2018 is for Intentions, Not Resolutions
It’s a new year, a new you! Right? Unfortunately for many of us, those goals don’t always become a reality. We promise ourselves with New Year’s resolutions that we will be more organized, be more present, and more of whatever we lacked in the year before. However, without a firm grasp on what that goal means, and then how to apply it to our daily lives, we fall short. What can you do differently?
There is a significant difference between intentions and resolutions.
Resolutions are valuable, but they can only give you information about the future, and not about this moment. Resolutions can also set people up for feelings of failure when they aren’t achieved down the road. Although setting goals is great for forming a plan for yourself and understanding what you want, making resolutions doesn’t always meet the immediate need that most of us struggle with.
Intentions have more flexibility than goals or resolutions.
The remarkable thing about intentions is that there is no limit to them. It is a mantra to your day that reflects your current mood, needs, and wants, without any pressure of failure. Intentions are also more likely to lead to positive choices, reducing the negative energy that blocks the success of our overall goals. For example, a resolution of staying organized isn’t very helpful. However, if you start each day with the intention of using a daily planner, your plans for success are much more specific and therefore more achievable. Your intentions can then shift the following week, incorporating new habits that further your progress towards overall goals.
Intentions are more effective.
We are often our own worst enemy, and resolutions aren’t successful because we’ve put up our own barriers. But when you set an intention, you open yourself up to new possibilities. Intentions are much more broad, and can be as simple as intending to have a good day by finding positivity in small moments. You may not want to put away those holiday decorations, but it can give you the opportunity to reflect on what a wonderful time you had with loved ones. You’ll find that intentions encourage you to be more positive as well as more productive.
Intentions can include professional and personal endeavors.
You may be organized in one area of life and completely cluttered in another. Intentions are a perfect way to find balance, which is something that I’m working on as well. One of my intentions for 2018 is to be more productive each day, but I also want to make more time to connect with others. I intend to have a virtual coffee meeting each week with someone. This will be either someone I want to know better or someone I miss being in touch with. I talk about this more in my appearance on The Successful Nonprofits podcast. I want my positive changes for 2018 to be more concrete and attainable, which is why I encourage you to set intentions, not resolutions.