Well, friends, we're happy to start this one off by saying that it’s almost time to put 2021 behind us and most of all, to start fresh. Now, don't get it twisted. We think it’s important to reflect on the year that has passed and more importantly, to take away as much as we can from it. However, if we're being real here, we know you’re ready to move on and so are we! But here’s the thing: with a New Year comes almost always a slew of people setting next to impossible resolutions, or better yet coming up with an excessive list that is discouraging to even glance at. We are so not about all of that! Forget all you know about traditional “New Year, new me” determinations, and instead of resolutions, set intentions.
Even with the best of objectives in mind, resolutions can taunt us. You know, like every time we miss a workout, indulge in a Sour Patch Kid or 20, or happen to bite our nails. You get the picture. So what’s the secret to effective goal setting and feeling fulfilled while accomplishing them? Glad you asked, babe! It’s simple.
Tom-ay-to, tomato… what’s the difference between a goal and an intention?
Here’s what you need to know before we go any further here. While having goals is of course, a good thing and entirely necessary to achieving several important things in your life – they aren’t always the best option to get you where you need to be.
Goals happen in the future, intentions happen right here, right now. In fact, we’d be so bold to say that without intentions, there are no goals. Don’t worry, we’ll explain ourselves! Think about it this way. You can endeavor all you want to reach your goal of being promoted by the end of the year. However, without consistent intention in your work ethic every single day – that big pay bump simply won’t happen.
So instead of saying “my resolution is to lose 20lbs by the end of January”, spin it this way: “my intention is to be healthier”, which will (you guessed it), result in weight loss. The difference is, that you won’t be discouraged two weeks into your new regime when you don’t fit back into your high school jeans. And I mean, do you really want to anyways? We know we’d love to never see low-rise jeans make a comeback, thanks!
If the difference between a goal and an intention are still blurry for you at this point, don’t sweat it. We promise that by the end of this post you’ll be well on your way to intention setting like a pro.
Ok but what gives? Why are we hating on resolutions?
Listen, if resolutions are your jam – who are we to stop you? But where there’s a better way, BBE’s gotta let you know!
The reason we aren’t huge fans of resolutions is actually well, a little scientific. The truth is that psychology related research shows that behavior patterns cannot change overnight. On top of that, frequent attempts at self-change can be damaging to our self-worth. When it comes to resolutions, they can totally have this negative and disparaging effect on us too!
We’ve all been guilty of setting impossible resolutions and expecting our long-engraved behaviors to somehow disappear because of a new calendar date.
In reality, that’s not the move. If you’ve been biting your nails for the last ten years of your life, chances are you will need a little more than a lofty “resolution” to stop destroying those cuticles, girl.
So now that you understand our position a little better, check out how easily you can ditch the impossible resolutions and start setting intentions to live your best life.
Take a minute… or ten.
The great thing about intention setting, is that you're in control girlfriend! You can decide exactly how much time you want to dedicate to it at the beginning of every year, month, week, day – you get the picture!
You can decide you want to take a minute every morning when you’re still in bed to think about what you want to get out of your day. Or, you can even commit to taking a solid 20-30 minutes on the first day of every month to write down all your intentions for the next 30 days – it’s completely up to you.
We love the idea of the “5 minute journal” to start your day energized, and full of intention. Taking a few minutes to jot down what you need more of in your life can have a seriously positive effect on your overall wellbeing. And hey, some cute stationery definitely doesn’t hurt in encouraging you to take on this new healthy habit.
If you can’t see yourself taking up journaling, don’t dismiss intention setting just yet. Like we just briefly mentioned, it can be done anywhere. How about during your morning workout? Or what about during your daily shower with your favorite soothing body wash, or that weekly self-care bath you’ve just incorporated into that busy life of yours. Where or when you decide to intention set does not matter, what counts is that you do.
How will all of this help me reach *real* goals you know, IRL?
By setting intentions, you are essentially laying the groundwork to position yourself in ways that are conducive to eventually reaching your goals. If that was a mouthful, we’re about to break it down.
Check it out. Once you get the hang of setting powerful intentions, your behavior starts to shift. Setting the intention of being more present in your every day life instead of stressing about the future will alone have a significant impact on your overall energy. Setting the intention of nourishing your body instead of punishing it with your most hated exercise (oh hi burpees) also has great side effects. It will inevitably entice you to make decisions that favor improving your health versus simply hating exercise and dieting.
If you’re lost at what kind of intentions you need to be setting, it’s cool! We suggest starting with a healthy dose of gratitude. You’d be surprised at what kind of clarity you gain after appreciating what is going right in your life. This then makes it easy peasy to decipher what exactly you could improve on.
Alright alright, now what?
Once you’ve figured it out, aim to set intentions that are positive in nature and that work towards something bigger. What’s really most important to you? What is realistic for you to work into your life, almost every day? Don’t “intend to not fight with your mother-in-law”, set an intention instead to maybe “not take things personally”, or to simply “let go of negative energy”. Easier said than done? We know, but it gets easier with practice – we promise!
So how does this help you ultimately reach your goals? Let’s stick with the example we just used above. Let’s say your overarching goal is to have a better relationship with your mother-in-law. Setting and following through with the intention to better deal with the emotions that arise from interactions with her, can totally help you do just that. The difference here is that you didn’t “resolve to stop fighting with her”, you set intentions that lead you there. You know, a work in progress. What’s more, you’ve developed skills you can use in any relationship. Most importantly, you didn’t get down on yourself at the first sign of a 2022 disagreement with her. Pretty magical, right?
The benefits of setting intentions instead of resolutions
The benefits of setting intentions instead of resolutions are numerous. First off, you are shifting your mindset positively instead of getting down on yourself for not “keeping up” with a resolution. Because hey, no one deserves to feel down on themselves – especially not you, babe!
Intentions make you more effective. For real, they actually train you to see opportunities where they can be manifested! If that sounds like a bunch of gibberish, hear us out. By starting your week off with the intention to get in 2-3 workouts, your mind will find places to incorporate them. Even if it means simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking Fido for an extra 10 minutes before work. Start off your week with the intention to polish off the rest of the Christmas leftovers, and believe us – you will! Your mind really is that powerful.
Setting intentions instead of resolutions also has the amazing side effect of making you more mindful. Now, being mindful is a whole other post but we had to mention it here because it really can change your life. By having clear, positive intentions, you subconsciously are more aware of how you act. Being mindful means you approach tough situations with more awareness. It also means that you ultimately are more conscious of how you deal with those obstacles. You know, constructively. For example, let’s say you woke up today with the intention to be more understanding with those around you. Remembering this will surely impact how you listen and interact with that not-so-favorite co-worker of yours during your 10:00 a.m. team meeting. You may not be besties by the end of it. However, we are sure it will be an improvement from the last time you two spoke!
Ready, set… intentions, not resolutions.
We hope this article helped inspire you to start 2022 off with a fresher take on what you want to accomplish, and how you choose to get there.
Intention setting can totally seem ambiguous when you first start looking into what it is. Don’t feel discouraged either if at first, you find it difficult to begin incorporating it into your life. However, with just a little commitment and practice, this small habit can have a substantial impact on your mental health and it can definitely help you crush goals in the long run.
Finally, intention instead of resolution setting can help you stay centered, focused, and honestly – it has no limits. As cheesy as it may sound, your mindset really does have no boundaries. You can accomplish almost anything you really train yourself to. You know, whether it be finding more time to read, or solving world hunger. Whatever it is you endeavor to accomplish, we want to hear about it and we’ve got your back.
Until next time babe, keep crushing it because we know you were made to! BBE ♥’s ya.