Originally posted in December 2010
In the immortal words of John Lennon, another year is over and a new one’s just begun.
Isn’t it interesting how we, as a society, agree that this is the time to give ourselves and our lives a complete and total new makeover? We have decided that at this time of the year we will revisit the year we’re leaving behind, dissecting it to see what worked for us and what didn’t. And on top of that, we need to make sure that we meet all of our “resolutions” quickly and perfectly or else we have failed – no pressure there!
While there is nothing wrong with re-assessing yourself from time to time and exploring changes you would like to make, the problems come when you allow yourself to over-identify with the “hype” of the season. It is one thing to make the overblown and often unrealistic New Year’s resolutions that you think you should make at this time of year, and quite a different process to take stock of where you are, in present time, to see what you might like to be doing differently so that you can live your best life.
RESOLUTION vs. INTENTION
My dictionary defines resolution as “the action of solving.” It stands to reason, therefore, that if we are looking at making resolutions, we will be focusing on problems in our lives that need to be solved. We will be looking at what we think is “wrong” with us and how to “fix” ourselves. Common examples of resolutions might be losing weight or going to the gym more often because we see ourselves as being too heavy. Whatever our resolutions are, the perception will be that something is wrong with us and we need to fix it.
An intention is different. My dictionary defines intention as “the determination to act in a certain way.” This has nothing to do with seeing yourself as a problem that needs to be resolved; instead, intentions are about becoming aware of different ways that you would prefer to be in your life. Some examples of an intention might be to become more patient with the people in your life, to treat others with more kindness, or to feel like you’re making a positive difference in the world. [Read more…]