Shifting from Resolutions to Intentions: How to actually reach your goals in 2022

 It’s officially 2022 and for many people, that means new year’s resolutions. Setting goals, like new year’s resolutions, is great, but typically resolutions show current lifestyles in a negative light and rush us into setting unrealistic goals. Unfortunately, due to their tendency to focus on removing negative behaviors instead of adding positive ones,  new year’s resolutions can be overwhelming and more often than not become poorly planned and lofty goals that set us up for failure. A new year is a fresh start that comes with motivation to tackle new goals and put behind past failures, however it takes more than a temporary motivation to reach your dream life. By making an effort to illuminate passions and positivity, new year’s intentions, instead of resolutions, prove to have a stronger purpose and lead to more successful outcomes. 

Each year only about ten percent of people accomplish their new year’s resolutions. We all know how it goes, on December 31 we set big goals for ourselves thinking that the next day we will magically have the motivation to change our lives. However ambitious we were the night before, after the ball drops we realize that those resolutions will be harder to achieve than we anticipated. This failure to follow through is by no means a coincidence. New year’s resolutions are generally created to change or fix an aspect of our current lives. This mindset illuminates all of our negative actions and has a tendency to make us want to fix everything all at once, leaving behind the key elements of setting a good goal. To achieve a goal, the goal must be set properly. It must be attainable and specific, mapped out well, the process must be enjoyable, and the purpose must be rooted in something truly desired. The negative connotation that our lives get put in when making new year’s resolutions causes us to set rigid and unattainable goals without a true purpose, which ultimately sets us up for failure. After all, the end goal of a new year’s resolution is to create a more positive life, so why do we rush into resolutions to make us feel bad about ourselves? What if I told you that there was a way to grow as a person without negatively looking at your current life? 

Unlike new year’s resolutions, new year’s intentions are positive statements that feature elements to add to your life, instead of rushing into taking away the negative aspects. The biggest mistake that is made with new year’s resolutions is that there is no “why” behind the goal, meaning that people don’t truly want the result, so in turn they give up. Designed to highlight your dreams, New year’s intentions include a clear goal along with a purpose for the goal that is truly desired by you. Our want for the result gives us a better chance of following through. An intention is a way to put your dreams on paper and map out a plan. Intentions ensure that goals are specific. Instead of stating an unclear goal without a path, they set a clear goal to reach a certain intention. Due to their positive nature, intentions have a higher probability of being successful. So how can we create strong intentions to reach our goals?

To create a meaningful intention there are a few key steps to follow. To begin with you must start by understanding what truly makes you happy. For example, if you want to get into your dream college to enter a certain profession that makes you happy, that could be part of the intention. This way your dreams and happiness are at the root of the goal. Then you must map out how you will get there, for example maybe you need to improve your grades above a 90 percent to get into that school. Given those two goals, your intention would become “I am working hard to improve my grades by getting a 90 percent or above in each class in order to get into my dream college”. This intention sets a clear goal focused on adding to your life. When you are focused on what you want to add to your life, the things that are not serving you in getting there will naturally fade. Notice that the intention is in present tense, this way the intention is in your current life. It isn’t something that you have to wait for the “perfect” time to start, you’re holding yourself accountable for it right now. You truly can reach your goals and your best life without trying to fix everything at once. The second step to create a strong intention is to create an affirmation, or an “I am” statement that correlates with the intention. For the example above a correlating I am statement could be “I am capable of creating my dream career”. The final part of a full new year’s intention is to create a mantra, one word that correlates with the goal, to repeat to yourself in order to focus. In this case the mantra could be “capable”, because you are capable of going to your dream school. This format of creating New year’s intentions can be applied to any type of goal and can be created throughout the year, not just on new years eve.

New year’s intentions are a positive and purposeful way of formatting goals that are designed to reach a successful outcome. A goal is easiest to reach when it is enjoyable and has a strong “why” or a purpose, which is what intentions are built off of. By focusing on positive aspects to add instead of restricting old ones, new year’s intentions create a goal with a purpose that helps us reach our wildest dreams. So, when thinking about goals in 2022, consider setting an intention instead of a resolution and watch the magic happen!