There are numerous methods out there to help you set your goals or make resolutions for the new year. You may have tried several of them. Today, I’m telling you to throw them all out the window. To truly set yourself up for success this year, you need to set intentions, not resolutions.
Resolutions and intentions start off the same way. You have an idea of what you want. For example you may have a resolution to lose 50 pounds and you also intend to lose 50 pounds. But immediately look at the language. Say out loud, “I resolve to lose 50 pounds,” now say, “I intend to lose 50 pounds.” Which one sounds kinder, easier to manage, better? I hope you said the intention.
A resolution is a rigid goal. A one way street to losing 50 pounds through diet, exercise or any other method you choose to do it. An intention is softer, merely bringing attention to what you want to achieve. You have no idea how you will get there, but you know you will. You have faith in life giving you the how.
This approach may seem blasé faire especially to those type A personalities out there. But driving yourself down a one way street doesn’t allow for fluidity or flexibility. Which, if you really think about it, is exactly how life happens. We create a plan, something happens, plan changes. We either get the same end result or we don’t. A one way street with no flexibility sets yourself up for failure and that isn’t exactly the path to happiness when it comes to bettering yourself. When you bring your attention, clear direct attention, to what you want, and are open and flexible to the process, you are more likely to achieve the results you desire.
Now of course that doesn’t mean set your intention and forget it. Most of the time the universe is kind of enough to grant us such things, but continual attention is necessary. That may look like thinking about your intentions during meditation, writing them down in your day planner so you see them everyday, or coming up with a word/theme that encompasses them and posting it all over. And of course, when an idea of how to achieve your intention is presented, you take it.
The key to success, which is getting what we want and being happy, lies in directing our mental energy in that direction. Overthinking it does not work, which is why intentions do. Don’t misread this, goals have their place. They are great if you have business deadlines, or you are planning to expand or take a large trip. But for general I want to live a happier life kind of rules, opt for intentions. Here’s how.
- CLEAR YOUR MENTAL CLUTTER - Do this by determining one area in your home that you don’t like. Then clean, clear, or change that space to match the area in your home that you love. Clearing physical clutter clears mental clutter.
- DETERMINE HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL - Most of the time we do things because we think we have to or other people tell us it’s what we are supposed to do. Spend time making a list of the emotions you want to feel. Start with this worksheet.
- SET INTENTIONS - After determining how you want to feel, set your intentions for the year to match those feelings by using this worksheet.
- CREATE REMINDERS - Find a method to be visually reminded of your intentions; post-it notes, vision board, lists, creation of a mantra, etc.
Now sit back, and watch what unfolds and your interns are manifested in your life.
I offer intention setting sessions that help you take a deeper look at what you want, and identify what is getting in your way. If you are interested, let’s connect.