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Women's Health Blog

Grit & Grace: Graceful Intentions for 2019

New Year’s resolutions mean well. There is something to be said for taking in the big picture and setting the course to reach specific goals. Somewhere between setting those resolutions and achieving them—life happens, things change and reality shifts. Resolution literally means, “The process of solving a problem.” A resolution is all about the end game—achieving results, but what if we focused on the journey and setting intentions instead of solving a problem? Intentions allow room for change and gently nudge us back in the right direction without dropping the hammer of criticism. Resolutions are about doing and intentions are about the ebb and flow of being—allowing room for pain and suffering directed into healing and reinvention.

I was casually talking with one of my breast cancer patients, whom I have know for quite a while, and I asked if she was planning on attending this survivorship conference (Tunnell Cancer Center partners with a few other organizations in the area to host a yearly survivorship conference). She firmly stated no—she was a survivor in life long before she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

This statement took me back a bit. It’s true—being a survivor is a club with a vast reach. We ALL survive so many things. There are moments that I somehow feel guilty for trying to connect with my patients when I have not had to endure what they are enduring. But with this comment, I realized we are all survivors because we all suffer. I have not personally been diagnosed with cancer, but I’ve endured the loss of a child, betrayal, divorce, hardship, loneliness, and pain. Moving through these things changes you. Pain and suffering change you, and we all require healing. And all healing comes with intention.

Lynne McTaggert discusses in her book, The Intention Experiment, that thoughts can and do affect physical reality. We have the ability to transform ourselves (and maybe even others) with just our thoughts. She states, “A thought is not a thing; a thought is a thing that influences other things,” which means setting intentions for ourselves is a powerful way to initiate change leading to transformation and ultimately reinvention.  

The beauty of setting intentions is that it does not need to be done solely on New Year’s Eve leading into the next year. Some days you may only be able to set an intention for the very next moment, but that moment is a bridge to healing.

Looking to borrow a few starter ideas to set your intentions? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to start the process (which can be found at

  • What matters most to you?
  • What would you like to build, create, or nurture in your life?
  • What would you like to let go of?
  • Who would you like to forgive in your life?
  • How do you feel when you are your happiest self?
  • What makes you proud?
  • What word(s) would you like to align yourself with?
  • What fears would you like to release?
  • What are you grateful for?

There are no wrong answers.Enjoy the journey of 2019. Here’s to a happy and healthy new year!

“Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen Hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.”
Mary Anne Radmacher

Amanda Gross

Amanda Aris

Amanda Aris is the Cancer Care Coordinator at Beebe Healthcare’s Tunnell Cancer Center. As part of the psychosocial services team at TCC, she navigates patients through the specialty pharmacy process of obtaining oral chemotherapies, coordinates all referrals to outside institutions, and works closely with the cancer survivorship programs and events. Although she has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Secondary Education, she previously worked with cancer clinical trials as a Certified Clinical Research Professional in Philadelphia. Amanda is Baltimore born and an avid