Intentions, Not resolutions

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The end of the year is fast approaching, and so are most peoples New Years Resolutions. I’ve stopped having new year’s resolutions a long time ago. Mainly because I have stopped waiting for a new year to get going on something that I know will benefit me, but also because I would find myself caught up in the all too familiar excitement of setting new goals, too many of them, going all out for a few weeks and then falling off the excitement train to go right back to my old habits.

Instead I have started reflecting, and setting intentions. This is something I do routinely, not just on the new year, but I find the collective energy so strong on the new year, that I like to participate in this momentary heightened state of excited consciousness and send out to the universe bigger intentions, bigger reflections and brighter goals than I do all year round.

What I did not like about resolutions, is that I found myself in a state of “want”. I want to exercise more. I want to eat better. I want to make more money. I want to do x,y and z. And while wanting definitely got me going for a while, it never lasted. Plus wanting those things just put me in an “end goal” state of mind, whereas with intention setting, I can focus more on the journey.  Resolutions has such a finality about it. Intentions has more of a lifestyle adjustment feel to it, in my opinion.

Thinking about my life with intention instead of resolve makes me feel happier, more free, more open to flexibility and change-of-course if things shape up somewhat differently than I had anticipated.

To some people, this is all semantics, and the wording you use might have no impact of what you set out to accomplish. In any case, I think it is nice to take some time to reflect on the past year, what worked, what didn’t, what I want to improve on, what I want to create.

Here is what I propose for anyone interested:

*look back on 2014 and think about all your triumphs and failures. Write them down. Allow yourself to sit with the uncomfortable feelings that arise while reliving your failures or the moments you didn’t live up to your best self. This is important as it allows you to release the negative emotions you might have brewing inside you about yourself. Remember that those moments have passed, you survived and hopefully you are stronger/wiser thanks to them. There is no need to hold on to those any longer. Holding on to those will only hinder your growth and your ability to manifest greatness. When thinking about your triumphs you can get better insight on where you excel and how that can support you in accomplishing more in the year to come. I think this is an important step as it is equally beneficial to let go of the past to be able to move forward as it is to acknowledge our strengths and be empowered by our own positive opinions about ourselves.

*write down the qualities about yourself that you feel allow you to accomplish things in your life, wether it be you are hard working, or easily motivated, or determined or outgoing and social. Acknowledging and looking at your qualities can give you more strength and power in your intention setting as it shows you parts of yourself you have a good connection with which in turn will assist you to stay on track with what you set out to do.

*write down your intentions and which qualities about yourself will allow you to accomplish those intentions. Say you are outgoing and social, and one of your intentions is to be more active, then maybe you can enroll your friends in a weekly hike, or join a bootcamp with people you enjoy being around.

*do not overdo it. Having too many intentions can quickly become overwhelming. Having just a few things to focus on can allow us to actually focus on them. If you get the hang of your new intentions quickly and it becomes part of your lifestyle, nothing stops you from creating new ones!

Are you setting intentions for yourself this year? How do you go about doing that? I find it fun to think about the future and how I can make it brighter 🙂

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