Today on New Years millions of people are making their resolutions. Few will succeed, and the rest will be disappointed with themselves. Not a great way to start the year.
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Don't make resolutions. They are only driven by things you think you should improve about yourself instead of what you really want in your life. As a result, you will lose interest and struggle to force yourself to keep doing it. This is because you won’t be fueled by a passion for something you find fun, interesting or want badly enough to make the changes last.
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Change is hard and you need to really be motivated to get through the days when you are fighting against yourself. If you pick a change you can actually enjoy, is something you can easily achieve and leaves you feeling good, you have greater chance of success. But if you are making a change to please someone else or because you “should”, you won’t have the drive in you to stick with it until it becomes easier and a part of you and your lifestyle.
A friend of mine, Denise, pointed out to me that there is a difference between making a resolution and an intention, where a resolution suggests we have to overcome what is wrong in our life and an intention is aligning ourselves to our hearts and spirit. While the dictionary doesn’t make much of a distinction between them, I think her view offers a great way to approach the New Year. Instead of making resolutions, think about what you really want in your life and what your values are. What does your heart tell you that you need more of? What are you tolerating that you want to change so that you are happier? What is your body trying to tell you that would make you feel better?
An intention is a clear vision of where you want to go or what you want to achieve. You may want to feel physically freer and better by losing weight, and may even know how much you would like to lose.
As important as determining how much you want to lose, you want to know why you want this and what you will get from losing the weight. It might be to feel physically better in a specific way, to feel more sexually appealing to improve a relationship, to have the energy and stamina to do what you love most, or to reduce your risk of a particular illness. Identifying what you really want to accomplish and why strengthens your intention, and it helps you stay clear on why it matters to make a significant change in your lifestyle.