Dedicated to Susannah Fraser.
As 2012 comes to a close, it is time to look back at the year that has passed and a chance to make plans and resolutions for the year to come. Every year since I can remember I have written my resolutions in the front of my diary, page 1, January 1st.
Every year, around December time, I find myself making a nice little list of New Year Resolutions. Every year, around January time, I find myself breaking them all.
My health goal for 2012 was to have a platelet count over 50. I do not.
Today, I have been looking back at my new years resolutions for 2012 – Disappointment. I had planned to become far more glamorous this year. I wanted to travel around the world with my partner. I was to be fluent in Spanish by this time. My health goal for 2012 was to have a platelet count above 50. I don’t.
It didn’t happen, as hard as I tried. I failed. My platelet count is still below 50. And I feel pretty disappointed.
Why I Always Break My New Years Resolutions.
- They are unreasonable.
- They are things I can not control.
- They are unquantifiable.
- They are badly written.
- They are things that did not really matter.
It wasn’t until I started to talk about resolutions with my brilliant friend Susannah, that I realised I had been going about it all wrong. She explained to me the yoga philosophy of intentions rather than goals. She helped to clarify the way in which intentions should be worded and the difference that can have on whether or not you succeed at achieving them. She told me of the difference between resolutions and attitudes.
I realised that I had a lot to learn about NYE and new years resolutions. I was confusing my goals with my intentions. This year I am going to set my Intentions.
What is a Goal?
A goal is a personal or professional, desired end-point – Most commonly people endeavour to reach their goals within a finite time frame or to a deadline. Goals tend to be outcome orientated and time-based. Their achievements can be quantifiable and they are set in the future.
What is an Intention?
Intentions are part of your everyday life. They are a philosophy more than a destination. You have more personal control over your intentions than your goals and are more likely to achieve the desired intention when it comes to health and illness. Intentions are about your attitude and perspective and emotions. Intentions are about the present. About being.
I realise now that a happy, relaxed and stable 35, means so much more than a stressed out, neurotic and struggling 50. So this year I am not going to set a new years resolution. I am not going to write down a number on a piece of paper and hope for the best. I am going to set my intentions for the year.
- I intend to stop making demands of my body
- I intend to listen to my body and understand what it needs.
- I intend to love and forgive the virus that has caused me so much harm.
- I intend to face each day with grace and courage.
- What are your intentions for 2013?
What is the Point?
I am not going to keep these intentions if they actually don’t matter to me. I am not going to make any effort with these intentions if they will not improve or directly affect my life. Otherwise, why bother?
I am also going to give myself rewards for staying on track. My favourite reward is always a magazine subscription – the gift that keeps on giving every month… for the rest of the year.