Every New Year, there's a lot of talk and pressure that circulates among friends and family, as well as in the media about what this year’s “resolutions” will be. The New Year represents a fresh start for so many people with endless possibilities, but unfortunately, these endless possibilities usually come with restrictive resolutions that many times are unattainable. You don't wake up on January 1st and magically become a different person with entirely new habits. Your vices, stresses, busy life and challenges all come with you into the New Year, but so do all the wonderful things that make you who you are! It’s also important to remember when you are feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of a New Year, your body could care less whether it's January 1st or December 1st. Instead, what it cares about is that you are paying attention to what it's telling you and that you're being intentional with the practices in your life that are either positively or negatively affecting it.
That's why your focus should be aimed at setting New Year’s intentions as opposed to resolutions that support a sustainable, healthy body and mind in the New Year. But, before we get into how to set intentions, let’s examine the difference between an intention and a resolution, and why we are all for replacing those New Year’s resolutions with intentions this year.
Intention: (n) a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future.
Resolution: (n) a firm decision to do or not do something.
Catch the difference? A resolution is rooted in a black and white decision to do or not do something, which leaves very little room for...well…life! On the other hand, at the root of every intention, there is a mental commitment toward a specific action. Intentions have the ability to grow and shift with you, and can also be the fuel and guidance you need to form clarity about your life.
So are you ready to turn your resolutions into intentions? Here are five tips to help you get started in creating powerful, positive intentions this New Year:
1. Think Positively
At the root of every intention is something positive. Think about a goal you have and then begin to rethink how you can positively reframe that goal to create a strong, powerful intention. For instance, if your goal is to reduce your stress levels this year, you could phrase your intention as: “I intend to quiet my mind and body each day by focusing on my breathing and inviting peace into my life." Then, you can set a small, achievable goal of carving out 5-10 minutes each day to put this into practice through meditation or quiet time dedicated to mindful, purposeful, positive thinking that helps you create a daily habit.
2. Think Sustainably
It’s important to not only set realistic intentions, but also to set intentions for shorter time frames. The most sustainable intentions are those that can grow and evolve with you. So, look three months ahead and set an intention for the that time frame. The beauty of an intention is that it represents a process and can be revisited and revised often. For example, if your goal is to cut down on the amount of processed foods you eat, instead of going "cold turkey" on January 1st and trying to white-knuckle your way through, you can set an intention to incorporate or swap one food each month or every few months. Simple acts like choosing whole-food energy bites as your on-the-go snacks over fruit snacks or granola bars, sprinkling hemp seeds on your salads for a boost of plant-based protein or adding a Navitas Organics Superfood+ Blend into your go-to smoothie recipe are all easily achievable. You'll hardly even notice the difference on a daily basis, but over time, these small changes will start to add up!
3. Write it Down
Once you've identified what it is you wish to focus on this year, write down your goals. Then, identify whether any of your goals are connected (some of them most likely are), and begin to reframe these goals into positive intentions. For instance, say two of your goals are to lose weight and eat healthy. Eating healthy will directly affect your weight loss; however, eating healthy is very abstract. Instead, frame your intention as: "I intend to fill my days with more nutrient-rich superfoods that nourish my body." In a few months, reflect on how you are doing with this intention and notice if you still have the same weight-related concerns.
4. Take Time to Reflect on Your Intentions
Many people fail at achieving the changes they wish for themselves because they set wonderful intentions, but do not consistently reflect on them. Your mind requires constant reminding, so it’s important to take a few moments each week to reflect on your intentions and see if any need to change. Revisit your list regularly to track your progress and monitor any adjustments that need to be made so you can feel good about how you're improving over time.
5. Practice Kindness
Not every day is filled with rainbows and sunshine, so it’s important to practice extra kindness on the days that don't necessarily go your way. That's what’s so great about creating intentions—they are rooted in positivity, meaning they will always be there to support you whenever you need them.
These five simple tips will help get you started in creating your own intentions, and will positively propel you into the New Year from a place of love for yourself and the amazing things you’re capable of achieving.
Interested in learning more ways to nourish your mind and body in positive ways? Start small with simple superfood recipes! Click here for some of our favorites.