Happy New Year everyone! I wish you a lot of happiness and a good health to you and your loved ones. I hope this year will bring you success and luck in all that you undertake. So how are you going to create opportunities for yourself and change or improve what didn’t work last year? Let me guess.

New Year Resolutions

Let me start by saying that the fact that we waited for a specific date to start isn’t a good sign. I am speaking out of experience, having done that every year for as far as I can remember. Except last year. Last year I decided that all I wanted for the new year to come was to develop myself and learn. And it worked. This was the most productive year ever for me. So what happened? All I changed was setting intentions instead of resolutions.

What is an intention?

An intention is an idea that will drive your goals, vision, and purpose. Said differently in Deepak Chopra’s words:

An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim to create. Like real seeds, intentions can’t grow if you hold on to them. Only when you release your intentions into the fertile depths of your consciousness can they grow and flourish.

It needs to be positive, open, and focused on moving forward. It’s about saying that you intend to do or be something, but also that you hold on to it throughout the year.

Why it’s better than resolutions

A resolution is very often an activity, like losing weight, finding a new job, going to the gym, etc. The issue is that we rarely link them to a higher purpose. Have you ever asked yourself: what’s the purpose of this resolution? Because it’s one activity with no higher grounds, it’s hard for our mind to understand that it’s important and to make a habit out of it. The result: we usually forget our resolutions in the first few weeks.

With intentions, you can set the direction of your year so it can encompass many activities. If you don’t do one, you can do others that would still honour your intention. You never have the feeling of disappointment or failure, because you always do something towards your intention if you keep it in mind.

Set your intentions

So how do you set your intentions for the new year? There are two ways.

The first one is to do complete the sentence “I intend to“. Write down a few to go back to them later. Then ask yourself “what does it mean to me?“. With this question you probe yourself a bit on what it is that you could do that would honour your intention.

For instance, I intend to be healthy is an intention. What people can do to be healthy is varied: doing sport, practicing yoga, going to the doctor, the dentist, or any other physician, losing weight, eating less, eating more veggies, drinking less, etc. It can be mental health, physical health, or both.

The second way is via an intention tracker that you can buy online, or easily create yours on a piece of paper or on your computer. Use the format below if you wish to start yours.