Resolutions v. Goals v. Intentions

Happy New Year B&B fam ❤ 2017 was an amazing year filled with adventure, challenges, and lots of laughs. As we look towards the coming year, I’m sure many of you have given some thought to your New Year’s Resolutions. Whether they are related to your health, career, family, or something else, the thought of making changes in 2018 has crossed your mind. It definitely has been on my front burner for a few weeks now as I have shifted myself out of holiday-mode and back into reality. In the past days, however, I read articles and received emails touching on the topics of goal setting, creating intentions, and of course, my New Year’s Resolution. But what do all of these mean? Isn’t writing my resolution on the calendar enough? Maybe for some, but for others all this jargon can become confusing. Let’s break it all down so that we can set ourselves up for a successful 2018!

Resolution:

  1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.
  2. the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter

Resolutions often begin with, “In 2018 I will (not)…” and finish with a vague goal or action. “In 2018, I will lose weight.” But how? Where does this resolution go from here? A one week diet before you’re back to your old ways? It needs to be taken a little bit deeper than that in order for you to be successful. It all starts with the language we are using; a resolution implies that there is a problem which needs a solution. Resolutions are limiting in that they only allow you to go so far. As soon as you’ve broken your new vow, it seems as though you’ve already failed. You haven’t. But this is why resolutions often don’t last beyond January. Our resolutions are not followed up with a game plan or even a short term plan to change our actions. To resolve these problems, it’s going to take much more than a statement. The challenging piece of this puzzle is how to implement these changes into your life- this is where goal setting can help.

Goal:

  1. the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

Starting the new year with a resolution can be a stepping stone to the ultimate goal. Unless there is true resolve for the resolution, it’s important to understand that it is a process which takes time. Unfortunately, we lose patience and may throw in the towel too soon. Goals, while moving us toward what we say we want, can take us out of the moment and create a feeling that what we have isn’t enough. The ultimate goal seems far away even if we continue to chip away at it. Goal setting should be broken down into both long-term (the ultimate goal) and short-term (small milestones) goals. Short-term goals are crucial for staying on track when the end seems far away; otherwise we may feel discouraged by our stepping stones of progress. While goal setting is critical for success, your mindset is just as much a factor. Forming positive habits goes hand in hand with having a positive mindset.

Intention:

  1. a thing intended; an aim or plan.

A somewhat different approach to traditional resolutions is taking the emphasis off of what the ultimate goal may be and switching it onto your attitude during each step of the way. Being intentional allows you to focus on how you want to be in the moment. This mindset is independent of how you gauge the success of said goal. Allowing intentions to guide your moment to moment focus, means you are living your values and what matters most to you. Intentions are easy because they don’t tie us to an outcome. Intentions simply ask that we go through our day, hour-by-hour, being as mindful, conscious, aware and awake as we are able to be in that moment. Be present. Be loving. Be focused. Be adventurous. Be fearless. Be creative. Put simply- set your intention now and remember it everyday when you wake up then again as you fall asleep. Setting an intention will help change your mindset throughout the day or your attitude towards certain activities. Instead of focusing on the challenges or the path you must take, a positive intention will help keep you in that positive mindset. Focusing on your intentions does not mean you are giving up on your goals, but by partnering goals with intentions you have the opportunity to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

Share your resolutions, goals, and intentions in the comments below!

In 2018, I will/ I can/ I am…

❤ Louise

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