Great Expectations: Setting Intentions for 2017


People generally tend to be split when it comes to celebrating the New Year– you either love it or you can’t stand it. I certainly can’t complain this year as we have just returned from a little getaway to one of our favorite places, the Napa Valley and will be spending a cozy evening at home tomorrow with a delicious meal, some fabulous wine, and of course, champagne! However, I don’t usually care for New Year’s Eve or the ridiculous expectations that come with it (New Year’s Eve is lame,  but champagne is forever!), but I do love to usher in the New Year with a fresh set of goals and a positive mindset. I certainly don’t have it all figured out, but I feel that I am the product of a fine-tuned vision, strong work ethic, and the advice and example of the people I trust and admire. This week, while away on a slow-paced vacation, I have had the opportunity to think a lot about the things that I would like to accomplish in 2017 and have started laying the groundwork to make those goals happen. I’ve had some wonderful mentors in my life and I believe in paying it forward, so I thought I might share my best advice to help you live your “dolce vita” in 2017. This advice isn’t specific to any one person or goal, but it is more about your frame of mind and believing in yourself. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, how can anyone else?


No. 1: Instead of resolutions, set intentions this year. Let’s face it, most of us break our resolutions within a few weeks. Intentions are less specific and focus on the big picture. Don’t set yourself up for failure by making super specific resolutions, instead, make your intentions part of an overall mindset.

No. 2: Reflect on what you learned about yourself in 2016. Good or bad, how can you use those lessons to improve yourself and your life in 2017? Experience is our greatest teacher, so whether you attempted something in 2016 and failed or you found your stride and really excelled at something, think about how you can leverage that knowledge into something greater in the new year.

No. 3: Are your professional goals in line with your personal intentions? Tying them together and ensuring that they are in sync will increase your chances for success! Sometimes, it may seem that our professional and personal lives may get in the way of one another. Being married to an incredibly supportive husband who works in my same industry and not having children certainly makes things a little less complicated for me, but last year, I received the brilliant advice of tying a professional goal to a personal one. This way, all of your efforts are in line with one another and your chances of achieving success are multiplied.

No. 4: What were your greatest triumphs in 2016? How can you build  upon them in the new year? Think about what you did really well this past year. Did people commend you for a certain personality trait or for the way you executed a specific project in 2016? What do these things say about you? Identifying our own strengths is a powerful exercise and allows us to get into the type of mindset that leads to achievement. It is also important to celebrate our small victories en route to a bigger goal.

No.5: Think big, get BIG! Think positively, get positive results! Success is a state of mind. Challenge yourself to banish negative thoughts and  approach opportunities from a place of yes. Staying in a positive  frame of mind can be difficult, but I believe that you attract the same energy that you exude. Be intentional and deliberate in order to support your goals. The biggest obstacle to success is often our own mindset. Sometimes, I find that I can get in my own way when it comes to the really big goals I want to achieve. I start doubting the possibilities or creating laundry lists of reasons why it won’t work. But why shouldn’t it? If you have the skills, knowledge, talent, and passion for something, there is no reason not to try! It may sound a little hokey or new-agey, but challenge yourself to have a positive mindset from the time you wake up tomorrow. Rise up to meet the day with intention and be open to positivity and possibility. You may just be surprised at how many things will work out by simply changing your mindset!


This week, I have been reflecting on my inner desires and working on my  list of goals for 2017. Thankfully, they line up in both my personal and professional lives (it’s pretty much the same thing at this point!). There are some larger, scarier goals that will take time to come to fruition and then there are smaller, achievable goals that will help me to stay motivated and in a positive state of mind on the road to making those big dreams come true. I’ve decided that some of the scary goals will be made more palatable if I tie them to “good, better, best” case scenarios so that even if I don’t knock it out of the park with the best outcome, but attain a good or better outcome, I can still be proud of the hard work leading to the accomplishment.

How do you feel about resolutions? Do you set annual goals? Do you believe in the power of intention and positive thinking? I’d love to hear what has worked for you and wish you all the best in 2017!


{Photography by Lesley Unruh for One Kings Lane}

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Tell Me What You Think! leave a comment...

  1. Your words have given me a new perspective for the new year. Wow I feel like I can really accomplish things. Be more intentional!!!!

  2. Happy New Year!!! Thank you for the roadmap of what I have been trying to articulate for myself. These concrete actions will really help, set the stage as well as provide a measure of my progress!

  3. Hi Paloma,
    Thank you for this post! I was just sitting at my desk writing out my goals and intentions for the New Year (I, too, hate the word “resolutions”) and then read your post and the timing and questions you posed were spot on! I’m curious though…I know you’ve written before about ones professional and personal intentions being in line with each other. Do you mind sharing some examples? Thanks so much!! And Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Darci! I’m so happy that you found this post helpful. I find that this outlook really helps me to stay faithful to my goals and keeps me in the right mindset. In terms of tying personal and professional goals, an example might be to increase one’s business/sales by 25% in order to be able to purchase a new home/car/vacation, etc. How do your professional goals tie into the personal side of your life?

      Happy New Year!

  4. Paloma, thank you for your dedication, passion and focus to this amazing world of design. You have been a consistent light that has illuminated the path in the pursuit of creativity, which not only enriches the soul but more importantly, enriches the heart.