Something about the impending new year makes us want to be better and do more in the coming year. Resolutions abound: gym memberships skyrocket after all the rich holiday foods; promises made to eat healthier, finally quit smoking, take better care of ourselves.
What’s the Difference?
Don’t get me wrong, these are all valid and important changes to make in our lives. Then why do only 8% of people keep their resolutions? That’s not very encouraging.
According to Webster’s dictionary a resolution is:
- the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.
- an answer or solution to something
Resolutions have to do with having a problem, finding fault with yourself in some way and needing to be fixed.
And an intention is:
- the thing that you plan to do or achieve
- a determination to act in a certain way
Intentions have more to do with how you feel and less to do with fixing a problem.
Resolutions work when we get specific and have measurable goals. Saying you’ll eat healthier and exercise more should be more than empty words. It’s better to say I will eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day (specific) and I will go to the gym three times a week, or even more specific, I will do cardio twice a week and yoga for the third gym day. When we give ourselves measurable goals, we can check things off and see our progress.
Sticking with the example from above, a person might say their intention is to eat healthier and exercise more because they feel better when they do so. Intentions are about tapping into the underlying layers of our motivations. When setting an intention, it’s a good idea to share that plan with someone so you can be held accountable.
How do you want to feel in 2014? Start setting those intentions! And don’t forget: intentions can change as your feelings and needs evolve!
Here is mine as of now: I intend to be more physically (and consistently) active in 2014 than I was in 2013. I intend to continue paying attention to my needs and not to lose sight of larger, more fulfilling opportunities by settling for smaller, short-term pleasures. I intend to breathe deeply, feel intensely, and love with an open heart.