Don't Set 2018 Resolutions (Set Intentions Instead)
“What is your New Year’s Resolution?” This is a question you are probably hearing a lot right about now. With the end of one more year, we look forward to another 365 days full of hopeful possibilities and positive changes.
At WAG we fully stand behind defining and getting after tremendous goals. But, this year, we encourage you to set New Year’s Intentions instead of New Year’s Resolutions. Why? Let’s take a look at the definitions quickly and break it down a little bit more.
- A firm decision to do or not to do something.
- The action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.
- A thing intended to be achieved; an aim or plan.
What do you notice?
The definition for “resolution” is full of words like “firm decision” “problem” and “contentious”. They invite you to look into your past, decide what went wrong and then set goals that counteract those actions to literally resolve the problem. Coming from this place of inherent negativity (even if it’s unintentional) could be why you find yourself setting the same New Year’s Resolutions from year to year. “Get to the gym more and pay closer attention to my diet” probably sounds pretty familiar.
What about the definition of “intention”? “Aim,” “plan,” and “achieve” automatically set you up for a more positive mindset. These words require you to look into the future, define what will bring you joy and let you create a deeper understanding and perspective with your thinking. In turn, this will lead to a greater connection to your vision.
If you start setting intentions and format them in the right way, you are much more likely to achieve all of your 2018 goals. You may even surprise yourself and do more than you thought you could.
So, what makes a New Year's intention successful? Lets walk through it with that example from our “resolution” definition and see how it plays out.
Original New Year’s Resolution:
“Get to the gym more and pay closer attention to my diet.”
Call on Your Core Values: Clearly define what is most important to you (this could be family, connection, health of mind and body) and build goals around the things that truly inspire you. Your core values are your North Star and will guide you to allocate your time and energy to the things that you truly want. This will not only give you the time you need to go after these goals but it will also allow you to be focusing on things you love which will lead to better results.
If your physical health is truly important to you, you will make it a priority to “get to the gym” and “pay closer attention” to your diet. So, when your friends want to order pizza for the second night in a row or want to start the new season of your favorite Netflix show at your usual gym time you will more confidently be able to pass for something healthier and let them know you’ll meet them after the gym. Although it won’t always be easy to make these decisions, you will make it happen if your goals really connect with your core values.
So, your New Year’s Intention still sounds like this: “Get to the gym more and pay closer attention to my diet.”
Write it Down: There is a power that comes with seeing your goals on paper. It makes them real, which not only holds you accountable but it also helps you think bigger. When you write down your goals write them in the first person as if they’re true right now.
Now, your New Year’s Intention might sound something like this: “I go to the gym more and pay closer attention to my diet.”
Make it Specific: A flimsy goal will get you nowhere. You have to be able to look at your goal and say, “yes, I did that!” or “No, I didn’t” which comes from making it measurable and time-bound. If you can measure your goal and check it off, it is specific and much more likely to happen.
What does your intention sound like now? “I go to the gym three times a week and I sign up for WAG to learn more about my eating habits and I start working towards a healthy, sustainable relationship with food.”
Think BIG: Your goals should make your palms sweat. They should make your stomach churn and your heart beat faster. This means that your goals should be what we love to call BHAG’s (big, hairy, audacious goals). Your goals should not be things that are going to happen anyway with little to no effort on your part. Why? You are capable of much more than you believe and setting a goal that you have to push for will inspire you and keep you coming back for more.
Your New Year’s Resolution that started as: “Get to the gym more and pay closer attention to my diet.”
Has turned into this powerful New Year’s Intention: “I go to the gym four times a week for one hour and I hit my macros everyday so my body has the nutrients it needs to thrive.”
Once you’ve set some New Year’s Intentions tell your family and friends. If you enroll the important people in your life they will help hold you accountable when you need a bit of motivation. Plus, hearing yourself say your goals out loud will hold you accountable to them as well. Put them on your mirror, in your planner, on your fridge, in your phone and anywhere they will remind you that your goals are worth the hard work.
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Love what you learned but still want more guidance and support? Hire a 1:1 coach who will get to know you, your lifestyle and your unique needs and create results that you can sustain long-term. If you're not quite ready to go all-in on hiring a coach, check out our Macro Calculation Cheat Sheet & 18 Tracking Tips and Tricks for macro counting!