Resolutions or Intentions?

Resolutions or Intentions?

How are your resolutions going? Are you sticking to them? Are things going well so far?

I know lots of people love New Year’s resolutions, so it’s great if they work for you. They don’t work for everyone, though. Very often they’re unrealistic and set us up for failure at a time of year when things are dark and cold. Resolutions or intentions? The latter work better for me.

I was listening to my calm app yesterday and it reminded me that resolutions are a little too focussed on fixing what’s wrong for my liking. They suggested intentions instead, explaining that these shift our perspective from trying not to do something, to creating something new. They reminded me of the brilliant Socrates quote: “The secret to change is to focus all your attention not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

I love the idea of replacing resistance with creativity. When we’re being creative, we’re less likely to see a misstep or error as failure. We’re more likely to see it simply as feedback: a signal that something needs tweaking in support of our desired change.

Your assignment:

  • Consider the changes you want to make this year (or just this month): e.g. stop drinking, leave work on time, limit email-checking to specific times of day, take a 30-minute walk at lunchtime, meditate first thing in the morning, replace 1-hour of tv-watching with reading a book…
  • Think about why you want to make those changes
  • Reframe (or re-phrase) each change with an intention
  • Focus on how you might behave whilst holding that intention
  • Consider what you might do to support yourself if you act in opposition to that intention
  • Consider the outcomes and how you’ll feel when you behave in alignment with that intention

Do let me know how you get on.

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