- Terri K. Lankford, LPC, NCC, LCAS
Ringing in with Resolutions Vs Investing in Yourself With Intentions
January 1, 2018 seemed like the perfect day to start fresh.
The first day of the year that fell on the first day of the month that also fell on the first day of the week. Phew! That’s pressure! Most of us set New Year’s Resolutions. Most all of us make ‘em AND Most of us all break ‘em.
Resolutions (1) are a firm decision to do or not to do something; the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter. The problem is come mid-February if we’re lucky to make it until then, that FIRM decision has wavered. It seems like it was the end-all, be-all solution to our problems. It also sets us up to believe that prior to our resolution making that we’re not good enough. So, And we fall off track. Then, We feel like we fail. We get caught up in feeling weighed down by those resolutions. We feel guilty and lazy. We feel this way because we often take a black/white approach because either you’re all in or well, you’re not. And once you have that off day or off morning, we tend to throw in the towel.
Why does it have to be a firm decision to become this BRAND NEW version of yourself?
What if we didn’t tie ourselves to one specific outcome. What if we created a healthy mindset with flexibility and wiggle room? What if instead we create, cultivate, and manifest great intentions that align with our real, daily life?
Intentions (2) are a thing intended (planned or meant); an aim or plan, the action or fact of intending; a person's designs; or the healing process of a wound. Setting intentions allows one to make deliberate, conscious actions that facilitate growth. Intentions allow us to resolve that WE’RE ALREADY ENOUGH so we can move forward without having an attachment to the outcome- it’s more about the path or journey. Whether that be personal growth in your health, mindset, or relationships or professional growth in your finances, field, or role. Intentions can flip a switch in our brain that appear to be easier. They don’t tie us to an outcome necessarily. (So if something goes wrong, it’s not the end of the world here, ok?) Intentions simply ask that we go through our day, being as mindful and purposeful as we are able to be in that moment. Setting intentions allows one to focus on consistency but not beat yourself up if you miss a day working out, or have an unexpected cheat meal, or spend a little too much money this Saturday. You just pick yourself back up the next moment, hour, or day and engage in the activities or habits that you believe will help you develop into and align with the improved or highest version of yourself.
You don’t have to start brand new. There are parts of you that are already fantastic! The old stuff, the unhealthy habits, the things that have a negative impact on who you are or who you want to be - those are just experiences that can TEACH you who, what, when, and where you’ll need to go to flourish. If you completely wash those away, well, what do you have to learn from?
How do you set an intention?
Get clear on something you want to create or elevate in your life and write it down.
Make a statement that includes your purpose and how you can facilitate change.
Let’s give an example.
- A Top Resolution is “I want to lose 10lbs.”
To reframe this into an Intention would look something like: I will live a healthier lifestyle and respect my body because I want to have energy, live longer, and I am worth it.
-“I want to be a better person.”
To reframe this into an intention may look like: I will practice kindness and mindfulness because I want to live a more wholehearted lifestyle and create positive energy in my life and in others’.
Once you have your statement, generate the action steps you can commit to.
I will drink adequate water each day, schedule exercise each week, adding more weight to my workouts each month. I will add one healthy food to each meal, and I will ask myself if I am truly hungry before I take another bite
I will give more by volunteering for a charitable organization once a month, stop hitting snooze and engage in a daily gratitude journal, and invest in more experiences vs more “stuff” and material possessions. I will engage in less tv and social media and enjoy those around me.
Based on the how “Measurable” your actions steps are, engage in paying attention to how you can incorporate these things into your day.
If it’s something like focus, happiness, etc- then pay attention to how you can incorporate these things into your day. What works for you? Then do something daily to demonstrate your commitment to your intention. Make a healthy choice at your favorite restaurant to fuel your body, take a breathe before honking your horn to cultivate patience, or cancel lunch with someone who drains your energy to bring more ease to your day.
So, you choose.
Are Ringing in the New Year with Resolutions OR Are You Investing in Yourself with Setting Intentions??
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