I don’t know about you, but every single January 1, I wake up super motivated to clean my home, start a new planner, give up carbs, and basically try to be a whole new me. I always start out with this massive list of resolutions and zero backup plans for when they fail.
And they always fail, usually by the third week of January.
Last January, I started something new. Instead of wanting to CHANGE everything bad that I could think of myself, I decided on setting intentions. Intentions aren’t necessarily goals, but more of what you want to start, or stop, doing in the new year. They are little pieces to a larger purpose, and by setting them, you are making small steps to something big but without all of the heavy lifting.
Here are some reasons to set intentions instead of resolutions this year:
You Are a Work in Progress:
Setting intentions allows you to continue working on yourself. Instead of failing and giving up, setting intentions can help you progressively move forward. Say you want to lose 50 lbs. A resolution would be “to drop 50 lbs. this year”, and that is a lot to take on. An intention, on the other hand, would look something like mindfully having a better relationship with food and initially loving yourself through your weight loss journey.
They Are More Likely to Be Attained:
Setting intentions looks at more profound issues that you might have. They aren’t born from unrealistic expectations like most resolutions can be, and they are a change in behavior and a more realistic way of reaching our goals. Intentions are things that we are constantly working on, but after some time, they become more like a habit, and we don’t see them as work.
Intentions Are a Call to Action:
If one of your goals is to be a better writer, then an example of your intention would be “I intend to work on my writing every day”. Working on your writing is a way for you to strengthen your writing. This intention that you are setting is that of a roadmap to a bigger goal that you might have, and it breaks it into smaller, more easily digestible chunks.
They Can Change Your Entire Attitude:
It can be a lot at once when you are working on yourself. It feels overwhelming, and it is easy to throw in the towel. Intentions are like manifestations. We are putting out what we would like to obtain or change, and in return, we are intentionally and consistently trying to move forward. Meeting these small intentions feels good, and it makes you feel accomplished when you see progress in yourself.
This new year, try setting intentions instead of resolutions. You will find that taking smaller steps will mean not giving up so soon and feeling a lot better about yourself. Be good to yourself. You are a wonderful work in progress.
Misty Roussa is a Louisiana native who lives with her husband and two children. She has contributed to Red Stick Mom, The CF Foundation, and Cystic-Fibrosis.com. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading, listening to podcasts, or trying to cook something her family will enjoy.