Happy new year! It’s that time of the year where we resolve to make changes, to improve, to achieve our goals and so much more. Resolutions are a great way to reflect and begin the year with a goal-setting mindset. However, resolutions can also make us feel defeated and even somewhat sad. Often, they are a reminder of our expired resolutions from the year prior. The ones that may not have come to fruition, bringing on a sense of falling short. Setting lofty new year’s goals can trigger a nagging voice of doubt, an unsettling fear of failure. Ugh. Now, that’s not the way to start the new year!
Here’s why setting intentions, rather than resolutions, will make you happier.
- Setting intentions allows you to detach from a specific outcome. Resolutions are usually worded as: “Get fit.” “Lose 15 pounds.” “Learn Spanish.” “Be debt free.” “Read one book a month.” “Learn a new sport.” etc…. An intention allows you to free yourself from the limits of strict outcomes. It creates space for growth, expansion, and change, resulting in less pressure and unnecessary expectations.
- Setting intentions helps you to create big lifestyle changes rather than focusing on one specific goal. Getting fit and losing 15 pounds is a great goal to have for some people. However, setting an intention, with a broader mindset can actually encourage you to create important, and lasting, shifts in your life. Imagine changing your resolution of “getting fit” to the following intention: I intend to prioritize my health through nutrition, exercise, and acts of self-care. Powerful, right? Not only may this include trips to the gym, but it also includes time for meditation or a weekend at the spa. Each of these will help you to find more balance and health in your life in a meaningful, intentional way.
- With the right intention, you can shorten your “To Do” list of 2019. Instead of maintaining a list of 10+ intentions, you can formulate a thoughtful intention, which embraces many of your goals and yes, makes you happier! I will use some of my resolutions as an example: Read more, write more poetry, blog weekly, focus on creating online yoga content, sign up for an online course, join a fitness group, meditate daily, set aside more time for outings with friends. As I sat down and reflected on these goals, I formulated a goal that would encompass all eight of these resolutions into ONE intention. “I intend to spend my free time more mindfully.” This intention has become a sort of mantra for me the past week. When I pick up my phone to mindlessly scroll through Instagram or grab the remote to watch a series, I remember my intention. I ask myself, how can I spend this time more mindfully? And guess what? I’ve already started reading a new book, I’ve meditated almost every day, I begin a fitness group tomorrow, I’ve scheduled two ladies’ nights for next week, I’ve began recording videos for my 21-Day Yoga Challenge, and… I’ve just written a blog post!
By simply cutting down on my checklist of resolutions for the year and creating an intention, I gave myself permission to live more mindfully and intentionally in the moment. This exercise allows me to work towards my goals and dreams with more ease, a sense of peace and in turn, more happiness.
Stay tuned for my first online course ever: 30-Days to Intentional Living coming in the spring of 2019. Are you in?
Photos by Meg Marie Photography