Intentions vs. Resolutions

We are already a couple weeks into 2018 and dare I ask how new year’s resolutions are going.

Truth be told I geek out a bit when the new year rolls around and there is an excuse for looking to explore, improve, or change.  I always find it hard to pick one big thing to focus on to make my own and stick to (I guess that just means there’s a lot to improve). But this year I’ve come to a new realization that has changed my outlook on resolutions.

Don’t make them.

Instead, make intentions for the new year. What’s the difference?

A resolution implies there is a problem that needs solving, while an intention is a purposeful desire to fulfill something. Many new year’s resolutions involve problems that do need fixing – losing weight, for example. But I find that many people tend to fail at their resolutions because they don’t embrace the journey, and focus solely on the “problem” that needs to be fixed.  Old habits, impatience, fizzling motivation can all lead to resolutions being broken before Auld Lang Syne is even finished.

Okay, I exaggerate, but this is my point about intentions: they are purposeful in their nature. When you purposefully desire betterment or improvement, your mindset is incredibly more optimistic for that change.

A resolution can be to lose weight, while an intention could be to live healthier.  Instead of trying to cut down on social media, have the intention to be more present. You may be thinking that there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between resolutions and intentions and that’s because there really isn’t.  But there is a small difference that I believe has a big impact – attitude. It really is how you frame your outlook on the year and what you want to accomplish.  Don’t look to your new year needing to fix something. Instead have the intention to live a purposeful journey in whatever you are looking to improve.

For me, I’m intending to make 2018 one that is nurturing, deliberate and invigorating. I intend to read and journal more, while exploring new yoga studios, and podcasts. I intend to be more deliberate in my actions and choices, being more present and not feeling guilty in how I spend my time – I want it to be time spend for my own betterment. I intend it to be invigorating by taking a trip somewhere new, by challenging myself in ways I feel still need to unfold.  So yes, I could focus on those washboard abs – God knows I need to – but I feel that my intentions for 2018 will make it a much more enjoyable, memorable and fulfilling year.


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