I recognize that a lot of us are carrying many heavy things into this New Year, and we don’t just get to close one book and open another; this is simply another chapter that is bringing a lot of the same stuff into the next one. In light of that, I did not want to make a post that was all about setting and achieving your goals, even though some of you types out there might really appreciate that, and it might feel very cathartic! Instead, I want to talk a little bit about an intention that you can set that is achievable; doesn’t have arbitrary milestones; and doesn’t have that future judgment that we often prepare ourselves for by just setting a random goal that is pass/fail.
Instead, I want to think about for myself, and encourage you to think about for yourself, the intentions that you want to set; the direction that you might want to head, and what that looks like to get farther down this path. As long as we are setting a direction for ourselves and making choices that help us move that way, I think 2022 will be pretty great, no matter if we meet some milestone or make some standard or whatever it is we might want to be setting for ourselves because it feels like that’s what we should be doing. I hope this post is a breath of fresh air in that it’s all about intention and direction.
With all of that in mind, I want to share a possible intention that might feel like the next step for you, depending on your Enneagram type, and I want to encourage you to listen to all of these, even if they aren’t all specific to your type, because there may be a different area of life that feels like that might be your next step. All of these are probably some good intentions to make, but I wouldn’t suggest you make all nine! Just listen to them and see which one feels right for you, whichever one you feel pulled toward.
Type One: Play More, Work Less
One intention that I thought could be helpful for you in this New Year is to play more, work less. I know this probably feels uncomfortable, and you might ask me how you can even quantify something like this; how do you even know if you’re working more, playing less? And my answer is…Don’t quantify it; just work more and play less.
If you have to have an action out of this, one thing that is really helpful for me when I’m setting this intention is to plan my play first. I know how much time I need in order to accomplish the things I want to get done; but what would it look like to plan where I want to rest, or play, or have some downtime first? That can be a way to put your intention into action without needing to determine how many minutes of play you need to add to your day in order to feel like you’re doing this “right.” So my intention for you, Type One, is to play more, work less.
Type Two: Drink Your Water
Type two, the intention I had in mind for you might end up sounding like a task on a to-do list, but it holds a deeper meaning, so hold on here with me. Type Two, your intention is to drink your water. And by that I mean, get in however much water that you believe your body needs, based on whatever measure you want to use, however much water is good for your body to keep you healthy and keep you hydratedl do that. Drink your water. No matter what anybody wants from you, make sure that this is a thing that can happen for you.
This simple practice will ripple out into other things, like knowing how what’s good for you is good for everybody; and what is best for you really does need to happen. Water is one of those things where, if you allow everybody else to keep you from drinking your water, because of all of their demands on you, you would end up in the hospital! So Type Two, drink your water, and allow that to remind you that you have needs, and those needs are okay. I hope that that intention feels good for you, Type Two, and feels like something you can do and embody.
Type Three: Routinely Help Others (Without Sharing That You Are Doing It)
Type Three, the intention that I thought for you was to find a secret or understated volunteer opportunity, something that is not tied to how you speak about your faith on social media; or to taking pictures of yourself or other people with you behind the camera. This is simply something that you do, preferably regularly as a part of your rhythm, that is not something that you talk about. We don’t have to actively keep this thing a secret, but this is not a part of you that you present or talk about to other people as something that you do; this is just something that you do.
Type Threes, I think you get the difference here. This intention will highlight the beauty that comes from anonymous service, and the beauty that comes from being able to pour into people. Maybe that person that you’re helping knows what you’re doing, but there is no connection at all to any sort of outside approval; this is all about you doing something that you can do for another human being, and it’s a beautiful thing.
Type Four: Create and Finish Something That You Truly Love
Type Four, my intention for you is to create and finish something that you truly love; something that is about your heart, and who you believe you are, and the beauty that you are. The problem that you might run into sometimes, Type Four, is having these beautiful ideas, that then get idealized into something that becomes unattainable or can’t be fully realized. So the intention is to create something that you follow through all the way to the end, finishing up all those details and calling it finished.
If there’s anything that you feel is unfinished in you, or that you’re working on, or that you want to work on but you feel like you can’t finish it so you haven’t even started; I would encourage you to make 2022 the year that you do that: create something and call it finished.
Type Five: Share What Excites You
Type Five, one intention that I thought maybe you could really benefit from is to find a way to share what excites you. Whatever you are interested in, the passions that you have, find a way to share about that, even if you don’t know all of it. So many of us want to know what our type fives know, and we want to know why you’re interested in that, and what about it interests you, because you have a beautiful way of making creative connections that we never would have thought about, and seeing things in a very unique way. So even if you aren’t an expert, which is what you might think you need to be, we just want to hear what you think about it!
