Only 6 more weeks to go!
Six weeks until your newly proclaimed resolutions for the year will have fallen to the bottom of your priority list.
That’s a little discouraging isn’t it?
Unfortunately by the middle of February the majority of people abandon their new year’s resolutions to get in shape, declutter their house, stop smoking or some other bad habit, spend less money, spend more quality time with loved ones or whatever shape shifting desire they have.
There is nothing wrong with wanting life to be a little different, to begin doing something that brings your actions into alignment with the things that are most important to you.
So in the spirit of that, why not try something radical this year?
Instead of making a resolution, set an intention.
Before you stop reading because that sounds just a little too “new age woo woo” for you, consider this:
Resolutions or goals are outcome oriented. They focus on what you should do or the actions you should take.
That’s great until for whatever reason you stop doing that thing. Then you are hooped. Not only are you are no longer making progress on your goal but you also begin feeling lousy about your perceived lack of commitment.
Intentions on the other hand are process oriented.Goals are outcome oriented. Intentions are process oriented. Choose how you want to be while you are achieving your goals. Click To Tweet
They focus on how you want to “be”, or the quality of your experience while you are doing whatever you are doing. They capture your heart’s desire about the best possible vision of your life.
Regardless of what is happening, you can stick with an intention – even if your resolution gets derailed by something completely out of your control like getting the flu for instance.
Setting an intention doesn’t have to be complicated. Some people actually set a daily or weekly intention.
Begin with choosing an intention for the year.
Pick a word or phrase that can guide you no matter what you are doing.
Like everything else there is nothing magical about this word. Simply picking a word does not transform your life. Intentions also require action.
So after you have chosen a word, then ask yourself
What do I need to do to incorporate this into my daily life?
Here’s an example:
Let’s say your intention for the year is to “be calm”.
What would it take for you to be calm as you go about your day?
Maybe it would mean taking some pauses to breathe. Maybe it would be starting your day in a calm manner. Maybe it would be taking a short walk at lunch time to reset.
What simple thing can you do to help you be calm when you don’t feel calm at all?
Once you have brainstormed some ideas then you can use “be calm” as your mantra no matter what you are doing. Be calm as you are sitting through that annoying meeting at work, or rushing to get your kids to school, or getting stuck in a traffic jam and so on.
You can be calm even working on a new year’s resolution if you have one. Perhaps you have a resolution to get up and hit the gym every morning but after a few enthusiastic trips to work out, your motivation slips and you hit the snooze button instead. When you do get up instead of being annoyed with yourself, be calm. Use that simple thing you brainstormed earlier to help you reset your calm intention. That quite likely will let you re-engage with your resolution in a much more positive way. Instead of being discouraged you can be calm and get back at it.
Remember that an intention is present focused.
That’s why adding “be” or “choose” in front of your word really helps. It’s rooted in the here and now. What doesn’t help is to say “I want”, “I will” or the dreaded “I should”.
Intentions are very personal. They reflect you and what matters to you. So you need to pick one that resonates with you. To get you started here are some ideas:
Keep it simple
In the end what will matter much more to you is the quality of the experience of your life, not simply the checklist of things you did or didn’t do.
What’s your intention for this year?