Let's talk about New Year's Resolutions vs New Year's Intentions.
First, I want to start by saying that I love love love that New Year energy. That energy where the entire planet thinks about the way they want to shape their future. It's like a global new moon ceremony and I am here for it! I know this isn't everyone's favorite time of the year. People may not love a packed gym or all of the "new year new me" posts. On the other end of that some people don't love the pressure of needing a "change" or setting new goals. I just can't help but love seeing people try new things, make better choices for their lives, and people putting in the work for themselves. Because, let's be honest, a new healthier lifestyle is WORK. That also seems to be the theme each new year. Better. Healthier. Happier. No one starts off the year thinking "This will be my worst year yet! I'll gain 10 lbs, eat nothing but junk food, blow all of my extra money on cheetos and beer".
The problem is that most people do not stick to those New Year's Resolutions they set for themselves. I know that. You know that. So why do we go through this song and dance every year?
Because at the end of the day (year) we all want to be a bit better for ourselves. We want a better quality of life. We want more joy and happiness in our days. We want less stress and more laughing. We want to FEEL good. We want to be good.
Here's why I set intentions instead of resolutions.. and why you should consider doing the same.
So let's assess the problem. I think the problem is in the "resolution" itself. The word resolution means "a firm decision to do or not do something" coming from the root word resolve that means "to find a solution" implying there is a problem. These are often focused on doing. These look like check lists of things that are either accomplished or not accomplished. What if change our mindset of fixing, being firm, and doing; and instead add a little grace?
We all know that the new year motivation wears off rather quickly. For me, the problem with a resolution is that I feel like I've failed the first time I don't "do" something making it even more difficult to start again. If we truly want change, why set ourselves up for failure?
This is where the New Year's Intentions come in. Intention means "a thing intended, an aim or plan". Intentions are softer and full of grace. I think of this as a way of being instead of things I must do. These are flexible and represent the person we want to be during and at the end of the year. These can represent our hopes, values, and who you want to be.
Work out 5x/week
Lose 10 lbs
Be fully present
Now, I'm not saying that you should not have goals. I love goals and I love pushing myself to reach them. What I am trying to say is that if we shift our mindset from accomplishing things (doing) to being happier/healthier (being) we are more likely to see a real change.
Let's look at this intention. For me that means practicing yoga, going to the gym, eating healthy food, meditating, drinking water, and getting enough sleep regularly. There are lots of things I can do to be healthy and not one way is the right way... or even the only way. This means finding a balance of doing the work and resting that allows me to feel my best. There is no number attached to my weight. There is no number attached to my exercise minutes or my caloric intake. The only thing here is my intention to have the best relationship with my body, mind, and spirit that I can.
This intention have an even broader spectrum. Happiness is taking walks outside, practicing yoga, playing video games with my husband, eating cookies, playing with my dogs, listening to books, watching crappy Christmas movies, drinking hot cocoa, painting my nails, having my hair done, making art, NOT baking cookies for an event... and so so so so very many other things. To me this intention means that I make time for the things that I enjoy.
Be Fully Present
All we ever have is the present moment. However, we spend a lot of our lives reliving the past or planning our future. If we're too wrapped up the moments and years pass and we might realize we missed most of it. Have you ever driven home, arrived at home, and then realized you don't remember anything about the drive? This is what I'm trying to avoid but for my whole life. I plan to listen when people speak. I plan to truly taste my food. I plan to notice the small things. I plan to squeeze every bit of joy and happiness out of this short life possible.
Being grounded means being safe and secure to me. Keeping my feet firmly on the ground even while my head is up in the sky. This means that I work, save, and plan for the future. This means I spend time creating a foundation for my life and my business. Currently, this means paying off my student loans. I am quite proud to say that I'll be finished before I'm 30. To me, this also means practicing, studying, and learning. I cannot teach if I am not a student.
These are all just short examples and some of my interpretations. I hope that I at least planted some seeds about shifting your mindset about New Year's Resolutions. You are, and always have been in charge. This is your life and you deserve to live it to the fullest, happiest, and most amazing it can be. I truly hope this next year is the best of our lives. If anything it'll be interesting.
May all of your wildest dreams come true.
Happy New Year!