Work + Growth

Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions—Set Intentions


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  • People rarely keep the New Year’s Resolutions they make
  • You can set intentions instead of resolutions
  • Setting intentions is about setting yourself up for creating life changes in a positive manner, rather than coming from a place of negativity

Every year, people declare that they will change their lives in sweeping, profound ways and make long lists of New Year’s Resolutions.

They write them down, they proclaim them on social media, and take one or two steps towards the goals of becoming practically different people. They may even be quite disciplined about going to the gym, eating healthier, or learning to play the piano—or whatever—for a few weeks.

And then nothing more happens.

Only a tiny percentage of resolution-makers actually achieve their goals. Most start out sincerely doing their best, but we’ve all seen how the gym starts to clear out by mid-February. It seems that most of us think of resolutions as destined to be broken.

So what if we decided on a different approach to the idea of starting anew and shaping the coming year? It can be done: You can choose to set an intention instead of making a resolution. What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of an intention you’d like to set?

An intention isn’t about setting a specific goal, but about setting your mind up to think about changing behavior patterns. Intentions are set every morning or on another short-term basis, such as weekly, to direct your mind in a certain direction. Creating life changes means clarifying intentions and living your life in a manner that will achieve your goals. Instead of the negativity of focusing on flaws—things you have to stop doing, things you need to fix about yourself—setting intentions frames life changes in a positive manner.

Happy New Year!