gratitude,  Intentions

Why You Should Set Intentions in 2021 (not resolutions!)

It’s here!

Another New Year’s Eve is here and this year has most people more than willing to flip the page to begin anew!

While I personally choose to focus on the lessons that I’ve learned in 2020 rather than on the bad that has happened to me throughout the year, it is certainly understandable why we are all looking for a fresh start and to put 2020 safely behind us.

I’ve spoken before about the power of INTENTION and have written about it on several occasions.

We set intentions in my group “Attitude of Gratitude with Chronic Pain” each morning as a way to map out how we foresee our day going.  We find this much more helpful and productive than setting ‘goals,’  because our conditions are in a constant state of flux and goals not met can cause disappointment and resentment against ourselves.

There is already enough disappointment in our lives, we certainly don’t need to add to it!

By stating intentions, we are planning our day without the pressure of having to meet a goal.  No disappointment….no resentment.

By the same token, on a day where the world tends to focus on what their New Year’s Year’s Resolutions are, I’d like to urge you to reconsider that notion and, instead, write and embody New Year’s INTENTIONS!

First, let’s look at the difference between a RESOLUTION and an INTENTION.

A resolution is defined as, “A firm decision to do or not do something.”  “The quality of being firm or resolute.”  This sounds awfully cut and dry without a whole lot of wiggle room for error.  With our days in a natural state of ebb and flow, how can being “firm or resolute” possibly work for us?  One misstep on a bad day and we feel as though we’ve failed, so we may as well throw in the towel.

This is most likely why Forbes magazine reports that 80% of all New Year’s Resolutions fail.

Now let’s look at intention.  An intention is a path that you aim (emphasis on the word ‘aim’) for or align to.  It guides your thoughts, actions, and attitudes.

Webster’s Dictionary defines intention as: “A purposeful awareness of how you want to experience something.”  It’s about how you want to act and how you want to feel.

Doesn’t this sound like a kinder, gentler way to go into our new year?  Not to mention, a whole lot more satisfying!

Resolutions can leave us feeling self-judged for things done wrong in the past or for shortcomings we have or on things we may not have followed through on.  They can feel like an all-or-nothing approach….and that just doesn’t work for many who may want to accomplish more in life.  They bring along a feeling of dread.

On the other hand, intentions bring with it a feeling of excitement, promise, and hope.  They feel MUCH more doable in our ever-changing lives!  If we have a misstep on our intentions one day, we know that this is normal and just go back to following our pursuit on the following day.  No harm, no foul!  It’s all about progress….NOT perfection.

Intentions are a practice….a plan.  They are the planting of a seed that continues to grow each day as long as we feed and water it.  It takes continuous effort and is more of a plan than an overall statement (like resolutions are.)

An intention embodies the feeling that we are already “enough” and are a continuation of the work and the lessons that we’ve experienced so far.  It enhances the gifts that we already have!  Resolutions focus more on what we are not.

I urge you all to consider doing something different this year by writing and following New Year’s Intentions.  We have done this in the group for several years now and it has met with great success, not to mention more people participating in it!  Why wouldn’t they?  It is absolutely something more hopeful and achievable!

You already ARE enough, and a path to continuing on with the wisdom and life’s experience you’ve had so far is a much more exciting and inspiring way to go.  Set your New Year’s Intentions to live your life with even MORE wholeheartedness, learning, and fulfillment!

Happy 2021, everyone!!!!!  May the new year bring you JOY, HOPE, and GRATITUDE galore!


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Debra Immer Scott

Intentions are DEFINITELY more doable than Resolutions! Excellent article! Thank you SO MUCH! 🌻💛🌻

Jo Weedon

Yes, intentions are much better and can be so helpful!

Heidi Presser

I love this.