My Top 3 Intentions for 2023
My Top 3 Intentions for 2023
Greetings from Hobart, Australia! 🇦🇺 A new year is here and if I had to choose a word for 2023 it would be “transformation.” This will be a year of great change. Yes, I know change is inevitable, but if we focus on growth and progress, we can make this our best year yet.
At the start of 2022, I decided to try something new. Instead of setting specific goals for the year, I simply set intentions. This was a huge shift for me. In the past, I’d always make one, five, or ten-year plans to guide my life and help me reach my goals. But the pandemic changed all of that. With so much uncertainty in the world, I didn’t feel comfortable putting myself under the pressure of reaching specific goals.
For 2023, I’ve decided once again to set intentions for the year.
Obviously, I want to have a great tennis season. I want to stay injury-free and feel like I'm getting the most out of my game and my effort. But I have some intentions for life off-court too.
Be more present in my personal relationships.
Family is everything to me. I am happiest and most centered when I feel connected to my family. So, keeping in touch with my loved ones – no matter where I am in the world – must be a priority. Staying connected to family and friends lessens the sting of homesickness and FOMO. I feel better when I remind myself that no matter where I am, the people I love most are just a FaceTime away.
Communication is so important. I must make the effort to have deep and meaningful conversations with my loved ones, conversations where we share our needs and actively listen to one another.
Prioritizing my family and friends also means being fully present when I am home. When it’s family time, it is family time, and the phone is away. When I’m home and able to spend time with my family, I take advantage of every single second of that time we’re together.
Healthy relationships also need healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries allow people in a relationship to communicate their wants and needs, while also respecting the wants and needs of others. Just as my team understands that family time must be protected, my loved ones must also understand that when it’s time to train, I’m training. When it’s time to work on my Foundation or on my outside businesses and investments, I’m fully there.
Setting boundaries is about speaking up for yourself and I’ve learned that voicing what you need and want can change everything. For me, it can mean the difference between winning a tournament and not winning. For you, it could determine something like whether you buy the house you really want. Boundaries can help you be the best version of yourself. They help you to perform better, to have a better attitude, to feel better and ultimately can help you to be a good wife, a good mom, a good daughter, a good friend – or whatever roles you play in the story of your life.
Be more in tune with my body.
Wellness to me is being in tune with my body and mind. I must be in harmony with the ebbs and flows of life so I can know what my body and mind need and how best to meet those needs. For example, I must be able to listen to body so I will know when it’s time to give myself a break.
The key to wellness is recovery. Our batteries don’t stay charged forever, so the same way you would prioritize charging your electronic devices and preserving your battery, you need to do the same for your body to sustain performance. If we don’t take care of our bodies as our #1 tool, what else do we have?
In order to listen to what my body needs, I must be willing to extend grace to myself. That means saying "job well done, Sloane" at the end of each day and allowing myself to rest, regardless of whether I hit every item on my to-do list.
There also are very practical things I can do to be more in tune with my body. I’ve learned a lot about my body by wearing a WHOOP band all day, every day. During the day, I monitor things like my strain and my heart rate, and in the morning, I get a report on my sleep quality. This helps my team and I understand how we should adapt my training and routine for the next day. I’ve learned to focus on very intentional and efficient training. We block the time out, go hard, achieve the goals we’ve set out, and then take ample time to allow my body to recover and replenish.
Prioritize my mental health.
I wear a lot of hats. I obviously have my day job of playing tennis, but I also have a ton going on off-court. I have my Foundation. I have my family. I have businesses, investments, and advisory positions. Many of us women naturally tend to take care of others and put ourselves lower on the list of our own priorities and there just isn’t anything left in the tank for ourselves.
If I want to be successful on and off the court, I must make sure I’m in a healthy mental space.
One way to do that is with structure. It is critical to keep up with your structure, schedule, and routines – even when you’re busy. If you have a standing appointment with your therapist, keep that appointment. Workplace productivity tools like Slack and Google Drive can help you keep tabs on everything you have going on. Take time to set up systems for all aspects of your life to help reduce stress.
Positive self-talk is also important. My communication with myself reflects the relationship that I have with myself. By speaking to myself as I want to feel about myself, I will take more control over my mindset. I really do believe that anything is possible in life, so if I approach situations from a positive mindset and focus on abundance rather than on scarcity, I can then determine the tangible steps needed to get closer to whatever my goal may be.
The three intentions I’ve set for 2023 are all rooted in self-care. I think a lot of people got really into self-care during the pandemic when we were all spending so much time at home. But even when life is busy and we’re constantly on the go, we must take time to treat ourselves with kindness. Self-care is self-love in action. Take 5, 10, or 15 minutes to check in with your body and your mind. You’re worth the effort.