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January Series: Fresh Start


I’ve been reading a lot about the difference between resolutions and intentions lately. Usually the author advocates for one over the other, but I believe that they are both valuable. In addition, I’ve thought about it and determined that goals and resolutions aren’t necessarily the same things. Here’s how we can use resolutions, goals, and intentions to help us succeed.

Let’s start with resolutions. Many times, resolutions are things that we want to do. For example, I could make my New Year’s resolution “I will exercise three times a week.” It’s a resolution that goes on my To Do List.

My goal would be the reason why I want to exercise three times a week. It’s important that our goals resonate with our hearts. I talked about goals at the beginning of the month and you can read that blog here: https://kathystoddardtorrey.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/creating-goals/.

For this example, let’s say that my goals are to maintain my weight and be able to stand up from the floor while holding my granddaughter. She was four months old when she visited for Christmas, and she weighed about 15 pounds. I’m including a lot of squats in my exercise routine!

Both resolutions and goals are useful in getting us where we want to go. Now let’s add an intention. An intention is a guideline for making decisions. I like to think of it as the ruler that we hold up to any decision to see if it is in alignment with our goals and values.

For example, my intention this year is to lead a healthy life, both emotionally and physically. Any time an opportunity presents itself, I will ask, “Will doing this make me more healthy or less healthy?” There are lots of studies that show one glass of wine is healthy for you, but I’d have a hard time getting a second glass of wine past my test!

Our intentions are what help us stay on track as we go through the year and make choices. Last year, my intention was to engage. I ordered a small silver bracelet engraved with “ENGAGE.” I am a Star Trek Next Generation fan so it had an extra fun meaning; it’s what Captain Picard says when he wants the ship to get moving.

Last year, my resolution was to get out more; my goal was to create a business and personal community; and my intention was to engage. Together, the three together helped me stay on track and achieve my goal.

I have one friend whose intention was “Create More White Space.” She was feeling a little overwhelmed, and she wanted more time to relax and to be with her family. Another friend’s intention was “Create Financial Freedom.” Each time she had a choice or opportunity, her first consideration was, “Will this move me closer to financial freedom?”

One of the great things about an intention is that it’s a short-term structure to help you move ahead on a current priority. Next year, you can pick a new one! You can pick a new one each month or every six months. An intention is just a decision helper; something to remind you of what is important to you right now and what you want to achieve.

As we finish up January, it’s important to have a clear picture of where we want to go in 2017. Use resolutions, goals, and intentions to help us get there.

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