As we step into the third calendar year of a global pandemic that has left so many exhausted, uncertain and fearful, it is normal to want to leave behind the past and create a new you; a fresh start. For many people, that means setting new year’s resolutions: lose weight, exercise more, make more money, find a new job. But if we want to break through fears and limiting beliefs and claim the lives we want, no matter the circumstances, we need a different approach.
Resolutions are set from a place of lack, “I don’t have what I want,” and are designed around an end point. They are made in the spirit of ‘hope to.’ Haven’t you noticed that resolutions typically fall short of your goals? In order to step into the challenges and opportunities of a new year with clarity and conviction, you need a new approach. This year, focus on intention setting instead of resolving to.
What’s the difference? Isn’t it just semantics? No. Intentions, unlike resolutions, are based on ideas and the actions we need to take. Intentions are a journey, not an end point. Different from goals, intentions define how you want to live instead of just what you want to
A powerful intention can act as your guiding principle. It can motivate you to find the positive when things feel hopeless and inspire you when things feel possible. There are five key steps to setting and keeping your intentions clear.
- Make the commitment. If you want to lose weight in the new year you need to have a commitment to do what it takes to make that happen.
- Focus. You must be able to focus on what you need to make that happen. What resources do you have right now that are working in your favor, and what resources do you need to keep you on track.
- Apply discipline. Commit to taking the actions necessary and stay committed and focused on the results you want.
- Follow-through. This is critical. It’s one thing to say you are committed, focused and disciplined, but if you don’t have the follow-through to keep moving forward then it will fail.
- Be consistent. One of the main ingredients for making sure your intentions stay strong is consistency. This means building good habits. Be willing to show up even when you don’t feel like it.
When you know what you wish to achieve, and know you have the focus, discipline, follow-through, and consistency to make it work, you have a much greater chance at success.
But there is one more step you must embrace. Perseverance. You will have days when you missed the mark, and you may come down hard on yourself for the failure, but anything worth achieving always comes with a certain level of grit. Get it done. Fail and fail again but always keep your eye on the future you wish to create.
One more thing…You must have some self-compassion to understand that when it doesn’t always go the way you want you can be kind and allow yourself to feel the disappointment but stop yourself from being a harsh judge that criticizes you for your failures.
Self-compassion is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. Self-love is a goal. Learning how to do that, even when we feel we could do better, will always give you the impetus you need to keep moving forward.
As you think about what you wish to accomplish in 2022 be ambitious, but realistic about what you can accomplish with the time and resources you have available. You can wish for the stars, but the moon may be more accessible. You are one decision away from creating a life that brings you satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness. Why not set the intention to make that a reality this year?