It’s that time of year again when family, friends, colleagues even perfect strangers start asking you what New Year’s resolutions you will be making. Perhaps the festive period rolled into January 1st and you didn’t have the time to create something personal so you go with an old resolution or something vague like to ‘exercise more’ or ‘be more happy’. Or maybe you don’t believe in them but feel pressured into setting resolutions because it’s what everyone else seems to be talking about. Or, after years and years of failed resolutions, you’ve simply decided that they don’t work for you.
And that’s the problem with resolutions. They don’t work because of two core factors.
If we consider the definition of both a resolution and an intention, it makes it easy to see why our New Year resolutions more often than not, fail.
Resolution: n. a firm decision to do or not do something
Intention: n, a thing intended; an aim or a plan
Can you see how a resolution is rigid, whilst an intention is flexible? Now consider your life.
Life is fluid and changing. Plans can arise out of nowhere and be cancelled at the drop of a hat. To expect that your rigid resolutions fit in with the demands of daily life is only setting yourself up for failure.
Let’s look at an example here. If I set the resolution to go to the gym 4 times a week, it doesn’t leave me much flexibility or freedom. Perhaps a friend is in town for one day but I haven’t been to the gym so I have a difficult decision to make. To not see my friend (who I haven’t seen in over a year), or feel like I’ve failed by not making it to the gym 4 times this week. Or maybe I feel run down but I push myself to go, only to make myself feel a whole lot worse and unable to maintain my resolution. You can see how the structure of a resolution leads to negative thinking patterns and feeling pretty bad about yourself. The resolution problem lies in thinking that we aren’t “good” enough the way we are, and that we will be better or happier when we get something else, or change who we are.
In setting an intention, you resolve that you’re already “enough,” so you move forward without having an attachment to the outcome- it’s more about the journey. Now, what if I set the intention to live a healthier lifestyle. This might naturally end up with me going to the gym 4 times a week, but I could also easily go to a yoga class or a for long walk in nature, or cook up something nutritious instead and still be fulfilling my intention to be more healthy. So when my friend comes into town, or I feel rundown, the decision is much easier. I don’t need to worry about letting myself down because I am cultivating this health throughout my entire life. The intention lives in more decisions that just going to the gym and therefore I can satisfy this intention in so many different ways.
The second reason resolutions fundamentally don’t work is because more often that not, they aren’t things that we actually want to de deep down in our hearts. We set resolutions because we feel we should or because our parents, partners, friends even society tells us we should. Naturally, the motivation for these types of goals quickly fades, and after failing on one or two occasions, it is far more easy to quit that continue. We need to set intentions that reflect our inner most desires, our truest desires. When intentions are set in this way, people show far greater resilience and success.
Setting intentions can be hard work, especially if we aren’t entirely sure what we want or where to start. Luckily for you, finding clarity and setting intentions is one of my favourite things to guide people through. On Saturday 11th January I am hosting an intimate workshop to help you understand what you want and how to create an intention that works for you.
Together we will be flowing through a gentle and nurturing flow with a focus on twists to release physical toxins as well as old habits and beliefs. We will then move onto guided journaling to uncover your deepest desires for the new year and new decade. With space in the body and a clear understanding of what we want, we can begin to create intentions that resonate true to your heart. The workshop will close with a guided meditation so that you can continue to nurture and manifest your intentions for the rest of the year.
I am so excited to guide you through my own personal New Year Intention Setting practice and help you live your best year yet.
This workshop is suitable for all yoga levels, all ages and genders. Please bring warm, comfortable clothing for the meditations and a journal and pen.
Much love as always,
Join Our Newsletter
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.