How to set intentions

Most of us will set some intentions to help guide our personal development and growth throughout the year. But are new year’s resolutions really the best way to go about this?

Are we setting ourselves up to fail? Few of us actually believe that we will stick with those resolutions beyond early February at best. And we’re often right. But what if there was another way?

Mindfulness practice is about being fully in the present moment. It lets us understand and accept ourselves exactly as we are, which creates a safe psychological environment in which to grow.

We can bring some mindfulness into our resolutions and intentions by asking ourselves what we need right now. Our intentions and needs for January will probably be profoundly different from those needs in October, or even the following year.

A greetings card with the word learn on it

Setting an intention for the coming month offers you a flexible approach to personal growth. Each month, you’re encouraged towards self-reflection to discover where you want to focus your efforts for the next 30 days.

The other reason new year’s resolutions fail is that they’re rarely compassionate. We focus on what we want to change and reject about ourselves.

Try to follow the same approach to your monthly intentions as you do to your daily mindfulness practice. Compassion and non-judgmental acceptance are essential.

So, this year why not make a resolution to give up on annual resolutions and focus instead on your intentions for each month (or even week) at a time? They will be a better reflection of your needs and values. They will be rooted in self-love, rather than self-loathing. And you’re much more likely to succeed.