Have you set the same resolution for the past 5 years? Each year you swear you’re actually going to do it this year… but alas, December has come and gone and you didn’t make any headway. Been there!
What we’ve found is that a resolution can be very defeating from the getgo because it implies that something is wrong that must be fixed. The negative energy surrounding a resolution can keep people from even taking the first step.
And then oftentimes we choose New Year’s resolutions that inevitably fail because it’s something we think we should do, rather than something they actually feel a strong connection to. For example, “I know I should quit smoking, so I’ll make it my resolution.” However, knowing you should do something isn’t the same as wanting it.
Setting yourself up for a successful year starts with choosing an intention that is actually meaningful to you.
When we started thinking about setting New Year’s intentions rather than resolutions was when things started to change. In our last blog post which was all about setting a meaningful intention by choosing your “word”, we talked about how your mindset can shift when choosing an intention versus a resolution. When you set an intention, you’re deciding to take action towards an end result in order to feel a certain way. Intentions are powerful because the focus is something positive, and they’re often associated with feeling better. You’re not reprimanding yourself for not being good enough, you’re just focusing on improvement.
So, when you’re setting an intention, you’ve got to think about why you want it.
You know when you ask your 4-year-old to put away their toys or brush their teeth, they always respond with “Why?”. Our brains are kind of like 4-year-olds – they don’t respond well unless they know the reasoning behind an action. So, in order to commit to doing something, you must have a strong connection to WHY you want it. Ask yourself, how will you feel once you’ve committed to this intention? How will it impact your relationships? Your confidence? Your life?
Once you’ve established that strong, meaningful “why”, the next step is to commit.
Are you willing to honour yourself? Honouring yourself means being accountable even if you haven’t got a coach or friend checking in each day to make sure you’ve stuck to your plan. It means knowing that if you don’t stay true to this commitment, you won’t realize your intention.
Keep your “why” in clear focus. It will be the deciding factor between your unshakeable commitment in 2018 and setting the same resolution next year.
Try writing your “why” on your bathroom mirror in whiteboard marker, or create a vision board about how your life will look once you’ve committed to this intention. Leave yourself little reminders in your wallet, on your computer screen, in random drawers. Do everything in your power to remind yourself how badly you want to commit to this intention and, over time, you’ll develop habits that bring you closer and closer to achieving it.
The final step in committing to your intention is to say it out loud. Tell a friend, a spouse, a coworker. Putting your intention into words means that you’re all the more accountable to it now.