Remember all the New Year’s resolutions you set in years past?
Maybe it was learning to crochet or losing 20 pounds. The type of resolution that starts off strong in January, but quickly loses momentum and dwindles away. By March, the crochet needles are lost and you are Doordash’ing Salt & Straw ice cream.
Studies show that although 60% of us admit to making New Year’s resolutions, only about 8% of us are successful in achieving them. Motivating, right?
Feeling Like a Failure?
The journey of setting a resolution and then not meeting it can leave us feeling like a failure. With an 8% success rate, it’s probably not our best bet. Rather than risk this motivational rollercoaster, try including an intention in your plan to help you stay on track.
Intentions vs. Resolutions
While our resolutions emphasize outcomes, an intention is about the process you go through until you get there.
Perhaps when you set a resolution in the past, you felt like a failure the first time you messed up. Intentions don’t give up on you. With an intention, your focus is internal and involves purpose. That means even if you take a step backward, your intention is there to support you and remind you to reflect on what factors influence your ability to succeed.
Our resolutions are often rooted in change. Our intentions focus on deeper understanding as we strive for progress. Setting an intention allows us to reflect on the previous year and find meaning in what’s to come. When we pair our resolutions with an intention, we eliminate the fear of failure and embrace flexibility and compassion as we move through the year.
Need Some Inspiration?
Here are some examples of intentions in the new year:
- I speak to myself with kindness
- I nurture my relationships
- I am open to new experiences
- I prioritize my health and wellness
- I make time to do the things I enjoy
- I can effectively communicate with others to gain understanding
If you’re unsure where to begin, try setting a one-word intention.
Real Life Examples
Think about an area of your life that needs more attention. This could be your relationships, health, self-understanding, etc. A one-word intention may be “forgiveness” or “clarity.” We can carry this word with us and expand it as we grow.
Once we set our intention, it’s time to get to work.
Consider what your intention means to you and how you wish to apply it to your life.
If your intention involves prioritizing your health and wellness, think about what small steps you can take towards this. Perhaps you can schedule that overdue check-up with your doctor or try that new yoga studio down the street. An intention requires active involvement and achievable steps to stay committed. Review your intention regularly to assess if it is still relevant or needs a change.
How to Make it Happen
To keep your intention top of mind, try writing it down and placing it somewhere visible. This spot could be on your bathroom mirror, desk at work, or even your phone screen. Any location that can act as a gentle reminder throughout the day of what you have set out to achieve.
Also, journaling about your intention can bring increased reflection and mindfulness throughout the process. Along with the mental health benefits of journaling, this can be a great way to track your progress and notice any patterns.