Intentions versus Resolutions, Which are you making for 2024?
Have you tried making a resolution only to have it fall by the wayside by the end of January? There is a good reason that resolutions are so prone to failure and that is because they come from the head and not the heart. Resolutions are often the result of feeling some lacking in our lives. We are not measuring up to some standard set by others or by ourselves (reacting to outside pressures). They usually include the words “I should”, “I need” or “I have to.”
Intentions, on the other hand, come from a different place and need. They are formed after some serious soul searching and an understanding of what makes us happy. They usually include something like “I really want because…” They are heart-focused.
Yoga Nidra is a great way to help you define your intentions if you have not done so yet for 2024. Click here for a 24 minute audio practice.
Don’t Rush Into the New Year Without Reviewing Last Year!
What’s the rush! Instead consider using the first few weeks year to do the soul searching that might help you discover what intentions could make this year your best yet!
Here are some ideas that might help you drill down below the surface and discover what your heart really is asking for. You will need a journal for this, but writing things down is shown to activate your higher thinking part of the brain.
- What were the highlights of my year?
- What really made me happy?
- In what areas of my life did I experience great growth—family, friends, work, health, financial, spiritual, etc.
- What were the biggest challenges or setbacks this year?
- What resources did I use to navigate these challenges?
- What were my biggest disappointments?
- Am I still holding on to anger, sadness, fear or regret over these disappointments?
Here is an example from my life that might help.
- Made the decision to move to Virginia and manage to put in motion all pieces to make this move (THIS WAS BIG AND VERY INVOLVED)
- Wrote blogs and put out a newsletter nearly every week of the year
- Spent quality time with my family (realized how much I want a close relationship with them)
- Slowly but surely grew my business including going from 200 to more than 7000 subscribers on my YouTube channel
- Served many people (not as many as I hoped) with my yoga, HeartMath and health coaching programs.
- Had more stomach issues that I am still trying to figure out
- Fell and caused quite a bit of damage to my face, teeth and other parts of my body. Healing has taken a great deal of energy and time.
- Did not grow my online classes as significantly as I had hoped
- Worked way too hard without the financial growth that I had hoped for
- Was turned down by my alma mater (UVA) when I approached them to do a similar HeartMath mental and emotional health coaching program that I have been providing FGCU for four years.
Reviewing what went right and wrong can help you see patterns that support and get in your way of your happiness and success. By the way if you missed my last two blogs on happiness, you can read them here. Article 1 and Article 2.
We Can Learn From Our Past!
While you might want to just start the new year with a clean slate, the residue from the past unillumiated could derail your future efforts. This is an empowering, enlightening practice that is worth the time. I took a course called YearCompass in 2022 from Daniella LaPorte on assessing my year in order to move on. Here are a few ideas from that course.
- Start by going through your calendar and writing down what were the important events. Break them down into categories such as personal life and family, friends and community, physical health and fitness, relaxation, mental health and self-knowledge, career, and studies.
She also suggests including these two categories in your journal. Write down any “habits that define you” and “what you did to create a better tomorrow”.
A few other ideas from this course can create significant memories from the past which will enable you to better decide how to move forward.
- The wisest decision you made.
- The biggest risk you took.
- The biggest surprise of the year… and my favorite
- The biggest lessons you learned.
Here is another idea I picked up from LaPorte. This one helps you Let Go to move forward.
Write down anything or person you still need to forgive or anything you need to be forgiven for as well.
The last few pages of La Porte’s YearCompass encourages you to:
Describe the past year in 3 words and then come up with three words for this year.
My last year was challenging, exhausting and momentous.
This year my words are easier, healthier and sustainable.
If you want to do the 2023 YearCompass, you can access LaPorte’s website by clicking on this link.
Once you have completed this process, it is time to access your heart. Here is where one of my favorite HeartMath tools can be extremely useful and valuable. It is called Freeze Frame. Check it out below.
New Year’s Intentions Take Longer to Develop But Will Stick
Let me know what you think of these ideas. Also I would love to hear about tools that have worked for you. If you can do this with a friend. Or if you need help, please reach out to me. I would love to be your cheerleader, your guide or coach as you make this year YOUR BEST YET!