When the New Year rings in, many people set New Year’s resolutions. We promise ourselves we will stop doing something, or start doing something else. But many of us go back to our old habits before January is even over. The only thing we carry throughout the year is the guilt of failing at another New Year’s resolution.
Several years ago, I stopped making New Year’s resolutions because I did not keep them. It became a joke as to how long I would take before I failed - 1 month, 1 week, 1 day! Now I create a Vision Board every January and, with the creation of my Vision Board, I set my intentions for the year.
What’s the difference between resolutions and intentions? And why would I choose to stop doing one and start doing the other each New Year?
The definition in Webster’s Dictionary of resolution is:
"the act or process of resolving;
the act of determining;
something that is resolved [determined];
firmness of resolve”.
A resolution is a decision that you are going to change something about yourself at the start of the new year. For most people, it is extremely difficult to “decide” to change our habits and behaviors, and then just do it. Change is often a process of deciding, trying, making mistakes, adjusting, and retrying. But when we set a resolution, we expect the decision to be enough to achieve the desired changed. When we fall off, even just a little, we often think we failed and give up.
We all know that at the beginning of every new year more gym memberships are sold and more diets are started than any other time of year. New Year’s resolutions often are to get fit and/or lose weight. These goals may be great ones for individuals to strive for and achieve. Unfortunately, the first time they miss a day at the gym or eat something unhealthy, they often decide they “failed” and quit.
On the other hand, the definition in Webster’s Dictionary of intention is:
what one intends to do or bring about;
the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered; concept”.
When we set an intention to do something, our brain knows that it is important to us and that we want to achieve it, but that it is a “concept” that we are working towards. With intentions, our mind understands we are trying and therefore permits our “failings”. When we miss a day, we allow ourselves to try again the next day; practice can happen until a new habit is formed, and the goal achieved.
So, each year I create a Vision Board, which is a wonderful process of sitting with magazines and other supplies that allow my subconscious ideas bubble up and get pasted on a board in front of me. Once I know what my desires for the year are I set my intentions. I have a clear vision of what I want and the path set on how to move forward and achieve my desires.
Create your Vision Board today and make your intentions for this year clear.