To Resolve or Intend; That is the Question
The New Year always brings the excitement of new commitments in the way of resolutions; losing weight, making more money, finding new love, eating healthy – we’ve all gone there, right? And some of us have gone there year, after year, after year…UGH! It’s only February and some of us have already failed!!
All of this failure got us thinking – there’s got to be a better way! So we did our research and realized we’ve got options – yes, options – in the form of a little thing called “intentions.” Heard of it? If so, you’re probably killing it by now – but if not, we may have just found your new favorite style of commitment.
RESOLUTION VERSUS INTENTION ENERGY
Resolutions are a promise to resolve something, usually something that has gone on for too long that we need to get a handle on. Resolutions feel a bit like a chore. Intentions, according to Deepak Chopra, MD, are “a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim to create. Like real seeds, intentions can’t grow if you hold on to them. Only when you release your intentions into the fertile depths of your consciousness can they grow and flourish.” Can you feel the difference in energy between these two things? The act of setting resolutions feels a bit “judgey,” because we need to “fix” something in order to be good enough, and are destination focused, “when I get there I will be enough.” Intentions encourage us to embark on a journey. That in itself feel like an opportunity, which is hopeful and positive by nature. No wonder the majority of people never actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions!
Intentions are more self-loving than resolutions. As an example, you might resolve to lose 10 pounds. The same goal as an intention would be to take better care of yourself, or to nurture your body temple through nutritious food and exercise. Both of these intentions provide a space for you to be more present to yourself everyday, and in doing so, you lose the weight anyway.
SETTING AN INTENTION:
We all know how to set a resolution, and most of us have done it, filled with the excitement of the New Year, only to feel bad about ourselves when March comes around and we’ve already fallen out of our commitment. But intentions are different. In setting an intention, you acknowledge that you are already enough and thus let go of all attachment to an outcome, so you are free to enjoy your journey.
Setting intentions is easy. Let’s get started:
- GET QUIET: Grab your favorite writing gear (computer, pen, pencil, notebook) and find a comfy place where you can get quiet and are free from distractions
- WRITE IT DOWN: Get clear on what it is you want to cultivate and write it down. For example, if your resolution is to lose weight, your intention could be something along the lines of “I love and respect my body temple through good nutrition and daily exercise.”
- GET DETAILED: Now that you’ve set your intention, get detailed about the ways in which you will support it. Things like “I will take a 30 minute walk every week. I will eat only lean proteins and increase my intake of fruits and vegetables at each meal. I will chew my food more slowly and stop when I’m full.” You get the idea.
- REVISIT AND REFINE: Revisit your intention often, and refine it if you feel called to do so. Maybe you can do more (most of the time we can!).
An intention is a living journey that allows us to truly get to know ourselves in the most loving way possible while allowing us the space to be better today than we were yesterday.