At the beginning of a new year its customary to set resolutions; get more sleep, lose weight, exercise more, finish work at 5pm, don’t work at weekends and so on. Unfortunately, up to 80% of us will fail to achieve our new year resolutions and give up by mid-February. Quite a depressing statistic, and even if you are an optimist, having the will power to stick to your resolutions is tough. Life just gets in the way and then you feel demoralised and give up.
An intention is a purpose or attitude and there is a subtle but important difference. By setting an intention you are committing to change a behaviour or attitude over time. Rather than ‘get more sleep’, you could find ways to make sure that the quality of the sleep you have leaves you feeling refreshed. Instead of trying a new diet you make your intention about adopting a healthier diet. Similarly, with exercise, you think about what works for you rather than signing up to the gym again (albeit the current circumstances mitigate against that).
If you are working from home, it’s too easy to just keep going, without proper breaks or a set time to finish. You can though, set an intention to close your computer/ finish that meeting by a particular time and it’s really helpful to have a reason for doing it. If you have another adult working at home (in my case my daughter) then you can agree to do something together, for us it’s yoga every day after work and before dinner. Some days we stick to the plan, some days we can’t, and that’s OK because the intention is to develop the habit so that eventually it’s just what we do. If you are on you own, you could agree with a friend or colleague to doing something together at the same time (dependent on circumstances virtually or over the phone or text each other that you are about to […….]).
Setting an intention is ongoing, flexible and allows you to go at your own pace, making the changes you can, when you can. It’s about being realistic, reasonable and forgiving. I wish you all well this 2021 and would love to hear about your intentions for this year.