Many people create New Year resolutions and these can be about many different life areas. Most common are resolutions having to do with fitness, losing weight, completing unfinished projects or just being a better human being. For years, I wrote down my resolutions and even managed to achieve some of them. But over time, and with the number of times many of us fail to fulfill our promises to ourselves, we can become disenchanted with making New Year resolutions and give up on them entirely. That is not an altogether bad thing. We can certainly make “resolutions” and commitments at any time during the year, though the fresh start of a New Year often makes the process more motivating for some.
Over time, I have come to embrace the idea of New Year intentions rather than New Year resolutions. Somehow, resolutions connote a kind of rigidity; the all-or-nothing black and white of success or failure. And failure can be a very discouraging experience for those trying to set and achieve difficult personal goals. The concept of intention, however, has a different connotation for me. It implies movement in an overall general direction with great flexibility about the pace and process of that movement. For me, intentions have a sense of flow and timelessness. Intentions are not bound by time intervals or rigid definitions of success and failure. They are aspirations, to be fleshed out with content and process as the direction and specific steps of our intentions make themselves known over time.
As we move past the holiday season and into our new year, it seems like a perfect time to reflect on our intentions and aspirations, where we hope they will lead us, and how we can further them in the coming year.
- Do you perceive a difference between the idea of resolutions and the concept of intentions? Which fits better for you? Or are they even important to you at all?
- Do you have intentions that you have set in motion over the past several years that are still important to you? Where are you in the path you have undertaken?
- Are there new intentions or resolutions that you would like to put in motion and if so, what are they?
- How successful do you feel you have been in prioritizing and taking actions on these intentions? Which ones have you been most successful in actualizing?
- Which have been the most difficult for you? Have you identified any particular barriers to actualizing certain goals?
- Sometimes there is a time for living without resolutions or intentions. If that is where you are, share you experiences and how being in this place is serving you or failing to serve you.