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  • Writer's pictureCaitlin Lagnese

My Intentions for 2023


Hi friends! My writing feels a little rusty but I’m happy to be here today with all of you! We are kicking off 2023 by talking about intention setting! At the beginning of each new year, I sit down and think about what I want to accomplish as well as some things I’d like to work on. Setting my intentions early in the year helps me create a road map and also helps me stay on track. Hopefully, some of my intentions will resonate with you. Cheers to 2023!

Practicing gratitude

I know I sound like a broken record but that’s only because my gratitude practice has been LIFE-CHANGING! My routine is very simple. Most mornings I write down 5 things I’m grateful for. Sometimes they are big things and sometimes they are small things. Here are some examples from my list: Quality time with my kids, date night with hubby, a roof over my head, belle snuggles, Learning Ladder Gymnastics, a pretty drive through the snow, and my mental health. Gratitude has been huge in my wellness journey and it's cool because once you start doing a list, you naturally start looking for little things throughout your day that spark joy. For me, it goes hand in hand with the law of attraction. I am attracting and inviting more positivity into my life by focusing on the good things around me.



Setting boundaries

This is a hard topic for me because as a recovering people-pleaser, I have to remind myself often that setting boundaries is vital in protecting my heart. Hurting others is one of my biggest fears in life but that fear comes at a price. I've found myself in many situations where I have completely abandoned myself and my true feelings to make someone else happy and comfortable. I hate that about myself and sometimes I think I’ll never learn proper boundary setting but then again, I have made some decent progress. I am realizing too that I can love someone and have a wonderful relationship with them while still setting boundaries because a boundary is ultimately for you. There doesn’t always need to be a big discussion or production over a boundary. Remember my friends, you are the captain of your ship. Build it well. Protect it well. Don’t give your power away to please someone else. Your ship will eventually sink.


Letting go of what doesn’t serve me

For me, this goes hand in hand with boundary setting. This is another thing I struggle with too, especially in relationships. When I love you, I will love you hard. When you hurt me, I will forgive you immediately but likely let it go in 10 years. And the same goes if I hurt your feelings. I'll replay my hurtful words for years. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating but what I mean is I don’t have the natural ability to just let things go. I have OCD friends, I obsess over obsessing. It’s funny too because I am not a grudge holder nor do I harbor resentment toward many people. I try to read between the lines and peel away the layers of a person instead of just throwing away a relationship. But see, that can often be problematic too because I’ll hijack problems that are not mine leading to entangling myself in feelings that DO NOT SERVE ME! Or I’ll make excuses for poor behavior because I don’t want anyone upset with me. It’s not just people and relationships either. A lot of times I find myself doing things that do not serve me like scrolling my phone for an hour or popping in one too many frozen processed meals for dinner because I’m tired. It’s totally fine in moderation but have I mastered the art of moderation yet? Not sure … I’ll get back to you!



People Pleasing

I have a very long and complex relationship with people pleasing. I was born a people-pleaser and often say I am now a recovering people-pleaser. Overall I am very pleased with how far I have come in this area. For the longest time, I thought I’d always be a people-pleaser, a doormat, a punching bag. I was convinced I’d always go through life needing everyone's APPROVAL, which by the way is impossible. There are two parts to my people pleasing.

  1. Approval and needing to be liked.

  2. Obsessing over hurting someone's feelings.

People Pleasing Caitlin: If I know you don’t like me I will be up at night going through a million ways to win you over. It doesn’t matter if I like you or not. I will go to absolutely ridiculous lengths too. I will donate money and my time, bend over backward while you spit in my face, and do things totally out of character just to hear the blissful words, “I like you.” Acceptance is my drug!


Recovering People Pleasing Caitlin: I probably don’t particularly care for you either. Sure, I would like you to like me but not enough to comprise my integrity. I won't waste my time or energy proving myself. Take me or leave me. No matter what though, I will show you nothing but kindness.


