Three days into the new year, I woke up contemplating the difference between making resolutions versus setting intentions. Intuitively, I felt there was a difference between the two. Making a resolution seemed harsher, somehow—a set-up for failure. After all, I just read that the success rate for resolutions is only 8%. A 92% failure rate is bound to generate a lot of guilt and self-loathing. Setting an intention seemed like a gentler route, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. So, I typed in “Intention vs. Resolution” on old Google, and quickly learned that I am not the first person to explore the topic. There are a slew of excellent articles asserting that setting intentions is a gentler, more successful route to reaching one’s goals. After reading three or four, I decided there was no need for me to reinvent the wheel. Instead, I invite you to check out the following articles, all of which make compelling arguments regarding the power of intention.
If you took the time to explore any of these sites, you are probably ready to join me in setting a new year’s intention or two. Before you do, give it some thought. Rest with it. Meditate on it. Ask yourself, “What do I really want?”
One of the most common (and least successful) resolutions involves losing weight. Instead of resolving to lose ten pounds, set an intention to live a healthier life style. Think about what that means to you. For example, making healthier food choices or finding time to incorporate regular walking into your schedule.
Intentions simply ask that we go through our day, hour-by-hour, being as mindful, conscious, aware and awake as we are able to be in any given moment.
Here are my intentions for 2019…
• I intend to live a kinder, more compassionate life. Reminding myself of this intention every day, I am guided to treat everyone I meet with kindness and respect.
• I intend to nurture my creativity. By setting aside time to write and paint I find joy in the creative process, and in sharing my creativity with others.
I’m not aware of my highest intentions in every moment. So, I’ve posted mine in my home as gentle reminders. The first intention is posted on my back door. It’s a reminder, every time I leave the house, to spread more joy through kindness.
Since I’ve identified television as my greatest “time-suck,” I’ve posted my intention to be more creative right next to my TV screen, a reminder that my time might be better spent elsewhere.
What are your intentions for the new year? Comments?
WISHING YOU A HAPPY, HEALTHY NEW YEAR!
Just picked up my email and received a message from the de Young and Legion of Honor museums titled New Year’s Resolution: See More Art. That’s one resolution I’m happy to support. Check out what’s happening at both museums in the new year. Set an intention to support the arts in 2019: visual arts, literature, music, dance, theater.
“The arts are what makes life worth living. You’ve got food, you’ve got shelter, yeah. But the things that make you laugh, make you cry, make you connect—make you love— are communicated through the arts. They aren’t extras.” —Barack Obama