Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year’s Intentions versus New Year’s Resolutions

My role at the first toastmaster's meeting of the New Year was table topics.  It means that I have to come up with some questions, ideas, words or statements to solicit each member present to give a one- to two-minute answer.  Usually, the toastmaster sets a topic for the meeting.  Sure enough, Elaine, the toastmaster for the evening, started talking about the New Year and asked if we had made NewYear’s resolution. 

I shared that it was our church community’s tradition to send balloons with a wish or a positive statement attached to it into the sky.

When it was my turn in the meeting to present my table topics on New Year’s resolutions, I was surprised that nobody in the audience made New Year’s resolution.  Several people explained that the reason being that most people don’t go through with them; abandon them by February and then feel guilty about it. 

That made me question, what is wrong with resolutions; and what we can do instead? 


Resolutions are abandoned primarily because they set us up to fail. We force ourselves willfully to let go of certain habits.  Resolutions typically focus on what we shouldn’t do or what is wrong.  When things get tough, or we get off track, it is easy to just ditch them altogether.

We acknowledged that most humans resist change.   It is true that most resolutions are to decrease addictive behaviors like alcohol/or drug abuse, smoking, gambling, or unhealthy relationships or eating habits.  When we focus on problems the internal resistance goes up automatically.  Therefore, it makes more sense to focus on a positive outcome which means to formulate an intention.


“Intention is a force in the Universe, and everything and everyone is connected to this invisible force.”

~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

When setting an intention, we focus our attention on the “what” without being attached to the “how”.  Intentions are driven from within. They involve stating a desire and creating a clear mental picture of the direction we want our life to take based on how we feel in the present moment. They create a purpose, an aim, to direct our decision making.

By getting the feedback from each person at the meeting, I determined that from now on I will not make anymore New Year’s resolutions.  Rather I formulate my desire in form of a positive intention and feel myself into what I deeply yearn for.  That way I am becoming the person I am meant to be.  Isn’t that what we are all longing for?

No comments: