We have finally come to the end of another year, a year that disrupted our way of life right at the nuclear level. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year, both humiliating and eye-opening for everyone. The biggest revelation was undoubtedly the fickle nature of life: how drastically things can change literally overnight.
I guess at the beginning of the last New Year, you made New Year’s resolutions, with all the plans to drink more water and get up earlier, etc. Then life was interrupted, the pandemic hit, and suddenly those resolutions didn’t matter at all. It was about survival. You did it though, and now it’s that time of year again when you pull out your notebook or planner and write down a long list of resolutions for the coming year.
Here’s an idea. If you didn’t, don’t.
Ever wonder why you keep writing those resolutions even though you know you’ll have thrown them out by February? The plain truth is that resolutions don’t work.
But do you know what it does? intentions.
Let’s look at the three main differences between resolutions and intentions, showing us why one is a recipe for a successful year and the other is a preparation for failure.
1. They have different connotations
The word resolution comes from the word resolve, which means to find a solution to a problem or “settle a contentious matter” according to Oxford Languages. You can already see how this would have a negative impact on how you see your life. The act of setting a resolution immediately implies that you are dissatisfied with some aspect of your life and want to change it. Don’t get me wrong, self-improvement is a vital part of becoming the best version of yourself and achieving success. However, we also spend too much time focusing on the problems in our lives and how to fix them, so we forget to look on the bright side of things and be thankful for it.
Where resolutions are corrective, intentions are creative. Intention comes from the word intent, which means to plan or aim at something. Unlike resolutions, setting intentions means that you are in control of what happens. Intentions are positive in the sense that they do not make you think that there is something inherently wrong with your life as it currently is. Rather, they allow you to identify opportunities for growth, which is a much more positive outlook than trying to plug a hole in your life.
Abstract: Resolutions give negative connotations of correctness, while intentions give positive connotations of creation.
2. Tradition vs. Purpose
New Year’s resolutions have become more of a tradition in people’s lives than something that has real meaning. For most people, setting New Year’s resolutions is an important part of New Year’s celebrations. Although it can be fun in the moment, neither the resolutions nor the celebration last very long. Because of this, resolutions can actually become impersonal, with people writing goals that are connected to their core values, or things or changes that are important. This is one of the reasons gym memberships spike in January: Everyone thinks they’re expected to lose weight and be healthier, but only a handful of people can keep it up.
Those who maintain the habit have one thing in common: they align their intention to lose weight and become healthier with their overall life purpose. This is exactly what intents are supposed to do. An intention tells you what is important to you and your purpose, making it easier for you to live that intention each day. They align with your core beliefs about yourself, your environment, and your experiences, and work within this unique context to help you achieve your most important goals. That’s why intentions stick around much longer than resolutions.
Summary: Resolutions are merely a tradition, so they are short-lived, while intentions align with your core beliefs and life purpose, so they last longer.
3. Rigid vs. flexible
Have you ever wondered why you feel discouraged when you realize you can’t meet your resolutions for the year? For many people, this feeling is overwhelming and sets a negative precedent for the rest of the year. The reason for this is that resolutions are inherently rigid in nature. When you set a resolution, it is almost as if it has been set in stone and changing it in the middle of the year, let alone the beginning of the year as in most cases, means that it has failed. In this way, setting New Year’s resolutions becomes a trap you set for yourself, one that will ruin the rest of your year.
Intentions, on the other hand, are flexible and can change depending on your situation. As 2020 has taught us all, life is not rigid. Things can change in the blink of an eye and you must make the necessary adjustments quickly to emerge victorious. When you set your intentions, you understand that they are malleable and can be adjusted to fit whatever situation you find yourself in. Because they are aligned with your purpose, intentions also help keep you focused on the right path without restricting yourself to any particular way of life.
Summary: Resolutions are rigid and a setup for failure, while intentions are malleable and can be adapted to suit whatever situation you find yourself in.
As you continue to develop your life, career, and business plans for the coming year, think deeply about what you’d like to achieve, where you see yourself in the short and long term, and how you’d like to get there. over there. This new year, why not try something different? Put aside your list of resolutions and work on setting intentions that resonate with your core values.
What are your thoughts on intentions and resolutions? Leave a comment below and let’s have a conversation. If you found this article helpful, be sure to share it with your friends and family and let’s have a successful new year!
Here’s to a healthy and successful new year!