Intentions, Not Resolutions
A New Script for a New Year
I’m done with New Year’s resolutions. And I know I’m not alone. Whether it’s because they haven’t worked, or there’s too much pressure placed on us to make them, or some other reason, fewer and fewer people are starting the year off with resolutions.
But I believe there’s great value in using this first month of 2023 to implement the practice of intention.
Most resolutions deal with making a change that reflects something we don’t like about ourselves or our lives. They’re often binary—you succeed, or you fail. Nothing in between.
In contrast, intentions are much softer. An intention always has room to change and room for growth. And intentions require a heightened awareness of ourself and our environment.
For example, someone might make a resolution to drink more water and eat less sugar. Of course, those are both good for you. But if that person thinks of intention, they may choose to listen to their body and honour what their body needs.
Do you see the difference?
Intention Requires an Emotional Attachment
When I make an intention, I’m emotionally attached to it. I’ve carefully thought through it, and I have an investment in it.
An intention is based on what I value, and it always comes from my heart. It doesn’t come from a place of lack. It comes from a place of fullness. In the example I shared, the intention involves recognizing my body’s value and listening to what it tells me.
There is Always a Purpose Behind Intention
The purpose behind intention is profound. While it’s easy to grab a resolution, an intention demands that I know why I’m choosing it. It’s about taking control of my life. It’s about being proactive and purposely choosing how I want to be.
With intention, it’s less about a checklist of “Did I do this?” and more about measuring my level of commitment. Again, to the example, I’d ask, “Am I committed to listening to my body and honouring what it needs?”
Develop the Habits to Support Intention
Once I know what my intention is, it’s time to develop habits to support the intention. While this can include resolution-type actions, it’s different because the focus isn’t the habit, it’s the intention.
Drinking more water and eating less sugar are great ways to support an intention to honour your body. But maybe those aren’t right for you. Maybe it’s setting time each day to sit in peace and listen to your body. Maybe it’s taking note of what you really, really want in the day and looking at how to meet that desire.
One of the many things I love about making an intention is that it’s never defined by some future outcome (like losing weight or being financially stable). It’s defined by the present, and by the action I take right now.
Intention Lasts Long Past January
It’s easy to imagine how important an intention about my body and health can transform my life! And it’s so different from a resolution that fades away or drop off without any lasting change. The intention has become an integral part of my journey.
I hope you take some time to think about intention and choose to use it to live the life today that you value. And, if you feel inclined, please share your intention(s). I’ll bet there’s at least one person who will read yours and find inspiration for their own intention.
My very best to you for an amazing 2023