The Earnestness of Intention

This is about the time of year when we forget about our new year resolutions. We sat, thought and maybe even wrote down what it is we would like to do, change or have in the upcoming year. But probably 8 out of 10 people make it only a month or two in their resolutions. Why? Well before we get into that, lets first look at the root of the word resolution. 

The root of the word resolution is resolve and Webster's dictionary defines resolve as: (verb) to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something). Now there are four other definitions none of which pertain to what we are talking about so we will leave those behind for now. But the appropriate definition to the noun resolution for our purposes is the one above. And reading that doesn't much get me to my point; but if we look at another word in the above definition, that will get me to where I want us to go. And it is the word earnest. Earnest defined by Webster's is: (adjective) serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous, showing depth and sincerity of feeling. 

Ahh, that is better. So the root to our resolutions must be intention. Pure, honest, thoughtful intention. And if we choose a resolution without knowing our intention, we fall flat on our tushies. We forget. We “fail”.  And just maybe it is because we did not bother to think about why we were making an intention in the first place. And also, most of our resolutions come in the form of an end goal without considering how we want to feel on the journey to get “there.”

Now I know a bunch about goal setting. I worked for an incredible company that LOVED to goal set. One of the first tasks I accomplished was creating a goal setting worksheet that ended up framed on the wall. I am not saying goal setting is bad or wrong or not helpful, it is. All I am proposing is it the best way to keep a resolution? 

This year I decided to set intentions around how I wanted to feel rather than what I wanted to accomplish. Now don't worry, we will get more specific and it will seem very similar to the ole goal setting resolutions but I think it will stick a bit better starting with the intention of how you want to feel rather than what do you want to accomplish. It goes like this:

Me: “What would you like to create or shift in this coming year?” You: “I want to feel more energized in my life.” Me: “ What makes you feel more energized?” You: “When I am doing the things I love like painting and cooking.” Me: “What else?” I feel energized after a yoga class or dance class.” Me: “Anything else”? You: “When I do a kick ass job at my work.”

Ok, so through the simple dialogue exercise above of intention we see to feel more energy in your life you need to do the things you love and exercise your body and your mind. Well that is simple isn't it? Do what you love and do it to the best of your ability while remembering to love your body and mind. And if you needed a clear list to post somewhere to remind you it may look like this:

Feel energized in 2013

  • Take time to paint and dance at least once a week
  • Cook at home five nights a week
  • Do yoga three times a week
  • Kick ass at work by really investing in my clients well-being

Now you do not need a partner to create your earnest intentions but if you can, ask someone you love to create an intention with you. It will build a sense of unity and communication between you, and you will be doing them a solid. Trust me. We all need to be reminded of our intentions from time to time. 

Now even though the above could have come out of a simple this is what I want to accomplish this year, the difference is the earnestness of your intention. The result will be the same but the process will feel very different and you will actually get to your goal because you are invested in your resolve via how you want to feel. Try it. Let me know.