Don't agonize over New Year's Resolutions that won't stay--set successful 2023 intentions instead!
Every year, we get a chance to start fresh and do things differently to achieve better things in our lives. We can look back at what we're proud of, what we could have done better, and most importantly, what we can do differently next year.
“There is nothing magical about the flip of the calendar, but it represents a clean break, a new hope, and a blank canvas.” ― Jason Soroski
It's a new 2023 canvas to paint on with new colors and habits and as 2022 comes to an end, we can retrospectively look back at our past and look forward with optimism similar to Charlie Brown from Peanuts. Every year we think resolutions THIS YEAR are going to change something. And yet, shockingly, 75% of people don't actually keep their resolutions by March only a few months later.
Year after year, people remain optimistic that this time around their goals will be achieved, yet in the end usually wind up reverting back to the same behavior, sabotaging their goals, trying to do it all at once and quickly failing and giving up. To avoid the same mistakes as every other year, let's work towards fulfilling our goals and creating a better life for ourselves.
Why aren't New Year's resolutions successful?
New Year’s resolutions typically fail because they are usually too broad, without clear, measurable objectives. Despite having an idea of our goal, it is difficult to maintain motivation and focus without a concrete plan of action or understanding what success would look and feel like. Furthermore, resolutions normally focus on the end result rather than the process it takes to get there.
Despite the resolution success rate being pretty darn dismal with a shocking 8%, people try and try again. Think of your own life: have you ever made resolutions such as learning a new hobby, losing weight, exercising more or making more money, only to a month later?
For instance, we could be so focused on the resolution to 'lose weight' that we forget to put more emphasis on why it's important for our health, how we can achieve that with measurable actions and steps such as eating fruits and veggies with every meal, etc.
What sets a New Year Intention apart from a Resolution?
Intentions are more focused on the process, not the end result, and they help us pay attention to our actions and how we can live better. Intention setting is about internal reflection and personal development, rather than relying on external variables that may be out of our hands. They provide us with a purpose and direction without requiring us to achieve a particular goal in order to feel successful.
Intentions also help us stay motivated and inspired throughout the year. Instead of defining ourselves by successes or failures, we can focus on enriching our lives through meaningful experiences and relationships. We can strive to become better versions of ourselves by setting goals that are achievable yet challenging enough to keep us engaged. Setting intentions allows us to take ownership of our lives and make positive changes that will benefit us in the long run.
"An intention is something you want to manifest in your life or some guiding principle that you want to live by,” says Diana Raab, a psychologist and author. While resolutions are hard and fast goals that are either achieved or broken, intentions are broader ideas. Raab describes them “as the beginning of a dream or desire” for something that you want for yourself. -- AARP
Instead of compiling a list of resolutions that you may not follow through on, set intentions for the year. Come up with an actionable intention, like "I will focus on my wellbeing" or "I will prioritize relationships with family and friends."
By focusing on intentions, rather than resolutions, you'll be more likely to remain motivated and stay on course towards achieving your objectives. You can also modify your goals throughout the year if something isn't working properly or changes need to be made. Doing this will help guarantee a successful outcome.
5 actionable steps to develop successful intentions for 2023
Establishing intentions is a key component of the New Year and can help us remain goal-oriented and on track. Taking time to think on what we find joy and passion in helps us to gain clarity and self-discovery. By setting intentions, we can focus our minds on what matters most to us and make informed choices about how to live our lives.
“Last year told you what you needed to know. Now it's go time.” ― Richie Norton
Step 1: Take each area of your life and create intentions for each of them. Perhaps you could focus on: personal growth, finance and money, career, health (includes physical/mental), relationships, big goals and dreams.
I Intend to focus more on sleeping better
I intend to improve my anxiety by learning meditation
Step 2: Look at your intentions and start asking yourself why you want to achieve these. Focus on why you're motivated, not why you have to. When we force ourselves to do things we often create resistance, whether it's staying on our phones instead of sleeping, snacking cookies when we're trying to eat more healthily, etc.
For example: I intend to learn about financial planning because I want to be able to travel to one new place every year. Why do I want to manage my finances better? Because I want to lower my debt and have extra savings. Why do I want to travel? Because I have always wanted to go to Paris.
Step 3: Start by breaking down your long-term goals into shorter, more achievable tasks. What would achieving them look like. What steps do you need? This will keep you concentrated on tasks that need to be completed for you to achieve your ultimate objective over time.
For example: I will commit to being in bed every night by 10 pm and reading instead of being on my phone so that I can learn about investing a bit every day.
Step 4: Second, make an action plan that details how you will achieve each goal. Creating a timeline with weekly or monthly deadlines can help you remain motivated and track your progress. Additionally, it's important to consider any possible barriers or difficulties that may appear and come up with solutions before they surface. Do you procrastinate? What will you do instead when that resistance comes up. Lastly, give yourself a reward when you reach a milestone or finish a task - this will encourage you to keep going.
Step 5: It's essential for you to keep your intentions in mind and be consistent with them. Make sure to set aside time every day and remain dedicated during your target-reaching journey. Establishing a regular routine with activities related to your purpose, like reading or meditating, can be beneficial. Besides, it is essential to stay optimistic and remind yourself of the purpose you have set initially.
Conclusion Setting intentions for 2023
Making New Year's resolutions can be hard to achieve and maintain, but setting intentions is an effective way to make lasting positive changes in our lives. Do you do do intentions or resolutions and why?
"I wholeheartedly and boldly set my plan as is the best year of my life for financial freedom, good health, richness, love, care and abundance," ― Lord Robin
It's also important to remember that your intentions can always change. Our goals and ambitions may transform as we progress through life. We need to stay flexible and be willing to take on new ideas and chances that present themselves. On top of that, it's alright to adjust and modify your intentions if needed - this will make sure that they stay important and pertinent for you. This is not about all or nothing success of failure. Keep going.
Do you need some help with this? My 6-week Refresh, Re-create your Life Package has a 90 minutes life audit and clear intentions setting session to really get you ready for the new year. See more details below :)
ANDREA HUNT - Online Transformational Life Coach & EFT Tapping Practitioner based in Munich, Germany
I'm an accredited transformational life coach from Animas Centre for Coaching UK and a member of the International Coaching Federation. I'm also a Level 2 practitioner in EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) and a member of AEFTP (Association of Emotional Freedom Technique Professionals).
If you're not sure where to start transforming your life, you can download my free ebook on How to Start Your Personal Growth Journey.
Are you ready to change your life, let go of old beliefs, empower yourself for a mindset shift to move forward? Mark Batterson says: You're always one decision away from a totally different life.
Header image: Hello I'm Nik
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