You don’t have to wait until New Year’s Eve to set new intentions and create resolutions in your life. Is there even a difference between the two? Most folks use the terms interchangeably, but that might be why so many of those resolutions get forgotten about…
It’s not hard to set new intentions, especially if you’re reading this around the New Year. In that case, you might find yourself overwhelmed with ways to make this year your best one yet. In case you’re looking for a few, I’ve provided some inspiring intentions that I’ve had or heard of over the years:
- Give yourself some grace (how are you judgemental of yourself?)
- Stay open-minded toward new opportunities (do you set yourself up for success?)
- Embrace change (how have you changed in the last 6mo? A year?)
- Be present (embrace your everyday experience)
- Do what fulfills you (what you do each day becomes what you did this year)
There are a surprising number of blog posts out there that detract from setting resolutions and claim they promote a negative mindset around self-improvement. Some even prefer to say “Set intentions, not resolutions” regarding New Year’s Resolutions.
While it’s true that resolutions relate to the future and do not do anything directly to create change today, they do set you up to be goal-oriented and understanding of what you want and how you can get it. You can’t work toward something you want if you don’t outline what it is that you want in the first place.
Intentions work differently in that they keep you focused on your present self and preserve your positivity.
Resolutions are more focused on the future and can represent a major change. Creating a lengthy list of resolutions is unrealistic so stick to the aspects of your life that you’d change now if you could.
Once you have a preferred change in mind, what do you need to do to make that change possible? For example, if you are burdened by financial stress, how can you work towards a raise, or what do you need to prepare for if you pursue a company with higher pay for your position?
If you’re feeling stuck on how to create resolutions in your life, you may not need to! If you feel fulfilled in all aspects of your life, you may only need to set intentions to stay focused on what matters most to you.
- Improve your living conditions (get a better mattress if you have back problems)
- Cut out unnecessary expenses (review your bank statements for old subscriptions)
- Stop the spam (unsubscribe from those emails you’ve been deleting for the past few weeks)
- Engage with my community (volunteer or get involved with a local group)
- Shop local businesses only (stop supporting fast fashion and trending overconsumption sites)
- Cut down on screen time (set limits on social apps and games)
If your resolution this year is to set more realistic resolutions, I’ve got some advice for you.
Your resolutions are a reflection of something that you want. If you want to cut down on screen time, you probably care about spending your time wisely and want to avoid doom-scrolling in exchange for more time to focus on your interests.
Set resolutions that reflect your values and don’t feel bad if they take time to achieve!
If you want to create real change in your life you need to set yourself up for success with a plan to make that change possible. If you’re having a lot of trouble creating a plan, try to imagine an idyllic day for yourself. What would you accomplish? How are those things a reflection of your values and how you want to spend your time? Remember that what you do each day becomes what you did this week, next month, this year.