Showing kindness IS NOT a weakness by the way. We should be sprinkling it around like confetti. However, being overly kind can get a little dicey sometimes because you don't want to be fake. This leads right into my obsession over hurting someone’s feelings. This is the main area I will be focusing on this year! I’d like to think most of us don’t go around with the intent of hurting others, but there are plenty of people who thrive off of drama. Then you have me over here questioning every little thing that comes out of my mouth because I will dare not stir any pots. I would give examples but you don’t have all day. Because I HATE confrontation, I will often keep opinions to myself. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but sometimes that does come at a price. There was a person I met in college who was just plain mean. She owned it too. Excuse my language but she would literally go around saying, “I’m a bitch and I am proud of it.” This was someone I secretly did not like or respect yet we were “friends” for 4 years because she scared the living crap out of me. I didn’t want to be her next punching bag but turns out I was her punching bag the whole time. I tried peeling back the layers and even tried to convince others to like her, but at the end of the day, she was who she was and she had no intent of changing. And honestly, it wasn’t my job to change her. I could have easily shown her kindness without inviting her into my life. Shame on me. Now obviously I was much younger and immature back then. There is no way I'd ever partake in a toxic friendship like that at age 34. However, I do still catch myself being too afraid to speak my opinion or even stand up for what's right. Sometimes I get so caught up in wanting to be a good person that I easily turn into a fake person. I am going to work on being more upfront and honest while still showing kindness. Boundaries! It's all about boundaries!


* I'd like to note that I am no Mother Theresa. There have been plenty of times when I have not been the kindness. Just the other day I snapped at my husband. Kind words were not spewing out of my mouth. But I apologized and I owned it. I was having a really rough day and I took it out on him. We have ALL been there. And while I do my best to practice kindness, some days are easier than others.


Resting more

We need rest! We need downtime to unwind, especially living in today’s hectic world. Sometimes we need a whole day just to do nothing. Who doesn’t love a good mental health day? I have gotten much better with this though I have my moments. Just recently I found myself in a few pickles because I over-scheduled. Due to being sick off and on for months, I’ve had to cancel and reschedule many things. Plus if you have kids you know how often plans change last minute. When I look back at my calendar for January my head spins. But we learn and we are going to go into February a little less hot. For those who know my story, when I was having a bipolar manic episode, I would overly commit. I’d randomly join the PTA, sign up for a half marathon, plan out every weekend for MONTHS, make dinner dates with 16 people, and then decide it was a good time to join 3 book clubs. Then I’d crash and burn. It was a vicious cycle that everyone seemed to notice but me. By the way, I had zero interest in the PTA or running. Half the plans I made were due to FOMO and at that time I didn’t even enjoy reading. I took everything back then to an extreme. My mood stabilizer has been so helpful in helping me rest and make better decisions. Ultimately taking care of myself and recognizing my needs is what makes me a better person. Running a mile minute does not. I can care for the people around me much better when I have fuel in my tank. I hate running on fumes! Nobody has time for that!

Self-reflection

Who else comes up with a word or mantra for the new year? I’ve already changed mine a million times!


Perseverance, not perfection!

That is my 2023 mantra. When I reflect on where I have been and where I want to go, I see how important perseverance and consistency are. Let’s take my recent weight loss for instance. It took me quite some time to gain 15 lbs so what made me think it was going to take 2 weeks to lose it? It’s not always about how hard we go at something but rather how long we stick to something. You can work out hard for 15 days in a row and eat perfectly, see a small difference on the scale and then realize you can’t keep that momentum going. So you stop and then you gain the weight right back plus some. Sound familiar? Now, what if we worked out hard 3 days a week and followed a realistic eating plan for 3 months? Guarantee you will not only see great results but you will be able to stick to it. Everything in moderation my friends. I feel like you can apply this to so much in life. I am going to go through this year gently reminding myself that perseverance will get me to my goals. Perfection will not. Perfection is impossible anyway so why keep setting myself up for failure? I am over the perfectionist mentality. DOESN’T SERVE ME!

I hope you all have a wonderful year ahead! I also hope you are going into this year with realistic expectations and goals. Bumps are going to happen. There may be many bumps. We just don’t know nor can we control the world around us. However, we can hold ourselves accountable and do our best each day. It’s not going to be perfect but we don’t grow from perfection. We grow from persevering!





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