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New Year’s Resolutions vs New Year’s Intentions

new years resolutions

Every January I need to allow my self an extra 15 minutes before spin class to ensure I get a bike due to the influx of people with renewed zeal for fitness brought on by the new year. As the weeks go on, with almost mathematical certainty, the number of available bikes increases as their resolve crumbles. Why do people forsake their New Year’s resolutions so quickly?

New Year’s Resolutions are abandoned primarily because they set you up to fail. You feel forced and pressured to achieve them and then ditch them as soon as you start to veer off track. Resolutions are typically framed in the negative and focus on what you won’t do or shouldn’t do; lose weight, stop smoking, avoid sugar. We all know that the more someone tells you you can’t do something the more you want to do it. This New Years, end the cycle of guilt and cast aside resolutions in favor of setting daily intentions.

Intentions are driven from within. They involve stating a desire and creating a clear mental picture of the direction you want your life to take based on how you feel in the present moment. They create a purpose, an aim, to direct your decision making. Life is mutable and we need to be able to adapt to obstacles that arise. If you ‘slip up’, treat yourself with acceptance and grace and simply set a new intention the next day. The practice of setting daily intentions allows you to set your goals in stone and the path to achieving them in sand.

new year's resolutions

Set your intentions daily upon waking.  Make them clear and specific based on how you are feeling in that very moment. Log them in a journal and then review them at night. If you need accountability partners, enlist the support of the Intent online community by Mallika Chopra (yes, the daughter of Deepak). There you can post your daily intentions and be inspired by other’s.

A great way to aid your intention manifesting is to create a vision board. Vision boards are powerful tools to create positive and lasting change. Using these tools I have become a master manifestor, making all of my dreams come true, including a trip around the world! Here is one example. This Fall I used a photo of hot air balloons flying over Cappadocia, Turkey as my cover photo on Facebook. I had become enchanted with this place after seeing it on a friend’s page a year before. When I posted the photo several friends commented that they were either currently there or planning to go there in the coming weeks. Two weeks later I was cruising with them at sunrise in a hot air balloon over the incredible cave city!

new year's resolutions

So what are you waiting for? Gather a couple of friends, get some poster board, and magazines and get scissor happy! If you are more of a photo collage nerd like me, gather inspiring pics from around the web (is there a 12 step program for Pinterest or Stumbled Upon?). Infuse your board with words, quotes, and images that embody your deepest desires. Don’t limit your vision to easily attainable things. Dream big! I have a picture on mine of Sir Richard Branson and I say daily that I will receive a personal invitation to join him on the first Virgin Galactic space flight!  Hang your vision board on your wall, your fridge, your mirror or any highly visible place. Make it your screensaver or the wallpaper on your phone. Look at it daily and watch your dreams become reality!

Photo Credit: Jackie Knechtel
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