Why You Should Set Intentions vs. New Year’s Resolutions

2021 is only a few days away, which means it’s time to make a resolution or two. The typical foundation of New Year’s resolutions is rooted in change; work out more, lose weight, eat healthier, save more money, etc. However, 80% of New Year’s resolutions actually fail by February! The guilt-driven response you might experience from indulging in the holiday season (aka holiday remorse) is usually the catalyst for those resolutions – but it almost feels as if glorifying these changes feeds the narrative that your current situation is not good enough. That’s why I’m setting intentions vs. resolutions for 2021!

Resolutions tend to inspire negative thoughts about your current situation; they’re based on the destination vs. the intention, and that, in my experience, already sets me up for failure. Usually, the resolutions we set aren’t actually what we value. For example, is losing weight by summer something you REALLY want to do or something you feel you SHOULD do? If your resolutions aren’t increasing joy every day, you won’t be making the daily choices that are needed to see achieve them. It also takes an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic!

On the other hand, intentions are more focused on creating abundance and fulfillment in your life. They don’t imply something is wrong with your lifestyle or current situation but instead, they motivate you to live even better. Intentions spotlight what you have, focus on the positive and are adaptable; they’re about who we want to BE in the present moment and how we want to show up for ourselves.

When you set an intention, you’re choosing to live more mindfully. They are something to live by that you can carry with you throughout the year. When it comes to setting – and sticking to – your intentions, first articulate what you want to cultivate or achieve. Then, create an affirmation around your intention (like an “I am” statement you repeat to yourself in the present tense as if it’s already true). It helps to return to your intentions regularly by writing them down in your journal, reflecting on your day or even the week or saving them on your phone where you can easily access it. One of the intentions I’m setting for 2021 is to live in the moment without worrying about the past or future – and the affirmation I created for myself is, “I am present and living in the only moment that truly exists.”

A few of my intentions for 2021 are to:

-Work hard but also relax just as hard

-Be flexible

-Appreciate the little things

-Focus not on unmet wants or desires but on what I’m putting out into the world/my life/the people around me

What intentions are you setting for 2021? I would love to hear them!