Ever hear the joke that “my last New Year’s resolution was to stop making New Year’s resolutions?”
Okay, okay, you probably heard ME say it. (It just doesn’t get old!)
Frankly, I find resolutions to be a little silly so I don’t make them. Instead I set an intention for the new year with a list of actions that will help me with that intention.
For example, last year my intention was to become more courageous. So I thought about what I have been afraid of (mostly failure) and how it is holding me back. Then I thought about some courageous actions I could take to encourage the behavior. Two really big ones were finally teaching my first Spinning class and learning to cook a dish (any dish). I accomplished both during the last quarter of the year. (The intention was to find more courage – not stop procrastinating after all). Taking larger chances, committing to things that are outside of my comfort zone and making new connections are a few other actions that contributed to my intention. It has made 2012 a phenomenal year.
But what is the difference between intention-setting and making resolutions, you ask? Well, I find resolutions to be uninspiring and a bit cliché – as cliché as breaking them. Most people promise to lose weight or “get in the best shape of their life” in the new year. But it doesn’t answer WHY? To what end? For what purpose? Or even how! The “why” is the motivation to keep going when temptation is just too… well, tempting. And without a clear call to action for sticking to the resolution you’re almost guaranteed to fail.
Losing weight just to lose weight without clear, measurable steps can falter in the face of a lot of beer and chicken wings paired with the best blue cheese you ever put in your mouth. (Sorry, I got distracted). On the other hand, setting your intention and then listing the actions to support that intention will expand your ability to get to where you want to go because you’re not limited to one action. After all, there are many ways to complete a journey.
So in a life where you have set an intention, imagine painting a bigger picture of your world! Imagine better things for yourself! Imagine expanding your sphere of influence! Then let’s go and make it happen!
Now tell me, what are your intentions for 2013 and what actions will you take to fulfill it?
Happy New Year!
Photo via Flickr (Creative Commons) by Bayasaa.
6 thoughts on “Resolution! Schmezolution!”
Totally agree with you! Every year I make the same intention and it’s simply to live a healthy and happy life. Once in awhile I might lose sight of that but I think having an overall understanding of how you want to live helps guide you to making that happen and making good decisions. Well, most of the time 🙂
We’re only human and milkshakes are the devil. 😉 By the way, if you have any tips and advice for my friend, Anna, below who is embarking on her whole-30 program, please share it. I can’t give up cheese so that program is a no-no for me. (It’s a bad vice but it’s my vice). 😉
Great message, Sam! I am resolving to form a healthy relationship with food. This means, first and foremost, getting my cravings and psychologically and hormonally-driven bad habits in check; and I think I may have found the solution (or at least a first step):
It may seem a bit drastic or like a crash diet at first, but it’s really about removing all the foods/drinks that may be triggering cravings, inflammatory and hormonal responses, etc from my diet for 30 days and then gradually reintroducing them to see how my body responds…and in the meantime eating REAL foods, healthful foods that I hope will make me feel better and ultimately help me to form a healthier relationship with food (and drinks).
It also involves not stepping on a scale for the next 30 days (which, as you know, I’m addicted to)…and of course means no alcohol for 30 days…which will be immediately followed by your 30 days on the wagon. See you in March 😉
Yay, Anna! My friend, Michelle, who coincidentally commented above is actually doing that right now! And she’s had great results with it! If there is any way I can support you on this food adventure, just ask!
We’ll definitely swap notes in March!!
Is your husband on board, too?
My hubby is actually driving this whole thing, which is great because he’s much better than I am at attempting new recipes. I welcome any tips or insights from Michelle. I am certainly going to miss cheese, but I’ll be ok without it for 30 days…and we’ll see what happens when I reintroduce it. If I don’t have any adverse reactions when I reintroduce it then I know I can have it, at least in moderate amounts…which will REALLY test my ability to have a healthy relationship with food 😉
Yes! I’ve done Whole30 before and I’m actually starting my second round today. I really liked it because it really taught me to listen to my body, pay attention to food labels (no icky ingredients), I felt better, I lost 10 lbs (I consider that a bonus and not my end goal), it stopped unnecessary cravings, and I learned to try new foods and recipes. My biggest advice is read as much ahead of time as you can and find others to help inspire you! I love the forums on the Whole30 site so that is a good source, I follow the #whole30 tag on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, and I even made a board on Pinterest with Whole30 recipes (my username is heylovedesigns). I also blog about my experiences on my personal site at http://www.heylovedc.com and I tweet at @aerial_m. Sorry for the plugs – they’re just there if you want to read about my experiences or just need a buddy to get through the next 30 days 🙂 Good luck! And feel free to ask me any questions. Thanks for letting me hijack your comment thread, S 🙂
RE: cheese – after coming off Whole30, i found that my body has an adverse reaction to dairy. I can have a little bit, like if it’s baked into a single macaron but no dips, lattes, etc. I always knew I had a slight intolerance to dairy but after doing the “reset” it became apparent that dairy is no friend of mine. It sucks, but I think I’m better off without it.