The new year is upon us, which, of course, means the resolutions conversation is in full swing. We're in a love-hate relationship with resolutions. A resolution is just a goal any other time of the year. Why does it feel bigger at the start of the year? Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves now? We think it's the energy around the new year. It feels fresh, and the constant narrative makes it a little spicy and fun. We get it. We aren't here to tell you NOT to set resolutions; if you want to start something new, then more power to you! But...let's talk about how to set a resolution with intention.
What do we mean by intention? We look at intention as a mindful way of taking action. It's the way of going about your goal for the right reason. How do you know if you are going about your resolution with intention? Let's start with a series of questions.
*Am I setting this resolution because it is something I want or because it is expected of me?
It is easy to get caught up in the energy and narrative of "New Year, new you." We like to check that we are setting resolutions because we genuinely want to, not out of an expectation from those around us. It is not possible to be intentional if you don't even want to do it.
*Am I setting this goal as a reaction to a negative emotion?
Once you've determined that it is a goal you are setting for yourself, the next question to ask is why? It's all about the self-dialogue here. If your answer to why is because you aren't good enough as you are, there is a little more digging to do there. A resolution is not the place to start; if you don't follow through, it will add to the negative self-talk. We will be the first to say you are damn perfect as you are. There is a difference in "I'm not good enough as is", and "I want to grow." Determine where you are and make changes as you need to. How you talk to and about yourself matters.
*What has kept me from starting this action before now?
There is nothing wrong with waiting until the New Year to start a new goal. This question is in place to check that you know your roadblocks and how to navigate them. If your reason for not starting until now was because you didn't have the time or resources before, do you have the time and resources now? Get all your ducks in a row before diving in. Getting organized should be a priority in the goal.
*Am I willing to put in the work that is required to fulfill this resolution?
The big-ticket question here. Making changes and working towards goals takes work, commitment, and self-discipline. If the answer is no, that's okay. It is possibly just not the right time to start something new. Keep working on the plans and face it again when you are ready to put in the work.
There is no resolution requirement you have to meet in order to have a fulfilling year. You may actually find not setting a resolution takes away some pressure. A majority of the resolutions people set on January 1 are put aside come February, if not before - this wouldn't be a big deal if the emotions of failure didn't follow. If you set resolutions this year, do it with intention. If you don't, own that. Regardless of where you are, remember you don't' have to do anything out of others' expectations.