Try Intentions not Resolutions: A New Way to Plan in 2021

Try intentions not resolutions. You'll thank me later - believe me.

Many people I know start off the year with their New Year's resolutions. I never really got into them. Maybe I was too lazy? Maybe I just knew so many of these resolutions went unfulfilled? Not sure exactly why until I made a point of looking into it a bit more.

How well do resolutions work, anyway?

A common definition of resolution is "...a firmness to deal with something successfully...."

This all sounds really good in terms of a New Year's Resolution right? The resolution sounds something like this. I will lose 15 pounds. Or I will have a better work/life balance next year. I will read more.

When stated like this all of these resolutions are looked at, like every other resolution, as a simple pass or fail. Either I make it and I am successful or I do not and it is yet another resolution I have failed at. According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year's resolutions is said to be about 80 percent, and most lose their resolve by mid-February. Maybe you convince yourself this year will be different. I can really do it! Well, I wish you luck. I really do, but the stats are certainly not in your favour.

Shifting your mindset from resolutions to intentions

Meanwhile, a common definition of intention is the "...determination to act in a certain way..."

If we look at the previous common resolutions and state them in the form of an intention it might look like the following:

- I will lose 15 pounds (resolution) --> I intend on being healthier.

- I will have a better work/life balance --> I intend on spending more time with my family.

- I will read more --> I intend on setting aside more time to read.