As a new year has approached, most of us have started to think about what we want this year to bring and we begin to set our new year resolutions. But what does the word ‘resolution’ even mean?
Resolution - ‘A firm decision to do or not to do something.’
That can seem pretty straight forward. However, we often put far too much pressure on ourselves with our resolutions. We take on too much at once resulting in us feeling overwhelmed and can lead to failure. We decide that we want to achieve our resolutions without thinking about how. Instead, why not try and think of your new year intentions?
Intention – ‘A thing intended; an aim or plan.’
Here are five ways to set great intentions;
1. Pick one or two intentions only. If you begin to put too much on your plate, it will become a chore and you will become demotivated.
2. Pick an intention that really means something to you, not what you think you ought to be doing or what your partner/ parents / boss / friends think.
3. Be inspired from within. Go out into nature, put on a song you love, sit in meditation and try to pick something that is meaningful to you.
4. Avoid any intentions that start with the phrases ‘I should’ ‘I really ought to’ ‘I need to’ … instead pick phrases such as ‘I want’ and ‘I would love’.
5. Be realistic. Think about time scale and your other commitments.
Write down your intention(s).
Imagine yourself a year from now having achieved your goal. Maybe it’s a promotion, you want to run a 10K, move into a new home – whatever it may be. Write a letter or draw a picture as if you were living it right now and write the action plan from where you are.
What are your individual goals and steps to reach this?
Let’s take the example of wanting to run a 10K. Going for a run for half an hour on the first day of working towards this goal is most likely to not work, especially if this is the first time you are training for a run. You’ll want to pace yourself and your training, come up with a plan and check out running apps that help you come up with a schedule. Other factors that would help you towards running this 10K would be your diet, having a training buddy, having someone who can keep you accountable and so forth. Baby steps will then become big leaps.
If you find yourself feeling like you’re failing, take a break and remind yourself why you want to achieve this goal. What about being able to run a 10K is important to you? Go back to finding inspiration from within and then continue where you left off when you’re ready.
Whereas a resolution feels more like a constraint, an intention is an opportunity we give ourselves to be and do better.