Why you should replace New Year’s Resolutions with Intentions
It’s natural for us humans to think of the New Year as a fresh beginning, and that usually comes with the motivation to start doing some things differently. That can mean starting to work out or eat better, making space for alone time, or setting a goal for work. And as 2022 begins, many of us here in Lebanon have set out to make New Year’s resolutions.
But is it the best idea to set specific goals in an ever-changing and highly chaotic environment such as the one we live in? Do we want the added pressure on top of what we have to deal with daily already? We think these questions are worth asking, especially with everyone’s mental health being so, well, constantly tested.
While the New Year can be a great opportunity to assess areas we want to improve, some experts now suggest approaching goals in a less-pressured way, especially as uncertain times continue make things tough on mental health.
After all, not only can resolutions contribute to the overall pressure we’re facing, but they can also make us feel like failures for not reaching these hard-to-attain goals.
So is there a way to set goals without setting ourselves up for failure?
One way we can do that is to reframe “resolutions” into “intentions”. Shifting our mindset from resolutions to setting intentions, offers us a more enjoyable approach to creating lasting change regardless of the time of year. Without the pressure, our intentions become more of a self-care act than a goal to simply reach. We become more inclined to do the things that make us feel good, not because “we have to” but because we want to.
So instead of saying, for example, “I want to exercise five times a week”, we can say “I want to move more, and I will make an effort to make time for it”. Or, instead of thinking “I must get promoted this year”, it can be “I want to nurture my career so it is more satisfying”.
This way, we are approaching this change with kindness and compassion, instead of a “win/lose” mentality, and that can make all the difference when we’re looking to make a lasting change in our life.