If there is one thing I’ve learned about New Year Resolutions… it’s that they don’t work. Year after year, I see myself, friends, colleagues, and family members set specific resolutions to work out more, eat more vegetables, lose weight, make more money, etc.
The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that, not only are most of them very unrealistic (as if you are going to wake up on January 1 a brand spanking-new person), they typically lack both the innovation and flexibility it takes to make them fun and sustainable long after January is gone.
This New Year, I invite you to set intentions for the year rather than goals or resolutions. What’s the difference you ask? They are very similar in nature… but there is a slight variation. Intentions dig deeper and hone in on the feeling you want to embody, not just the act..
For example, your goal or resolution might be to meditate every single day. That in itself is a great goal to have! But what if you got less rigid and set the intention of becoming a more calm and centered person? Isn’t that what you really want? That intention leaves the door of opportunity open for other ideas and activities that might result in a similar outcome that meditation has to offer, without all the rules and rigidity.
What if dancing every morning made a world of a difference in your mood for the rest of the day? What if taking a bath at the end of your work day made you feel like a Buddhist monk by bedtime? Do you see the difference?
Instead of going to the gym 5 days a week, you could set the intention to be more active. That could look like more walking, hiking, using the stairs over elevator, practicing more yoga, dancing more, roller blading, surfing… whatever calls to you! You are achieving the same goal but with a different energy put into it.
Try this method of intention setting for the New Year. Make it a rituat; light some candles, put on some good music, grab a pen and paper, maybe get a group of friends together. Journal about how you want to feel next year, what that could look like and visualize yourself become that person! Have fun, and see you in 2022!