Intentions vs. Resolutions: Starting the New Year Right

Intentions vs. Resolutions: Starting the New Year Right

Every time a new year begins, many of us start off saying how we’re getting to make a bunch of resolutions. Popular ones always include eating right, losing weight, being more organized…the list can go on and on.

 

But, what happens a month into the new year?

 

Many of us tend to slack off and not complete our resolutions. This leads us to feel like a failure. This isn’t the way you want to start a new year nor the way you want the rest of the year to feel. 

 

So, this year, why not try something different? Why not focus on setting intentions rather than resolutions? What’s the difference? Let’s take a look.

 

Intentions vs. Resolutions

To break this down, let’s check out the real definitions of each word.

 

A resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not to do something while an intention is defined as an aim or a plan. See the difference already?

 

The problem with resolutions is that they tend to focus on the outcome, not the journey. An intention involves making a plan. So there is a journey involved in it.

 

For example, if you make a resolution to lose 20 pounds, but only lose 10, you may feel like a failure because you didn’t meet your resolution goal. But, in the process, you may have changed your lifestyle habits to be healthier. You may be feeling better and may have gained more muscle mass. But, that doesn’t reflect in your resolution goal so you may feel like you failed.

 

If you made an intention to be healthier, this would have been seen in the end product of losing the 10 pounds and feeling better rather than just losing 20 pounds. 

 

Setting Intentions

 

Setting intentions requires being mindful. It requires looking deep inside ourselves to see what we want to improve. Intentions don’t set a specific outcome. They simply direct you on how to set your ambitions.

 

As a parent, you may have it in your head that you’re going to make a resolution to yell less or spend more time with your kids. But maybe at the end of a stressful day, you yell or you get wrapped up in work and you don’t spend as much time with your kids as you wanted. You may feel like a failure.

 

Instead, set intentions of how you’re going to spend more time with your kids. Think about one thing you can do that would make you happy. Think about how you’re going to make that work. If you focus on the journey rather than the result, you’ll likely feel better at the end.

 

Journaling and Setting Intentions

 

 

Journaling can help you set intentions. For many of us, writing things down makes them more real. Write about your intentions and the journey that’s going to help them become reality. You need to know where you’re going to go if you want to get there. A journal can be the roadmap that you need to make this happen. This allows you to revisit your intentions and even write about how you’re feeling in the process.

 

If resolutions never really worked for you, consider setting intentions for 2021 and journaling. See how it makes you feel and if it helps things become clearer. 

 

We wish you a Happy New Year full of mindfulness and good intentions!

 

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