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Setting Intentions for the New Year

2017 has been a year of transitions. From worldwide changes in the political realm to personal upheavals, many of us are looking back on the recently ended year and asking ourselves:

“What happened?”

2017 was an important year for my professional life. I started out juggling multiple jobs and have since transitioned into a business structure that fuses my interests and experience in writing, editing, coaching and workshop facilitation. I’m working with both individuals and publishing houses to polish a wide variety of books, and enjoying myself immensely.

After ten years of freelancing and attending mostly to issues of phrasing and grammar, I’m getting the chance to dive into texts from the ground up, make structural suggestions to the authors, and have a hand in bringing their vision to life.

The process of setting intentions for myself has been key in building a more sustainable and sane business, so I am beginning the New Year with further intentions in mind.

  • I intend to maintain a sustainable, growing income. My plan for doing this is to make new contacts in the publishing world, and focus on this field as my primary strategy for finding new clients.

  • I intend to connect with people who share my interests and aims. I have joined two local writers’ groups. Through them, I have met a lot of interesting people, including a new client.

  • As a professional who helps others with their writing every day, I intend to grow in my own craft as a writer. To achieve this, I’m listening to podcasts on writing (a surprisingly helpful way to learn about many aspects of fiction and marketing not covered in my creative writing Master’s degree), publishing new pieces regularly, and working on a personal fiction project.

Life throws a lot at us that we can’t control. We can, however, be intentional about how we respond to events, and with the choices we make in areas of life where we have direct agency. Setting intentions consciously is a great way to do this. If you’re interested in setting your own intentions for 2018, here are my tips for doing so.

  • Understand the why behind each intention. If you’re going to achieve something, connect it clearly in your mind to a purpose or outcome that matters to you.

  • Have a plan for accomplishing them. To ensure you don’t keep your intentions too vague or bite off more than you can chew, choose concrete outcomes for yourself and specific, measurable, time-bound strategies for bringing them into fruition.

  • Make them fun! It’s hard to do something out of guilt, but when you bring joy into the mixture and envision a goal you’ll love achieving, you’re already halfway there.


By: Melanie Bell

Melanie Bell offers writing coaching, editing, and personal growth workshops through Inspire Envisioning. She is the coauthor of a best-selling nonfiction book, The Modern Enneagram. Her creative work has appeared in Cicada, xoJane, Autostraddle, Grain, and various other publications. She loves crafting fantasy worlds, exploring the real one, and reading in her pajamas. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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