wellbeing

Setting intentions (and not making resolutions)

January 1, 2018
setting intentions

Why I’m setting intentions

For years I made resolutions based on becoming the type of person I thought would make me happy: lose weight, save money, drink less etc. They never worked, mainly because they were centred around giving something up. It just became another way to make me feel like I was failing as a person. I’d tell myself how I don’t have enough willpower or self-control to see something through. It became a yearly tick list of things I hadn’t done.

I’m pretty sure most people hate resolutions for same reasons as I do. And this is why I’m done with making myself feel shit – and am setting intentions instead.

Using the new year for self-reflection

I totally get why some people want to do away with resolutions altogether and just focus on having a nice time. However, for me, there is some benefit in using the turn of the new year for some self-reflection. I like to think about what I want to get out of the forthcoming year. It’s just one where I’m not beating myself up if it doesn’t happen.

What are intentions?

The word intention is used a lot. But what does it actually mean? How do we set intentions? The most basic explanation is that it’s a desire to do something or become a certain state. So you might set an intention to feel happier or more in control of a situation. You might also decide to include travelling to a new country, learning a new skill and/or defining career goals. Whatever you decide, they are essentially a much kinder way of setting out what you aspire to achieve.

Benefits of setting intentions

Personally, I believe it’s important to check in on ourselves regularly to see how we’re really feeling and refocus our priorities accordingly. Otherwise, it’s quite easy to drift through life with that small feeling of dissatisfaction knowing that things aren’t quite right, but not really understanding why. This is one of the reasons why I use the lunar cycle.

However, we must do this with kindness. Life isn’t about ticking off a list of achievements but about learning what makes us happy and trying to live in the state as much as we can. This is where setting intentions helps us.

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