New Year’s Eve is upon us! Many of us will spend the day trying to come up with resolutions we’d like to implement in the new year. Others (myself included) have decided to ditch resolutions altogether. Let me explain why.
Have you ever set a resolution for a new year and then forgotten about it by February, only to remember it again in December with disappointment that you didn’t follow through or show up the way you wanted to? We tend to have a lot of gusto in January (which is why I don’t even bother trying to go to a public gym), but a lot of times we lose traction right away. Very rarely do we set resolutions and follow through on them during the year. Actually, one of my brothers, who is a writer, resolved in 2016 to make the USA Today Best Seller list. He made that list, and the New York Times Best Seller list. By August. So that would be an exception to the resolution rule. I, on the other hand, often resolved to lose 10 pounds, and by the next year it was 20, and then 30, and so on. I never hit my target, but the theme was always the same, and I always started the new year even worse off than the previous one.
This year I decided to try something different. Rather than waiting for the New Year, I set an intention and started working on my wellness goals on an otherwise-uneventful day in July. Intentions are different from Resolutions in the sense that you can start any day. Any minute, even. I started working with an amazing nutritionist and I started exercising again. I made massive changes in my work life to allow me more time at home to de-stress and reset my body entirely. I wouldn’t take no for an answer once I knew what I needed.
As I reflect back on the year I’ve had, I’m so glad that I set Intentions instead of Resolutions, and that I started acting on them when I did. I intend to lead a healthy, vibrant, happy life. My words and actions are in alignment with that intention way more often now, and I can hit the ground running in 2017 instead of scrambling to get a plan together.
There also seems to be this sense of finality around a Resolution that just doesn’t jive with an Intention. Let’s say you intend to work out every day in 2017. If it’s your New Year’s Resolution, you’re likely to get discouraged when you inevitably miss a day or two, and possibly abandon the goal. If it’s your Intention, you can choose it again the very moment that you recognize you’re off course.
Choose your Intentions. If you veer off course anytime in 2017, choose again. Don’t wait until the next Monday, or the next holiday, or the next year. Keep choosing to honor your intentions throughout the year, and you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come when December 2017 rolls around!
Have a great (and safe!) New Year’s celebration!
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