So, How’s That New Year’s Resolution Going?
Every January is a time of endings and beginnings as we close one year and begin a fresh new year. Many of us are still thinking about new year’s resolutions which typically involves trying to get more or have more, rather than ways to actually embrace the life we already have right here and now.
Have you ever looked at your list and realized it’s pretty much the same every year? We all yearn for better health, more happiness and improved wellbeing. If only I lost a few pounds, if only I found the perfect relationship, if only I exercised more, if only I had more money in the bank and a job I loved … then I would be happy.
Question for you: Would you really? Is that what you think happiness is? Are you allowing external forces to control your happiness?
The problem with resolutions is this: It makes us fall into the “When I have this I’ll be happy” trap. It takes us out of the “now” and tricks us into thinking “I’ll only be happy when this happens…”
It constantly brings our happiness into the future. Never here. Always an arms length away. And when we break our resolutions, we feel like we’ve failed. We feel like we’ve lost our link to happiness.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with having a goal and trying to improve ourselves. That’s not what I’m saying. Improving ourselves year over year should be something we all strive for.
It’s about HOW we go about it that I’m here to discuss today. We should perhaps think in terms of intentions instead of resolutions. While resolutions are firm and strict, intentions are soft and flexible. Whereas a resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something,” an intention is a gentle reminder to get back on track. Resolutions are focused on the end goal. Intentions are focused on the process, specifically where we direct our attention in the present moment.
Here’s the difference: An intention is a positive call to action about something you want to do. A resolution is something you don’t want to do but feel that you “should.” What does that look like – Having an intention vs. a resolution:
Instead of focusing on “losing 10 pounds,” try focusing on eating healthy salads for lunch and being more mindful of what you eat— you will probably end up losing some weight in the process.
Instead of focusing on finding the perfect relationship, focus on becoming the best version of yourself. Focus on the relationship you have with YOU. You’ll develop an open and caring attitude and people will naturally be attracted to you.
Instead of focusing on going to the gym every day after work (which may or may not happen) focus on getting your body in shape by simply moving: Maybe dancing? Or doing yoga? Or just going for nature walks. You’ll end up with a stronger body in the process.
Instead of focusing on your lack of money in the bank and a job you long for, focus on living your passion. Finding the thing you would do, regardless if you got paid to do it. When you find your passion, you might even naturally attract people, who will turn into clients, who will pay you for your time.
Instead of making a New Year’s resolution that we know all too well will fall apart before February, why not set a New Year’s intention? Maybe even a daily intention that starts in January and carries throughout the year. Maybe one that goes like this:
~My intention is to live consciously and compassionately in each moment, whatever that moment may bring.
~My intention is to pay attention to my feelings and emotions, to ensure I am always living my truth.
~My intention is to treat everyone I meet with kindness and acceptance, without judgment.
Are these considered goals? Absolutely! So what’s the ultimate difference between resolutions and intentions?
Resolutions are focused on “GETTING” more. Intentions are focused on “BEING” more.
So what do you think will bring you happiness? Getting more or Being more? It’s your choice. Choose well.
Breathe into this moment
This moment is perfect as is