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New Years Resolutions vs Goals vs Intentions.

Updated: Jan 1

As the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve, we find ourselves surrounded by friends and family, all sharing their New Year's resolutions for 2024. It's a tradition that we embrace every year, but for me, this time-honoured ritual has evolved into something different. Instead of setting New Year's resolutions, I choose to approach the coming year with a blend of goals and intentions. Let me share why.


Time to celebrate!

Resolutions vs. Goals vs. Intentions: Unpacking the Differences

Before we delve into the heart of this, let's clarify the distinctions between resolutions, goals, and intentions, especially as the New Year begins.


Resolutions: New Year's resolutions are those firm decisions to do or not do something. They often involve specific actions or behavioral changes that we commit to at the start of the year.


Goals: Goals, on the other hand, are the desired outcomes or achievements we aim for over time. They tend to be more specific, measurable, and realistic than resolutions and can be set at any time, not just on New Year's Eve.


Intentions: Intentions are like guiding principles or purposes that align with our values and aspirations. They focus less on achieving a specific result and more on cultivating a mindset or approach to life.


The Pitfall of New Year's Resolutions

As the clock nears midnight, I cannot help but recall the statistics I had read earlier about New Year's resolutions. Studies have shown that around 8 out of 10 people will not stick to their resolutions by February. One significant reason for this high failure rate is the immense pressure we place on ourselves to make significant lifestyle changes when we may not be genuinely ready.


Change, Timing, and the New Year

Standing there with loved ones, I realised that change can only occur when the time is right for each of us individually. The New Year is undoubtedly a symbolic and inspiring time to embark on personal growth journeys, but it's essential to acknowledge that genuine change is a gradual process. It's perfectly natural to encounter setbacks and detours along the way.


The Power of Goals

In place of resolutions, I've come to appreciate the power of setting goals, especially as the New Year unfolds. Goals offer more flexibility, adaptability, and sustainability compared to rigid resolutions. Here's why I believe they can make a significant difference:


  1. Specificity: Goals tend to be more specific and measurable. Instead of simply resolving to "exercise more," you can set a goal to "exercise for 30 minutes three times a week."

  2. Realistic Planning: Goals encourage breaking down larger aspirations into smaller, manageable steps. This makes it easier to create a realistic action plan.

  3. Motivation: Having a clear goal in mind provides a sense of purpose and direction. It keeps you motivated and accountable.

  4. Adjustability: Life is full of surprises, and circumstances can change. The flexibility of goals allows for adaptation and realignment.


Embracing Intentions as the Year Begins

Beyond resolutions and goals, I've also embraced intentions as the New Year dawns. Intentions serve as guiding stars, helping us navigate life's twists and turns. They provide a sense of purpose and assist us in aligning our actions with our deeply held values.

Intentions are particularly valuable when setting goals. They infuse our objectives with meaning and help us stay connected to our deeper intentions, ensuring that our pursuits align with our authentic selves.


In Conclusion: A New Year's Approach with Grace

As the New Year's Eve celebrations continued, I couldn't help but appreciate the beauty of diverse approaches to personal growth. Whether one chooses resolutions, goals, intentions, or a combination of these, what matters most is the journey itself.


As we venture into 2024, let's approach personal growth with patience, self-compassion, and a willingness to adapt along the way. May this year be filled with meaningful aspirations, achievable goals, mindful intentions and vitality, all leading us toward becoming our best selves. Cheers to a New Year brimming with opportunities for growth and self-discovery!


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