2022 Intentions – April Reflections

I wrote about my 2022 Intentions (as an alternative to resolutions) during the new year. After wrapping up April it’s time to reflect again. As a reminder, “intentions” are the behaviors and attitudes that I intend to promote and champion within myself each day. The intent is to do (be) my best on any given day…in any given moment. There are no rules. No broken promises. Just good intentions.

April was another challenging month with us being locked down (along with the entire city of Shanghai). For those that are not aware, Shanghai is taking a very strict approach to locking down due to the spike in covid cases. Starting in March we began to experience restrictions from leaving our community and in April we were mostly restricted to staying in our own homes with the only exception for getting covid testing. We are blessed with a garden and so unlike many that are stuck in apartments with no recourse, I do have more space to stretch, but I must say this is getting quite tiring and for all the people of Shanghai, quite sad. One bright spot is seeing the neighborhood become more neighborly with people sharing when running out of supplies and collaborating on bulk orders to secure new supplies. Ironically I’ve “met” more neighbors during lock-down then I ever met during ‘normal’ times.

With regard to my intentions, it’s been an up and down month with some low spots and some bright spots. Let’s take a look — here are my reflections for each intention.

#1 Intention: Rise and Shine

My first 2022 Intention was to ”Rise and Shine”. To get up when I (first) wake up. Given my normal sleep patterns I decided to wake and get up at 5 a.m. (with a 9-9:30 sleep target to ensure I got enough sleep to feel rested).

In April I generally kept to this 5am get-up schedule but with my working from home due to the lock-down I didn’t need as much time in the morning and I sometimes ended up taking a nap even before work started, which never really felt that restful. I’d say in the past week or so I’ve gotten more on track with this regard and am feeling less sluggish.

#2 Intention: Move

My second 2022 Intention was to “Move”. To get my body moving daily whether it be doing yoga, or taking a walk, or going for a bike ride or swim it’s all good. The idea here was whether I feel fresh or tired, I‘ll choose to move.

Moving was by far the biggest challenge for me this month with me clocking in exercise only sporadically. Walking hasn’t been a choice due to the lockdown (and it’s my preferred option for moving when I’m low energy), but I do have options for yoga and an exercise bike. So it’s really just a matter of reminding myself of my intention and taking a first step to get going.

#3 Intention: Be

My third 2022 Intention was to “Be”. To meditate each day.

My general habit was to meditate after yoga each day and with my lapses in yoga I also lapsed a bit in meditation. But in the second half of the month I started to meditate more by telling myself if I’m not going to do yoga I can still meditate. This “permission” unlocked me a bit.

#4 Intention: Create

My fourth 2022 Intention was to “Create”. To write and or create art each day.

Here, I excelled. In celebration of national poetry month the muse was with me and I wrote over 75 poems over the course of the month. I’ve been wonderfully prolific and this has been a bright light for me throughout the month. I even published my sixth book this month after starting the work on it in March — a very fast cycle from idea to fruition (and definitely atypical). The book is a collection of illustrated silly poetry and you can learn more about the book here if your interested.

So there they are. My April reflections. A mixed bag, but if I think back holistically at my month I’ve done something to take care of myself everyday and that is something I can (and do) feel good about myself for. I’m not going to make any adjustments to my intentions as I still feel that they are all positive directions for me.

I do sincerely hope that the situation here in Shanghai eases and people regain some freedom. People need to feel some lightheartedness and joy.

How was April for you?

Be well,



  1. Thanks for sharing your update, Monty. It sounds like a successful month despite the challenges. I hope the COVID situation improves soon. Here in North America, most people are behaving like COVID is gone, which makes me nervous. I’m still very cautious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      I’d say smart precautions make sense but still enjoy life (which I know your doing from your posts). I for one still plan to wear a mask of flying. Seems like a smart thing to do given how often I’ve caught a cold during a flight. Thanks for reading as always!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. gigglingfattie says:

    You’re not even allowed to go for walks during your lockdowns? That’s basically our only stupilation when it happens here lol lockdown except for daily exercise outdoors

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      We are not allowed to leave our own property when we are under the strictest lock down, which has been almost the entire month of April. It’s extreme.


      1. gigglingfattie says:

        Oh woooowwwwww. I hope it ends soon!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed reading about your intentions, Monty. And I wish you well as you continue to make them happen in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      Thanks so much! I really appreciate you saying that.


  4. murisopsis says:

    Excellent intentions. I made goals and so far so good! I’m reading more, writing regularly, as soon as it gets warm enough I’ll be walking more too!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      Nice!! We’ve got the beautiful weather…just need the locks off the gate to get out. Sigh. Glad to hear your doing well with your goals.


  5. T. B. C... says:

    Lockdown must have been hard, Monty. However, your intensions are spot on. It’s not always easy sticking to intensions but setting them is a start. I’ve been listening to Jay Shetty – inspirational speak, Monk and expert on wellbeing and he talks about the very intensions that you have written down here. I was thinking about incorporating them in my life, only yesterday and then today I read you post. It seems the universe is aligned and the messages are coming in thick and fast – so I shall take a leaf out of your book. Sorry we didn’t contribute to Golden Shovel… if it is still going on – we would love to take part! Sending love – always xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monty Vern says:

      Jay Shetty has a daily meditation on the Calm app that I listen too sometimes. He is quite inspirational. There is another daily meditation on that app called The Daily Trip by Jeff Warren that is my go to meditation. Very grounding. If your on that app it’s worth a look.

      Your always welcome to contribute a Golden Shovel. I can add it to the round-up anytime. But I’ll also plan another collaboration of some sort for June so feel free to wait for that as well.

      Much love and so glad to “hear” from you! Be well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. T. B. C... says:

        Yes – I saw this and a whole load of other tools on his website to help with self care -I am diving in! xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Monty Vern says:

        Sweet! Good on you!


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