The beginning of a new year is a special time to reflect on what we accomplished and where we want to go. As many of us have set or are considering setting goals for 2022, we encourage you to frame them as intentions, not resolutions.
While both type of goals sound similar, there are subtle yet important differences. A resolution is a promise to oneself to meet a specific, static goal in the coming year, like losing a certain amount of weight or saving a certain amount of money. On the other hand, an intention defines who you want to be or how you want to feel, such as having more energy or creating more freedom over your finances. Intentions foster an awareness now to live a life with purpose.
Here are three reasons why we set intentions:
Forgiving — 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions break them. Yet breaking a resolution still creates a sense of guilt or failure, which can be discouraging. Intentions are more forgiving because they recognize that life happens and progress is never linear. Sometimes, you may do something that does not align with your intention. That's okay because it's the small, micro-habits accumulated over time that develop into meaningful, lasting change.
Adaptive — A typical resolution sets a single goal to be accomplished by a specific date. Intentions do not have to be bound by a time commitment. They can be set for the upcoming week or the next five years, adapting to the circumstances of your life. You also can have a long-term intention (“have more control over my life”) and several smaller intentions under it (“dedicate time to self-care,” “reduce unnecessary meetings at work”). Intentions focus on who you want to be in the long run.
Holistic — There is a rarely one path that leads to an outcome. Setting intentions requires a commitment to the process, a balanced approach involving various aspects of your life working together. Take living a healthy lifestyle as an example. More than maintaining a certain weight, this intention is about eating well, sleeping enough, surrounding yourself with positive people, and taking your mental health seriously. This mindset is freeing because it empowers you to decide how you want to pursue your intention, in your own way.
Are you setting intentions this year? We’d love to hear them at @okko.co!