Why Setting Powerful Intentions Is The Failproof Way to Keep Your Resolutions
As you review this last year, did you accomplish most of what you set out to at the beginning of the year? Every New Year people make resolutions they don’t keep. Why is that? Often it’s not the resolution that’s the problem; it’s that the intention behind the resolution wasn’t powerful enough. Consider why setting powerful intentions is the way to guarantee you keep your resolutions…
Author Brenna Yovanoff explains it beautifully, “Intention is one of the most powerful forces there is. What you mean when you do a thing will always determine the outcome.”
Intention – often we use the word in a negative context. When we don’t follow through, we say we had good intentions like, “I was going to work out this morning”, or “I had every intention of visiting my elderly grandmother,” and then we get busy, forget, and don’t follow through. These good intentions are like unfulfilled goals.
The kind of intention that transforms your life is a specific state or frame of mind that serves your purpose in life. When you’re setting powerful intentions, you’re telling yourself and the world:
- Who you want to be.
- What you wish to contribute.
- How you choose to touch the lives of others.
In contrast, traditional goals or resolutions don’t usually work because you tend to focus on the negative. You attempt to “fix” what you don’t like about yourself or your life. They also focus on some future time and take you out of the moment. As a result, you’re not living your true life – you’re not enjoying each moment you live.
Goals tend to be structured and one-dimensional. Powerful intentions are as expansive as you want to make them. You have the freedom and the power to become whoever you want to be. You’ll be amazed at how many resolutions or goals you’ll successfully meet when you consciously base them on your intentions.
What are some of the benefits of setting powerful intentions?
Setting and living your intentions allows you to:
- Focus on who you are in the moment.
- Get past your current problems and struggles by focusing elsewhere.
- Recognize and live your values.
- Raise your emotional and physical energy as you build momentum.
- Create a reminder of how you want to live each day.
- Live in harmony with your purpose at all times.
- Receive inspiration and motivation to achieve your purpose.
- See things you may have otherwise missed.
- Be receptive to new ideas and opportunities.
- Make lasting changes in your life.
Our brains work primarily from our sensory system (pictures, sounds, feelings) so make each intention sensory-specific. See, hear, and feel what it will be like to live in harmony with your new intention.
Setting Powerful Intentions Requires Supportive Systems
For example, you want to lose weight. Rather than thinking, “I want to lose 15 pounds,” you say, “I’m going to treat myself to a nutritious lunch because I’m a healthy person, and I deserve to feel energetic today.” Here are some supportive life systems (structured, sustainable approaches that integrate seamlessly into your daily routine) you can implement:
System: Plan meals and snacks for the week ahead.
- Implementation: Dedicate a specific day each week to plan meals, create a shopping list, and prepare portions. This helps in maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet, reducing the temptation for mindless eating.
System: Implement a consistent workout routine.
- Implementation: Block specific time slots on your calendar for exercise. This could include gym sessions, home workouts, or outdoor activities. Having a set schedule makes it easier to prioritize physical activity regularly.
System: Keep a food journal or use a tracking app.
- Implementation: Record daily meals, snacks, and water intake. This practice maintains awareness of dietary habits and identifies areas for improvement.
System: Surround yourself with a supportive network.
- Implementation: Share weight loss goals with friends and family or join a fitness community. Having a support system provides encouragement, motivation, and accountability. It also creates a positive environment that aligns with the weight loss intention.
System: Develop mindfulness around meals.
System: Break down weight loss into achievable milestones.
- Implementation: Set small, realistic goals that contribute to your powerful intention. Celebrate achievements to keep yourself motivated on your journey to vibrant health.
System: Integrate stress-reducing practices.
- Implementation: Identify stressors and implement activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga. Stress management contributes to overall well-being and reduces the likelihood of emotional eating.
System: Schedule regular check-ins with yourself or accountability buddy.
- Implementation: Reflect on progress weekly or monthly. Adjust the approach if needed and celebrate successes. Regular assessments provide valuable insights into what is working and where adjustments are necessary.
System: Establish a consistent sleep routine.
- Implementation: Set a regular bedtime, create a relaxing pre-sleep routine, and ensure adequate sleep duration. Restorative sleep is linked to weight management, as it affects hormones that regulate hunger and satiety.
System: Embrace a growth mindset.
- Implementation: View challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Adjust each life system based on experiences and feedback, ensuring continuous improvement.
By incorporating these life systems into daily practices, your powerful intention becomes your new reality rather than some distant, seemingly unachievable destination.
I’ve documented the processes and systems that have created the greatest impact on my life into a road map for Stepping Forward into a life of meaning and fulfillment. Try out a preview of it by downloading an Introduction to The Stepping Forward Program.