What to Do Instead of New Year’s Resolution
Here we are at the start of a brand-new spanking year! It’s the idea of a “fresh start” and an opportunity to do things better than you’ve done before that make setting new year’s resolutions seem so appealing… but I’m going to tell you not to, why not to, and what to do instead of new year’s resolutions this year.
First, the truth.
New year’s resolutions don’t usually work. You know I’m a positive glass-half-full kind of gal, but I’ve got to hit you with the reality (and you already know this!) – they just don’t stick.
You’ve started each new year off with resolutions because you deeply desire change. You are being called to make changes in your life, your habits, your goals, your health, your practices and so you heed that call by making lists of dramatic expectations you have for yourself. Which almost always lead to failure because your resolutions don’t address the underlying reasons why you’re not already doing all those things right in the first place.
Aren’t your resolutions, year after year, quite similar? Do get healthy, make more money, enjoy life more, be more present, exercise more, improve your relationships, seem familiar? Of course, they do because these are themes that nag all of us year after year. And the reason they keep showing is because by the time February rolls around, we’ve given up.
New year’s resolutions don’t work out for you because without the underlying mindset muscles and mental/spiritual practices to support your desires, it’s nearly impossible to make substantial changes.
Big changes are hard. It takes supportive mindset practices and emotional energy, consistently, combined with daily motivation to move you into daily actions which become habits over time and lead you to true and lasting transformation.
So, if the overarching goals remain the same each year, how can you resolve the underlying reasons you’ve failed before so that this year can be different? How can this year be the ONE where you stay on top of your game, believe in yourself, and sustain the kind of mind shifts that will create real and lasting goal-getting?
What to do to succeed this year: Instead of new year’s resolutions – focus on intentions.
Intention is more about how you want to feel on a daily basis. Intention is about your reason for taking action, your core beliefs for yourself of what is possible, your sense of worthiness, and how you aim or plan to manage stress and your emotions daily.
“Setting a daily intention takes no more than five minutes, and it keeps you connected to your goals, desires, and needs.” – Catherine Beard, theblissfulmind.com
I promise you that if you shift your focus to setting intentions for how you will move through your days and cope with life’s good, bad, and ugly – you will automatically be more likely to make daily changes that lead to your bigger goals. And with far less struggle and far less chance of giving up.
Getting your head in the right space and your heart centered.
This is how you begin to set intentions. You start by recognizing your thought patterns. Your mind is often the obstacle between what you desire and what reality you create.
You naturally try to blame a whole bunch of circumstances on why you’ve abandoned your resolutions by February, right? I got sick, bills came in I didn’t expect, I didn’t expect the financial hit of needing a new washing machine, I didn’t get the job I interviewed for, it’s been too cold out to go for a daily walk. These are excuses that you tell yourself as you slide further and further away from the resolution you set.
So that’s the mind twisting things around, but it’s connected to your heart and emotions as well. Your heart must be involved to create a supportive system for coping with the ups and downs of your emotions. When you don’t have daily practices to ground yourself and re-center your heart and emotions, it’s an uphill battle to change your life.
If instead of resolutions, you set intentions, then you’re setting the bar for how you will handle your thoughts and emotions to be in an energy that will keep you living on your purpose and help create success.
Simply having an awareness of what your intentions are daily is more than half the battle.
“You create your reality with your intentions.” Gary Zukav, Seat of the Soul
If you set intentions, like for example, to have firmer boundaries for yourself (i.e. learning how to say no); or to not allow other people’s drama to affect your energy; or to nourish your soul with uplifting inspiration (through books, music, curated social media); or to better care for yourself (i.e. giving yourself what you know makes you feel better)… you can affect how you THINK and FEEL each day.
When you learn to nurture yourself with intention setting, you are far more likely to take positive actions toward the bigger goals you have.
“Intentions give you purpose, as well as the inspiration and motivation to achieve your purpose. The practice of setting daily intentions can change your life.” – Marla Tabaka, Inc.com
Setting intentions doesn’t have to be profound or complicated, it can be as simple as a morning affirmation to care about your peace throughout the day; or that you intend to see the goodness around you; or that you intend to stop taking things personally. These are simple but oh-so-powerful! They create energy shifts in your mood and mind that trickle out to affect other decisions you make throughout your day… which compound in positive changes, day after day, week after week!
You can transform your life this year by ditching the old resolution making that doesn’t work and substituting with intentions that help you create the foundation for all other choices and actions you take.
Intentions help you to prepare to face challenges
Beyond the ways that we want to create a life that we love and feel good in it, intention setting builds core mental muscles that help us keep steady when we’re challenged. And challenges are indeed going to come.
When you pay attention to how you want to feel, what works to support your intentions versus what tears them down, you’re learning coping and resiliency skills that are super impactful. It helps you build an emotional foundation to handle adversity and bounce back more easily – and that is a foundation that will also support you making strides on your overarching life goals.
Every year, your resolutions get sidelined and disappear the first instance that things get rough, which might be only three weeks into the year. Intentions, however, don’t create the expectations of failure.
You know you can do this.
You know you can have a difficult day, fall off the intention horse, and get right back on again tomorrow. Nothing lost. No big deal. Right back at it. You’ve set the intention and thereby decided that you want to feel a certain way overall this year, and no one and nothing is going to take that away from you.
Setting intentions instead of making resolutions is an act of loving self-care. And self-care leads to better moods and more positive thoughts. Better moods and positive thoughts lead to better daily choices and habits. Which, hello, lead to having better outcomes for your overall goals.
Cheers to starting this year by setting your intentions! – Marlene
If you’ve been feeling a little lost, stuck, and feeling like your emotions are all over the place and you’re searching for how to create a life of heart-centered, calm, joy, and purposeful living, I invite you to join me in my program – YOUR TURN TO THRIVE: A 90 Day Healing Journey to Self-Love, Fearless Living, and Dream-Chasing Confidence.
In this ninety-day private one to one program, I teach you the practices that are helping me feel good and helping me to live a life of true alignment and purpose. This program is a transformative combination of mindset practices, individualized reiki energy healing, and personalized intuitive guidance.
If this healing and supportive mentorship sounds like something you’re ready for, book a free thirty minute discovery call so we can chat more about it.
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