Facing a brand new year can bring up a whole bunch of emotions: relief, freedom, fear, sadness–and that’s even before we get started on resolutions.
Oh, those pesky promises. When you’ve just gone through a split, it’s tempting to see the brand new shiny year as the time that everything changes. I know, I’ve been there. The first New Year after my marriage split, I only had one resolution: “This year isn’t going to be as bad as last year.” How could it have been?
But by February, amid legal negotiations, it felt worse than ever.
I was livid. I felt cheated. And I’d told everyone I knew that things were on the up.
By announcing my ‘resolution’ to the world, I’d put a huge amount of pressure on myself. And it was really all or nothing. Once the year got worse, I felt like it was all over.
Then the guilt and shame kicked in. I couldn’t even have a slightly better year… what hope did I have?
Then I heard about a different way to think about what we want from our lives, and how it could supercharge my year.
Resolutions vs intentions
First, let’s talk about resolutions.
Resolutions hold your energy in the past.
They require that you delve into your past to uncover something (or multiple things) that are broken and need fixing. You’re constantly thinking about the past–what not to do.
Say you’ve completely dropped the exercise habit. It’s broken, so to fix it you resolve to go to the gym 6 days a week and run a marathon by March. Sound familiar?
Now, let’s see what an intention looks like.
Intentions compassionately set the tone for your future. They focus on what you want to create for your FUTURE. They don’t tie you to an outcome based on your past. They simply ask that you bring mindfulness to your actions and make efforts to change.
So, same situation as before: you dropped the exercise. You choose THIS intention: I’m going to make time for movement in my daily life.
Hello, achievable and positive goal!
Let’s get one thing straight: it’s good for the soul to take stock of your life at New Years and reflect on the good or not-so-good habits you’d like to change, or ways you’d like to grow in mind, body, and spirit.
It’s just the resolution side of things that can trap you: instead of feeling positive and future focused, you’re running from your past and when you slip, you can feel a sense of failure and give up on the resolution completely.
In comparison, when you set an intention, a slip-up is viewed as part of the process. You can simply move on realizing that the next moment, is in fact, a brand new one.
The secret of change is to focus all your energy,
not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
You with me? If you love the sound of setting intentions and want to discover a really powerful way to do it, I love Deepak Chopra’s method that you can learn about here.
So what intention are you setting for 2019?
I’m making meditation a part of my day, because I know from the past that just 10 minutes can make all the difference. Gaia and Youtube has some incredible content on mindfulness, meditation and yoga, so I’m going to give them a try, and I might splash out on on a paid app like Calm or Headspace for their amazing guided meditations.
Speaking of apps, if you’re currently facing the reality of a breakup, separation, divorce, co-parenting journey or are a victim of domestic abuse, there is now an app to help you document absolutely everything that you need to – information, communication and evidence – so you’re ready for whatever legal obligations that may arise.Download on Google Play
For more support, download my FREE e-book, 5 Separation & Divorce Hacks. It’s packed with helpful tips and advice from those who’ve been right where you are now. It will help you go in the right direction faster, and less painfully.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on resolutions vs intentions. What intentions are you going to set this year? Let me know in the comments below.
You’re doing just fine. Take it one day at a time. And remember, be especially kind to yourself.
Founder | Hello Mojo