Why I'm Setting Intentions Instead of Resolutions This Year

New Year's Resolutions have never worked for me. I've given them some valiant efforts over the year. Not the actual implementation and execution of resolutions that's received the effort, but the resolutions themselves. I've spent lots of time thinking, planning and outlining what I'd like to change in my life. When it came time to actually change, however, it seems I wasn't ever able to muster the power to actually follow through on them.

I think this year's going to be different. Here's why:

1. I'm setting intentions instead of resolutions. Resolutions always felt to me that failure to achieve perfection gave me an excuse and a reason to justify giving up. Intentions are going to be guidelines that direct my choices. I'm going to try to exercise on a more regular frequency, develop more routine to my life, make better choices around food, be more selective in commitments that I undertake and on and on and on. I'm setting up a framework for how I'd like to my days to look, matching my action to those intentions and focusing on growth and progress instead of perfection.

2. I'm taking it one day at a time. I've always had big dreams, goals and ambitions. However, when these didn't materialize quickly I'd abandon my them pretty quickly when I felt I wasn't achieving the desired results. I've worked hard over the past few years to change my thinking that and now see that the actual best part is the journey not in the destination or results themselves. The joy comes from what I learn, how I improve, the choices I make and how I pick myself back up after failure and adversity. Where I get to and what the totality of those actions add up to may turn out to be a nice benefit in the end, but the true joy is in the journey.

3. I'm doing these things to become a better me.  The intentions i'm setting and changes I'm making in my life are for me. They're not to impress others or please others. The changes I'm looking to make have been a long time in the coming, are reflective of how I want to live and the choices I want to make. My focus will be on choices, one at a time, in a variety of areas I want to make improvements in my life.

So, what are my intentions?

1. Eat better. This includes a lot of things. In the past, it would have meant adhering to a hard strict diet or fad eating program. Today, it just means better choices. More real foods - vegetables, fruits, legumes, lentils, etc. while reducing processed foods, sugars, binging, forced food choices out of failure to plan and prepare, etc.

2. Exercise more. I go to the gym and run fairly regularly. I'd probably fall in the 3-5 days per week category. But my intention for this year is to be even more regular, more scheduled. I'm aiming to develop a better routine and practices while maximizing the efficiency of time spent in exercise. I will often use running as meditation and working out as relaxing. It's often rushed, which I don't like. I'm looking forward to a regular routine that allows for the space in my calendar to do so.

3. Encourage others. "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen," Ephesians 4:29. This applies to a variety of areas of my life from what I talk about to what my motives are to what I implicitly endorse through not speaking up when people talk about others.. I've made great strides, but still have a long way to go in this area.

4. Less digital distractions. Technology is taking over the world and has admittedly taken over my life. I'm making improvements, but still intend to make some pretty dramatic changes this upcoming year. Email, social media, charging anxiety, screen time all slowly crept into every crevice of my life. I'm setting boundaries and changing expectations, twitches and habits. I ran across this site that's pretty cool: www.consciously-digital.com. My work is pretty dependent upon technology and social media, but that doesn't mean that I can't improve in many ways. I've used nature and no-service areas as a sort of forced unplug, but I'm setting intentions on improving this area on many fronts...stay tuned, more shall be revealed.

So that's what I'm planning to do. What are your resolutions or intentions for 2016? Drop me a note or comment below.