Intentions Not Resolutions & The Social Media Trap
There has been quite a lot of talk surrounding New Year's resolutions. Last year, I wrote about how my only resolution was to manage my difficult feelings in a healthier way (here). This year, I want to continue this path of emotional growth and management but do it in a way that is more compatible with what I need right now, which is kindness.
During my mindfulness practice, I learned that intentions are a more gentle, compassionate way to set you up for success as they focus on the process of change whereas resolutions are typically large scale, year-long goals that focus on the outcome of that change. Because we know that resolutions usually fail within the first few months, I don't understand why we still even talk about them? Sure it's great to have significant goals, but unless you have a way to sustain them, they are bound to flop.
What I love about setting intentions is that there is no end goal. For example, if your New Year's resolution was to keep a cleaner, more organized house, but then one week you become super busy and your home resembles something more like a tornado and less like Marie Kondo's book, The Art of Tidying Up, what's going to happen? I guarantee that you will perceive your messy house as a failure and that one millisecond of thinking that you "failed" will derail your resolution and leave you feeling pretty lousy.
But what if you set an intention instead? What if you said, this year, I want to make a conscious effort that when I clean, I will be satisfied by what I get done and state one thing that I am grateful for about my house while I clean. By trying to set intentions at the deeper, more soulful level, you are less likely to set unrealistic goals, and you won't feel like a failure if your house isn't spick-and-span. Again, it's all about the process, not about the result.
I have given this so much thought over the past few days and have been setting daily intentions every day for a few months now. I want to continue this practice because when I feel myself getting off course, it is so easy for me to come back to my intention and reset. That's the best part about intentions; you can ALWAYS come back to it.
This year, I want to push myself creatively and let go of the messages that I have been sending myself for what makes a successful blogger. I am so done with chasing statistics, trying to post a certain amount each week or push out as much content as I possibly can.
There was one week where I lost over 400 followers on Instagram and to be honest it really got to me. I know it's so stupid to even to put my worth on a number and I did a lot of processing as to why it bothered me so much? Was it because I thought people hated my content? No. Was it because I worked so hard to gain those 400 followers in the first place? Kind of. Was it because I felt a connection to those people and they hurt my feelings by unfollowing me? No. Was it because numbers equals money when you monetize your social accounts and I was afraid that I was going to lose clients? Not really. So what was it?
When I get down to it, I think I was engaging in some pretty unhealthy social media abuse (meaning I was scrolling my feed too often and comparing myself to others WAY too much), and I needed the drop in numbers to kick me where it hurts so that I could change a few habits.
I wrote a post on five ways to limit your social media usage (here). I did so well with it at first and then the busier I got, the more content I was trying to push out, the more I got sucked into the social media trap and forgot about the limits that I set for myself.
This year, I set 3 intentions focused on blogging/Instagram. *(I set more personal ones that I will share with you later).
What are some intentions that you have set this year?
My Top 3 Social Media Intentions for 2018
- Create Content that Makes Me Feel Good: And what better way to start than to put on some ridiculously gorgeous velvet pants and go out shooting not giving two shits whether or not the Instagram algorithm is going to like it. There have been photos that I haven't posted because I was too afraid it would bring down my ratings. My intention this year is to post without regard. To post what makes me happy, makes me feel something. Of course, I will need to do stylized content for brands that won't necessarily spark those emotions (I mean vacuums are neat, but it doesn't make my heart go pitter-patter). So I intend to ask myself how a photo makes me feel each time I post it. If I notice that I haven't had that heart melting, breath-taking, this was the coolest moment kind of thing in a while; then I know I need to post something that fulfills that. (Note: I did not say I would post 2-3 photos that fit this criterion a week. If I did that, it would be a resolution, not an intention.).
- Engage, Engage, Engage: If you have EVER commented, liked or read one of my posts, THANK YOU. I wouldn't be able to do this if it wasn't for your encouragement and support along the way. So this year, to say thank you, I intend to do some small acts of kindness to those I engage with through social media.
- Shoot More: When I first started my Instagram account, it was all me behind the scenes. I shot and edited everything. When I began to take on clients, I realized that it was insanely unrealistic to move my tripod around and shoot everything on my own. I work full-time and the amount of time it takes to set up a tripod and snap self-timed photos with a progressively busy and mobile daughter crawling, running or spinning around the house is ridiculous. That's when I met Brittany from Brittany Renee Photography. She has been the backbone of Love & LaRock, and I could not run this blog without her. She has taught me so much about shooting and even though we will continue to work together, I want to bring out my camera more often too. Not for the sake of Instagram or shooting campaigns, but just to make art. I used to spend hours in the garden taking photos of my flowers and it brought me so much joy. This year, I want to cultivate that feeling more and create more without the intention of sharing it with anyone other than me.
Photography by Brittany Renee