My “NO RESOLUTION” Declaration
(now known as a Declaration of Intent)
Each year we feel compelled to make a New Year’s Resolution. Most of us pick an obvious goal… a healthier habit, to stop smoking or lose weight, stop and smell the roses; make more money blah… blah… blah. Been there, done that.
Of course you know why we repeatedly choose these same items year after year right? It’s because year after year we fail, terrifically, at keeping these resolutions necessitating that we “try again” the following new year. Surely we should know by now that this process is not working! It’s time for a more mature conversation about New Year’s Resolutions and I’ve got an idea.
This year let’s rethink the process. I agree that the New Year is a great time to re-evaluate where we are on our journeys and to do some course correction as needed. But let’s find a way to conceptualize this that is kind, hopeful, accessible, loving and most importantly, achievable! No more RESOLUTIONS! Stop focusing on what is wrong and switch the conversation to what we envision our lives to be.
Even the word resolution seems rather hostile, right? It certainly doesn’t imply a sweet and kind effort. We RESOLVE to… is serious, heavy and not a lot of fun. It honestly sounds like work and not something I would really want to do. Resolution implies a force or a bending of will. The resolution is the endpoint of a problem but there is no guidance on how to get there. Perhaps this is why resolutions are so challenging. It’s a goal without a plan. We make our resolution but then we get lost getting there and never reach the goal.
My suggestion is this: No resolutions. Instead we will set an Intention for the year.
Merriam Webster defines Intention as…
The thing that you plan to do or achieve: an aim or purpose.
This is much better! Let’s take aim! If we begin on a path pointed in the direction we wish to go and we stick to the path, we will end up where we are headed. This is not a miracle but it sure can feel like one. An intention guides you towards a specific state of being without defining how that needs to happen at the start. We just take aim. The options in this way of moving towards our purpose are unlimited. In an intention we say things like I am living a healthy lifestyle. I continue to eat well and make good choices.
By not defining the course of action you leave room for the thousands of options of how this can happen. It also sounds so sweet, doesn’t it? Just by having the conversation with yourself that is loving, supportive, optimistic and kind is so much nicer than “I resolve to lose 10 pounds”. I would much rather repeat my AIM as a mantra…I eat well and make good choices.
So my New Year “no resolution” Declaration is simple. It’s an intention. An intention is a statement that reflects your thinking about where you want to be and not a command to do something in order to be there. An intention in a positive statement describing a status you are actively engaged in creating. You accept the destination without defining the specific steps to get there. You stop directing the course, by taking aim and letting the course reveal itself.
In 2016 we find a new way to take aim and define our course. Take some time to clarify where you want to go. Be specific, clear and state your focus in a positive phrase.
Write your own intention deciding on something you would like to manifest in your life. Then work with this intention for the entire year. (No complaining, you want this to work right?) This helps you to conceptualize that this goal is permanent, not fleeting and that establishing new patterns takes time. The journey becomes as important as the destination. You would never say a plane trip across the US has shown you the whole country. Yet, you might feel this if you had driven from coast to coast. The understanding comes from the doing. When driving if you run into a closed road you re-calculate and find a way around the obstacle. This is the same way that taking aim and sticking to your path works with intentions and goals. Take aim, re-calculate when needed, enjoy the ride and use this next year to bring into your life what you want to see.
This is my intention for this year; stated in the positive without defining how it should happen.
I have a healthy and happy family and we support each other on our journeys.
May your 2016 trip around the sun bring you many blessings, opportunities and most of all, PEACE.