How to Set a New Year's Intention (and Why Resolutions Suck)
Holy smokes, it’s 2019!
Whether you’re reading this on January 1st or a few days later, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
If your like the millions of people who have big plans for 2019, read on.
While chatting with friends the other day I nonchalantly asked the group, “So what are everyone’s New Year intentions?”
“What’s an intention?” someone finally asked.
“I hate resolutions,” sneered another.
“ME TOO!” they shouted in unison.
While my friends started bashing resolutions between drinking their wine, I clarified it for them.
An intention is not a resolution.
An intention is an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.
A resolution is the act of resolving upon an action, course of action, or method.
They are kind of basically but not quite the same thing.
As I explained to the group (with lots of AHAs! from my friends), an intention is something to work towards but doesn’t limit the HOW.
Take losing weight for example.
My intention to fit into my former size four dresses is an end goal. Once I intend on living a healthier lifestyle, incorporating daily movement into my life and honoring my body’s needs, the journey itself doesn’t seem so rigid (or daunting).
The problem with a weight lose resolution is it sets you up for failure. It requires you to determine a course of action or method from the get-go. Do THIS diet program, follow THIS exercise regime…
You get the idea.
And if you don’t? You fail.
If you choose a donut over a carrot? Guilt (and the eventual landslide into giving up).
Skip a workout day? It’s all over.
Intentions allow you to pivot, grow and evolve toward the goal.
That’s why one of my favorite end-of-year exercises is to set my next year’s intentions, either through a vision board or ‘word of the year’ process (Susannah Conway is my go-to gal).
This helps me align my thoughts with my actions.
Some of the questions I ask myself are…
What dreams am I working toward in 2019?
How do I want to feel on any given day?
If this was my last year on this planet, what would I devote my time to?
This helps me narrow down what really matters so I can make the most of my time.
Not only that, but my perspective shifts.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day mundane tasks or drama that won’t really matter a year (or two) from now. By checking in and evaluating what’s really important, I’m better able to be of service and make larger contributions to my family, clients and community over the next 12 months.
Once I shared this with the group, I kid you not - people’s eyes lit up!
Lightbulb moments were happening left and right.
We started sharing big dreams, ways of being and actions that aligned with our big goals in a way that speaking about resolutions never ignited.
If you haven’t done so yet, take an hour to explore some intentions you have for this new year. Whether it’s to get fit, grow your business, be of greater service or simply be more present with people, always remember: it has nothing to do with the HOW and everything to do with your WHY.
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