We’re okay if you think something totally different next week; we just want to hear you talk about it. So Type Five, I think this might be a really good intention for you, is to find a way to take that first step of sharing whatever it is that interests you. You don’t have to lock yourself into talking about it for the rest of your life, but we’d love you to just give us a way to know what’s going on inside your brain, because it’s a beautiful place to be. We want to be able to, if you’re willing, know what’s going on in there, because knowledge shared is knowledge grown!
Type Six: Interrogate Your Fear
Type Six, what I thought about for you as an intention for 2022 is to learn how to develop a practice of gently interrogating your fear, anxiety, worry, or whatever is hanging heavy on your mind. Whatever is keeping that “hamster wheel” going; gently interrogate that. You may have to come up with questions that help you bring yourself back to the present and what’s good, and that the statistically likely outcome is better than you probably think it is; things like that. What are some questions you can ask yourself in moments of fear or anxiety to help you remind yourself that you are a trustworthy person; that you have been given the gift of making wise decisions; and that you are generally better at navigating circumstances and situations than you give yourself credit for? Learning to interrogate fear in a gentle, curious way can help you move through it and take steps with confidence in whatever you have to walk through this year.
Type Seven: Do Less; Do Deeper
Type Seven, here’s an intention for you that I don’t know if you’ll like, but stick with me! If I were able to help you set an intention for 2022, Type Seven, it would be to do less; do deeper. And by this I mean, plan a little bit less than you might want, especially when you are thinking about the goals that you want to achieve; the things that you want to accomplish; the areas that you want to learn or grow in.
You probably have a big stack of things going on and planned; and my encouragement to you is to look at that pile, sift through it a little bit and think about, “In this finite time I have this year, how can I do less so that I can go deeper in the things that are important to me right now; that I value over other things?”
So looking at the pile that is your life, how can you untangle things (the plans, areas that you want to grow in, relationships, goals, whatever that is) and look at it with fresh eyes so that you can do a little bit less, and in so doing, do more in the areas that really mean a lot to you? So Type Seven, that’s my intention for you; I hope that you appreciate it, and I hope that you do it!
Type Eight: Just Be Present
Type Eight, one intention that I thought of for you was to focus on being present, in the sense of not needing to do anything, make any changes, make anything happen; just be present wherever you are and enjoy the moment. So often I think that you type eights can feel like the world is on your shoulders, like it’s up to you to make things happen, but a lot of times the only thing that the moment really requires of you is to be experienced by others to the fullness that you can be.
And so my encouragement to you, Type Eight, is to find areas where you really want to practice being present; whether that’s with people, with yourself, with your emotions, or even just a good movie! Find ways to help yourself be fully present, instead of thinking about what needs to happen and feeling the pull and the urge to go ahead and get it done. And that’s my encouragement and my possible intention for you, Type Eight, if you feel like that’s what you might need to do in 2022.
Type Nine: Get Comfortable with Being Provocative
Type Nine, one thing that I thought about for you as an intention for 2022 is to get more comfortable with being provocative. I want you to understand what I mean here, because it’s probably not what came to your mind right now! By provocative I mean that oftentimes, Type Nine, you might think that simply having and stating an opinion that is different than somebody else is provocative, in that it could lead to conflict; it feels like lighting a match, and if there’s a fuse close to that match, everything could blow up. That puts a lot of pressure on you, Type Nine, to be very aware of the situation and to make sure that everybody is copacetic and feels okay, and can lead to you being almost hyper-aware, trying to find a moment where you can state an opinion in a safe way.
I want to encourage you to be okay with the fact that some people are going to be provoked no matter what, because you have a different opinion than them! We know, if we’ve done any Enneagram work, that there are so many perspectives that are so valid, and having a difference of opinion is human nature; if you have two humans, you have two different opinions. You might not feel safe, Type Nine, all the time to state your own opinions, not just because somebody else is going to respond in a negative way, but because you might need (a little bit too much) everybody to be okay throughout the process of differences of opinions. What might feel to others like a healthy discussion of differences will feel to you like somebody has lit the fuse and now everything is going to explode! So my encouragement to you, Type Nine, is to find ways to be more comfortable with being a little bit provocative in healthy ways; to share your difference of opinion, knowing that you can handle a healthy discussion or whatever comes up, especially in the areas that are important to you. So that’s my encouragement to you and a possible intention for you, Type Nine, for 2022.
Finally, I want to encourage all of you to set an intention, to get to know yourself better this year, whatever that looks like for you. I encourage you to just spend time getting to know you; what gifts has God given you that you can uncover? What are some beautiful things about yourself that you haven’t really taken the time to notice yet? What are some of the ways that you can go deeper into uncovering who you are? That’s my encouragement to all of you, no matter who you are, or where you’re at on your journey.
Enjoy this post? Have a question? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below or over on Instagram where I hang out the most. If you haven’t yet, grab a copy of The Enneagram for Beginner’s book (affiliate link, thank you for your support!) or you can shop through my favorite books and resources for using the Enneagram in the Amazon Storefront.
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