The end of December is always about reflection. Intentional contemplation on the year that’s now gone; everything that happened, everyone, you met and everything you accomplished. Generally, this reflection provokes the creation of a “New Years Resolution”- the idea that in this new year you will bring fundamental changes to your life that will make the next year better. Resolutions are beneficial because they help us recognize we need change, but most people don’t make realistic or attainable resolutions. Take a second look at what you’re planning for the New Year.

Intentions instead of Resolutions

I use the word intention instead of a resolution because the word intention is an action. There are pro-active movements and calculated facilitation of your efforts. The intention is active, a resolution is a dream. Saying “My New Year’s resolution is this” has become synonymous with saying “I wish to accomplish this..” whereas claiming your intention for 2019 is putting determined energy behind what you want to do and creating a powerful force to be reckoned with. Creating an intention and committing to it is really the first step in planning for the new year. There’s not much point in the reflection or implementation of your goal if you are not committed to the change necessary to make it happen. 

What Do You Control?

The next step in creating an intention for the New Year is to recognize what parts of your life you wish were more bountiful, prosperous or even just different. Are you unhappy with how things are? Is it at your job, a relationship, or even something about yourself you wish to change? Its okay to be somewhat picky- but don’t tear yourself down to the point where you’re fundamentally unhappy with your life. Find things you have control over and allow those aspects of your life to resound in your mind until you can clearly see the role it plays in your life and how to change it. 

Count the Good

The second part of this is to go through and count all of the good things that happened in your life this year. All of the great strides you made this year matter. They took you a couple steps closer to growth and change, and that’s exciting! All too often we get caught up in FOMO (fear of missing out) and think of how un-eventful or boring our year was. We allow social media to dictate what our life should look like, and feel less successful if we don’t meet someone else’s standards. We need to remind ourselves that our goals and accomplishments are our own and don’t need to be compared to someone else’s journey. The past year probably saw its share of hardships, pain, and struggles. There’s beauty in that journey, and it can motivate us and push us forward to learn, grow and adapt our direction. 

Implement it Right

The final step after reflection is the implementation. Make sure that you’re being realistic about something you want to change. For instance, All too frequently the goals set are to lose a bunch of weight to attain the desired body shape. Losing weight, gaining muscle and developing healthy habits is a fantastic goal! However, if they’re trying to change their fundamental body shape to look a specific type of way- it’s usually not healthy or realistic. The focus should be on the development of the habits and behaviors that make you feel vindicated, rather than the goal. 
When first starting in on any intention for the New Year, the first couple weeks are the easiest because of the new found motivation to do better. However, motivation is fleeting. Motivation isn’t omnipresent. So on days when you don’t feel inspired, or determined for your goal, that’s when the discipline you’ve installed within yourself kicks in. That’s when the behavior that you’ve developed begin to shine, and you truly start to see that change you wish to see in the new year.