Hands up if you’ve ever set a New Year’s resolution and failed by February 1st.

Let me guess … I’m looking at a sea of hands right now? Don’t worry; my own hand is up there too, waving along with the rest of you. And while we often have a tendendcy to blame ourselves for failing, I have a different take.

It’s not you, it’s the nature of resolutions.

Every year we set ourselves resolutions that simply don’t align with who we are and what we want from life. We focus on restriction, when we should be focusing on abundance, punishment instead of reward, perfection over progress. And subconsciously we know we’re doing it so we lack the one thing that might actually help us fulfill our annual ambitions: the belief that we can do it.

This year, let’s make a real change. Let’s pledge to completely ignore the New Year resolution tradition and try something different.

Let’s set ourselves some New Year’s intentions.

Even the word sounds friendlier and more positive. Setting an intention can make all the difference to your chances of success; intentions are invitations, the beginnings of manifestations. We can believe in intentions.

Whether we believe we can or we can’t — we’re right.

I see this constantly in my work with the choir. So many people lack belief in their own ability, they believe their voice isn’t worthy of being heard. They hide their voices. But once they’ve set an intention to focus on abundance, joy, and progress over perfection, suddenly that voice will come out. And it will shine!

How patient our voices are, just waiting for the moment we decide to believe in them.

And that’s exactly how to set your New Year’s intentions.

Focus on joy.

Forget restriction, this is your chance to focus on the things that will really bring you joy. It might be running a one-minute mile (in which case getting out of bed an hour earlier won’t feel like a chore!) but it could just as easily be a walk in nature with your dog. It might be the desire to open yourself to the power of music and join us at SingPortland!.

The key is to pick an intention that makes your heart sing with anticipation.

Progress over perfection…

Wins every time! Unlike resolutions, intentions have no end game. Whether you’re learning a new skill, training for a marathon, or preparing for a concert, the joy lies in the journey itself.

Choose to believe.

When we choose to believe in our own desires and abilities, wonderful things begin to happen. I see this week in and week out at Sing Portland! as my choir members choose to put their fears aside and believe that they CAN sing. Once they’ve set an intention, their voices can’t help but answer the call.

So as we make our way through this beautiful season, let’s all decide that 2019 won’t be a year of restriction or failed resolutions. Let’s make this the year that we set the intention to fill our lives with abundance, with joy, with belief, and with song.

Whether you believe you can sing, or whether you don’t, we’d love to welcome you to Sing Portland! Let this year be the one where you let your voice shine.