Making New Years Resolutions

Yoga_photoshoot_Micheal_wild thing close up
It has become a cultural tradition to make a New Years Resolution every year which is essentially a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something nice.  I stopped making resolutions years ago because they always ended up being empty promises or else never fulfilled because I had no game plan. Don’t get me wrong, self-improvement is great for personal growth and to feel good about yourself and to help others. In fact, I highly recommend self-improvement, just under different terms.

calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutionsAs we have learned throughout our lives, words hold tremendous power and unfortunately, there are some problems with the word Resolution.  The Merriam-Webster diction defines “resolution” as the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. : the act of resolving something
: an answer or solution to something.  The not so clear problem with using the word resolution is the assumption that something is inherently wrong or broken or something that needs to be fixed. Why must we always find fault with ourselves and feel like we must resolve to change something?

new-years-resolutions-300x219This year resolve not make a resolution and instead make a New Years Intention.  “Intention” means the thing that you plan to do or achieve : an aim or purpose. This word is positively charged and implies personal growth and success; it implies clarity and understanding. The words you choose to use do make a difference! Grab your journal or a piece of paper and answer the questions below to begin the New Year with a positive, fresh start.

 1. Make a list of all the pleasant incidences in 2015 and all the unpleasant incidences in 2015. (Notice which list is longer)

 2. What lessons did I learn from 2015?

 3. In what way did I grow in 2015?

 4. List of my 2016 Intentions:

 5. My Bigger (long term) goals:

After you make your list of intentions, go back through your list and make a concrete plan on how your will achieve those goals. (E.g. blanket statements such as “lose weight,” “get out of debt,” “eat healthier”- how will you achieve these goals? Breakdown the steps you need to follow to achieve your intentions.)


If you are feeling keen, continue by completing these exercises:

  1. 10 things I am grateful for:

  2. 10 things I’m excited about (not related to yoga)

  3. 5 things I am excited about/curious/passionate about (in the yoga realm)

Now place your list(s) somewhere that you can reference it often and check on your progress. Some times all we need is a quick glance to remind us of what important to us.