A little different from goal setting or making resolutions, I consider intention setting to be directly related to how I feel rather than what I am going to do!

At this time each year, I spend some time on my mat and with my journal thinking about how I want to feel during the coming year.  Practicing yoga puts me in the frame of mind to become clear on how I want to feel and what activities promote those feelings!

Join me in this special practice that you may want to repeat a few times over the coming weeks to become crystal clear on how you want to feel in the coming months!


  • mat
  • block
  • pillow
  • blanket
  • journal / pen

Begin by reflecting on the previous year.  Spend a few minutes in childs pose, listening to your breath.  You can let this pose take any form that is comfortable for you, make sure that your breath is moving freely and easily through your body and that you can relax the muscles in your face.  Use pillows, blankets and a block to make yourself as comfortable as possible.  For a nice variation to stretch the shoulders, bring your palms together and slide your thumbs toward the base of your neck.  

As you hold this pose, consider the statement:  What accomplishments (big or small) are you most proud of from this last year? What state of mind precipitated these accomplishments and did they make you feel?

Stay here and breathe for about 5 minutes.

Before you move onto the next pose, record your thoughts into your journal.

Table Top (several moments)

Yin for Immunity | Cat and Cow

From here.move to a table top position and give yourself a little movement – cat/cow or body circles to make yourself feel great!  

Dragon Pose (5 min)

Then move into Dragon pose.  Bring your right foot forward to the outside edge of your mat and sink your hips into a lunge.  Pad your back knee with a small pillow or folded blanket if you like.  Hold this pose for up to 5 minutes.

As you hold this pose consider the statement: What were your challenges from this last year?  How did you feel as the challenges arose?  How did you feel as you met and resolved these challenges?  What did you learn from them? 

Spend a few moments recording your thoughts in your journal.

Sleeping Swan (5 min)

Move into Sleeping Swan pose from here.  Let your right foot travel to the left side of your mat and lay your shin down.  Your right foot will be behind your left wrist and your right knee will be behind your right wrist.  Add padding under your right but cheek for comfort and try to relax the muscles of your body as you hold this pose for about 5 minutes.

As you hold this pose, consider the statement:  How do you want to feel on a daily basis this year? What daily activities will support this feeling?

Spend a few moments recording your thoughts in your journal.

Repeat Dragon and Sleeping Swan on the left side.  As you do so, consider the following statements.

Who are the most important people in your life?  How does time spent with these people make you feel? Are your current relationships satisfying?

How will you make time for the most important people in your life this year?

Spend a few moments recording your thoughts in your journal.

Dragonfly (10 min)

Make your way to a comfortable, wide-legged, seated position.  Begin with a forward fold, relaxing down toward the floor.  To increase comfort you can choose to sit on a pillow or folded blanket  and/or rest your forehead on a block or pillow.  You can hold this pose for about 3 minutes.

As you remain in this pose, consider the statement: What  challenges/goals do you foresee in the coming year?  What kind of energy will you bring to these activities?

Spend a few moments recording your thoughts in your journal.

Remain in your wide-legged seat and walk your hands over to the right to lay out over your right leg.  Relax your arms and upper body as much as possible.  I like to think about my arms falling out of their shoulder sockets and puddling onto the floor.  Spend 2-3 minutes here and then walk your hands over to the left side. Relax there for 2-3 minutes.

As you hold these poses, try this:  Brainstorm 10-20 words that your would like to describe your year ahead.

Hug Yourself 🙂

Bring yourself back to center and then sit upright.  Use your hands to help draw your knees into center and pull them in tight to your body, giving yourself a hug.  Remain here for as long as feels good.

As you remain here, choose a single word that will best describe the way you want your coming year to feel.  Let this word reflect your energy and intentions for the year ahead.  

Savasana (as long as desired)


Finish your practice by spending a few moments in savasana, relaxing and letting the physical and mental effects of this practice set in.  You may want to repeat the process a few times to refine your “word” for the year.  

Once I have landed on a word that I truly feel reflects my coming year – I splash it around everywhere!  Placing it where I can see it will help me to remember my true desires as I move through the ups and downs of the coming year.

Namaste. Wishing you a happy New Year!

Titles for Website (15)

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Titles for Website (38)
Carole Merritt
Carole Merritt
Carole is a yoga teacher living in Ottawa, Canada. Her passion is helping people find and feel the magic that yoga and mindfulness brings. Carole found yoga more than 18 years ago during a super busy time in her life. As a long distance runner, Carole was tight and sore in her body; as an at-home mother of small children, she needed to find a way to incorporate self care into her daily routine. A good friend convinced her to try yoga. Immediately, she loved the practice of yoga and it became part of her regular life. As chronic aches and recurring injuries became a thing of the past, she began to incorporate mindfulness and meditation practices into her routine. The combination of practicing yoga and mindfulness completely transformed and improved Carole’s life. Following more than a decade as an at home mother, Carole wanted to return to work outside the home. Following her passion, she decided to do what she loves, helping people to find their fit body and mind through yoga. As an instructor, Carole is definitely not a subscriber to the “no pain, no gain” philosophy. It is her goal to help students achieve their goals by providing a fun and thorough practice that will strengthen and tone their muscles while leaving them refreshed and feeling great. Carole likes to include a sense of humor in her classes; she never takes anything too seriously. Yoga can be fun!

Currently listening to...

You might also enjoy...

Take a yin class!

$15 / month unlimited access
%d bloggers like this: