Setting Intentions, Not Resolutions

Welcome 2019!

The new year is here! Everything feels like a fresh start. Maybe you cleaned your house vigorously yesterday (like I did), maybe you promised yourself to let some things go, maybe you set your goals in your pjs by a fire or maybe you celebrated with friends and stayed up all night to greet the new year. Anyway that you welcomed in this new year is awesome.

For me, there's always a huge, deep breath of release and refresh as we round the corner to the next trip around the sun. It serves as a check point to reflect on last year's intentions, think about all of the positives things that happened in the past year and dream about where I'm ready to go next. 

Although many people may be making resolutions for this next year, in the past few years, I’ve shifted my focus to intentions. What’s the difference? Let’s explore.

Resolution is defined as “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” I’ve made many resolutions in the past that sounds like, “I will eat NO bread in 2019!” and then 5 days in, that cinnamon roll looks reeaaallyyyy delicious. This firm “no” creates a perfect opportunity for judgement and very little compassion for my humanness.

Intention is defined as “a thing intended; an aim or plan”. I love the idea of aiming at something, because sometimes, 3, 6 or 9 months in, the target moves. We as humans, are constantly developing and changing (thank goodness) and in my experiences, the target continues to move. My intentions are usually short and sound like, “Dare greatly”, “Leap”, “Trust” or “Sacred”. When I set intentions, they allow me space to move, grow, explore and have compassion for myself if my expectations don’t go as planned (side note: they never do).

As you set your intentions for this next year, consider adding a little compassion and flexibility into your goals.

Instead of a concrete goal like, "I will lose __ pounds", consider shifting to, "I will move more!". Or just pick one word to explore throughout the year, like “core”, “trust”, “explore” or “reach” and think about how these can apply to all of the areas of your life.

Most importantly, even if you have a concrete goal, practice compassion and non-judgement with yourself. Your expectation may not turn out the way you imagined, but you might get something even better in return.

Big love ~ Mackenzie