Have you ever created a NYE resolution whereby you successfully achieved a successful outcome? No? Me either!
It’s taken me a bit to figure out the reason why resolutions don’t work.
At a societal level, traditionally we have chosen resolutions to negate something unwanted in life. However, our modern culture understands so much more about psychology.
The Oxford Dictionary defines a resolution as a firm decision to do or not to do something and an intention as an aim or plan.
Why do resolutions suck the big one?
Resolutions are flawed for several reasons including:
- they are only mental thought that have connected to a negative default position — something you no longer want;
- they are based on something you desire in the future, rather than right now in the present;
- are often vague and have no delivery boundary in the future
- often based on a comparison you’ve made with something that someone else has or does;
- they lack room to amend or reconfigure the deliverable outcome, it’s all or failure;
- their start date and time are very specific, with no flexibility for planning and implementation;
- there is no flexibility nor invitation to explore the feelings, beliefs or habits that maintain what it is you are trying to change.
For example, that moment that you decide to quit smoking on a whim. The resolution does not address why you are smoking in the first place, nor does it address why you maintain the habit. It also doesn’t include an alternative plan to reduce if quitting cold turkey becomes too much.
The resolution based on a thought, does not set you up with a proactive plan for a positive achievement outcome. Additionally, the resolution doesn’t attend to anything in your emotional department.
There’s the power of creating an intention over a resolution. An intention is a process by which you connect to a positive and desired feeling, something you want. The resolution statement is often a default from avoiding a feeling, sensation or habit you don’t want in your life.
Stating or naming the resolution as the fireworks explode at midnight is easy. It’s almost a token gesture. You are simply identifying the desired change status you want in life. But there is no substance or basis for the commitment you are so flippantly stating.
The negativity that comes with resolutions, smacks you up the backside of your head by the end of the second week of January — if you’ve made it that far. The reason resolutions fail so quickly is that they are only a statement of what you want. There’s no plan of action, no support, no backup.
Why intentions are better?
It’s important to recognise the definitions as you form your intentions. Your intention should guide your desired action that leads you towards the desired goal or outcome.
Remember resolutions are simply the destination of the outcome you desire. An intention frames the stepping actions of your desired outcome. The intention plan acts like a roadmap for how to arrive at the desired destination.
I am fondly reminded by the abundance of emails I have read this week, that you do not have to have 2024 all worked out by the 1st of January. The beauty of the annual intention is that you can take as long as you like to achieve your desired outcome.
It’s the Yuletide Season, whereby the twelve days of Christmas forecast the future twelve months. There is something really special about carving out space to reflect and release the expiring year with all its experiences. Reflect on the lessons learned this year, before opening up yourself up to more dreaming and deeper desires. Utilise an intention that allows you to create the plan and the energy for your desired change.
Karen Humphries is a Hypnotherapist, Kinesiology Practitioner, Health & Business Coach, LEAP & NES Practitioner, Intuitive Meditation Facilitator, and published author.
She is a self-confessed laughaholic. She loves being of service to the world with her humorous and positive approach to life, encouraging people to ‘choose to change and bloom from within.’