Why I Stopped Making New Year's Resolutions - and What I Do Instead...

January 6, 2017

 

Happy New Year!  I hope 2017 is off to a wonderful start for you.  I am so grateful you’ve chosen to join me on this journey.  It warms my heart to know that some of you are already experimenting with practicing gratitude!  I am convinced it is one of the most powerful tools to help create change in any area of your life.  If you see positive results in your life because of gratitude, I would LOVE to hear about it!
 
So it's true - I don't make resolutions.  I stopped making them a few years ago because at least for me, they just don't work! Don't get me wrong, I love goals.  I carry around a notebook full of things I want to accomplish, and I love crossing off those lists!  However, I’ve found something more meaningful and more life-changing than resolutions and goals. Today I wan't to share that process with you.
 
Instead of making resolutions based on what I want to accomplish, I set intentions based on how I want to feel. If you think about it, we want to accomplish our goals because we believe that we will feel a certain way once we do. 
 
We want to lose weight so we will feel good about our bodies.
We want to make more money so we will feel more secure.
We want to get organized so we will feel more peaceful in our homes. 
 
What we really want is not the accomplishment, but the feeling we get from achieving it. But what if we started feeling the way we want to feel now?  Why do we have to wait until we accomplish our goals to get the feelings we desire?  Let’s face it, most of us never get there anyway, so we never allow ourselves to get the reward of feeling the way we really want.
 
So, how do you want to feel?  Here are a few questions to ask yourself to get started:
 
How do you like to feel?
What emotions do you enjoy?
How do you want to feel in your relationship?
How do you want to feel when you’re with your children?
How do you want to feel about your body and your health?
How do you want to feel at work?
How do you want to feel when you’re in your home?
What is an emotion that you want to feel more of in the upcoming year?  Maybe it’s something you haven’t felt in a while – like adventurous or passionate or JOYFUL!

 
Once you know how you want to feel, write out your intention statements.  You may just have one or two emotions that you really want to focus on, or you may have a different one for each area of your life.  Here are some examples:
 
My intention is to feel connected to my husband.
My intention is to feel peaceful when I’m with my kids.
My intention is to feel energetic in my body.

 
Once you’ve written them down, keep them somewhere you can easily see them.  Remind yourself of them daily.  Stay connected to them, look for ways to create your desired feelings every single day, and let them guide your actions.  For every intention you set, there are innumerable actions you can take to help you get to the desired feeling.  This is why intentions are so powerful, and it’s how you’re going to get amazing results in your life this year.  
 
Need some examples?  Let’s play with the intentions from above.
 
If your intention is to feel connected to your husband, you might choose to make more eye contact, send him a loving text, sit down and talk about your day, stay up and watch a show with him, plan a date night, take a trip…. 
 
If your intention is to feel peaceful with your kids, you might find more ways to connect with them, be playful and fun whenever you can, create more positive incentives and fewer punishments, tell them how grateful you are for them, make them feel understood, take a breath before you react to negative behavior….
 
If your intention is to feel more energetic, you might choose to exercise regularly, go to bed earlier, eat something healthier, drink more water and less wine, turn off Facebook, listen to music you love, dance….
 
Your intentions can guide you through your entire year.  You may choose some of the same actions every day, or you may choose different things throughout the year.  You can still achieve your goals, but you also have room to be creative and to find what works for you.  

Shifting from resolutions to intentions has made a huge difference in my life, and I hope it does the same for you. Give it a try and let me know! 
 
Wishing you a 2017 that you LOVE,
 
Mendy
 

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