These are my 2021 Intentions.
Every January I set an intention for the year ahead. Intentions are not resolutions though. Setting an intention for the new year requires you to bring attention to a quality, not an action, you would like to emulate each day of your life. As we enter this new year I’m reflecting on my intentions of the past, as well as sharing my 2021 intentions.
What is the difference between an intention and a resolution?
A resolution focuses on an outcome, which sets up expectations to meet a desired goal in twelve months.
I want to lose 10lbs by exercising 5 days a week and cooking healthier meals.
I will read two books a month and watch less t.v..
We will travel more as a family.
New year’s resolutions can create a stigma that you’re not good enough; if you change, you’ll find happiness. In turn, the stigma puts pressure on you and can sometimes set you up to failure. The whole process gives me anxiety just thinking about it – and we all know I have enough issues with anxiety as it is.
An intention is more about the journey, focusing on a way you want to live your life. Here are some examples:
Be present and appreciate life.
Manifest my own happiness naturally.
Have a healthy relationship with my mind, body, and soul.
A Look Back on My Unintentional Intentions for 2019-2020
In 2019 I decided to pick a word for the year: CHOICE. “There is so much POWER in making a choice, as sometimes the smallest decisions can change your life forever. My first step in allowing CHOICE to be my guide for 2019 is reflecting on the choices I’ve made during my life thus far and how they’ve brought me to the place I am in today.” Little did I know I was preparing to be more intentional with my choices.
Without even realizing what I was doing, I set intentions for 2020 when I wrote “No Resolution New Year” in January. My life changing experiences in yoga were my unintentional guide towards setting an intention versus making resolutions/goals. In 2020 I wanted to practice kindness towards myself. “Instead of searching for a better illusion of myself by admitting things I am not, I will reflect on who I already am.” Without realizing it, I set an intention for self-love.
Guess what? I did a pretty amazing job on my journey to love my real self.
How I Decided on My 2021 Intentions
My 2021 Intentions stem from everything I learned about myself in therapy (as seen in the paragraph below). The year 2020 will always be the one where I figured out who I am.
Taken from my therapy journal: I am a strong woman who loves to be alive. I’m often teeming with anxiety of the unknown. I am passionate about my family and friends, a little OCD (angry cleaning is my middle name), and a hopeful optimist. I consider myself a champion of overcoming challenges – there have been a lot – but I haven’t quite let go of some of my hardest moments in the past. Sometimes I react before I respond and I usually try to admit when I’m wrong – even if it takes me awhile to realize it. Sometimes I put too much trust in others and don’t guard my emotions as I should.
To set an intention is to bring your awareness to a quality or virtue that you want to cultivate more of in your life. Based on the description above, there are many qualities about myself that I love and want to nurture. Through mindfulness, self-compassion, and non-judgement, I believe I can focus on these intentions below.
These are my 2021 Intentions
- I intend to respond first and then react.
- I intend to encourage and inspire by being my authentic self.
- I intend to be selective with my time.
- I intend to find beauty in everything.
- I intend to live in the moment, without worrying about the past or the future.
- I intend to feel feelings in the moment (instead of waiting to deal with them later) without the filters of evaluation.
One of the most important things to remember when setting an intention versus a resolution is the journey. Intentions are a motivating statement you live by instead of a statement to change or fix something about yourself. Every one of the intentions above are a statement I’ve repeated to myself over the last few months – and will continue to do so during 2021.
Are you setting intentions for the new year?
Looking for Positive New Year Intentions for Happiness? Check out this awesome post on Healing Brave
Jennifer L Prince says
That is SUCH a great way to look at it. B/c once you break a resolution, it’s broken (and I tend to quit). Looking at subtle lifestyle changes is much more attainable!
Love this post! This was the first year I thought about and set intentions for myself.
Oh, I love this – setting intentions is a great way to start the new year instead of making resolutions! And the intentions you set are very mindful!
Carrington | Chaos and Coffee says
Love that you set intentions for this year! I feel like this is so much better than resolutions! Xx.
I love that you shared this. I gave up the whole resolution thing a few years back and focus on goals – which I feel are kind of like intentions. Something to work toward throughout the year. I also like choosing a word or words for the nee year. I chose balance, focus and patience!
I loved this Post! And I realized that I unintentionally make intentions instead of resolutions lol! I think that what we’re working toward is just as important as the journey.
Sarah Lindner says
New Year resolutions have never been my thing so I love the idea of setting intentions instead. Great post! xoxo, Sarah
I think intentions are so important to set, during the New Year or at any time! These are such beautiful intentions and I can tell you’ve really thought long and hard about them and how you want them to better your life. It’s awesome that you were able to learn so much through last year’s unintentional intentions!
This is such a great post! I have been inadvertently doing this, but now that I’m more aware of it, I want to make a more conscious effort to work on changing my mindset. Thank you!
Tanvi Rastogi says
Another great post – I do not wait for a new year to begin to incorporate change or set my intentions. Whenever I feel the need, I do it then. Long time ago I stop dividing my life in years. Time is flowing, and that’s how I wish to cultivate my mindset as well.