2022: Do I Want to Set Intentions or Resolutions?
As we head into the new year, you may find yourself surrounded by people talking about their New Year’s Resolutions. If you have steered away from New Year’s Resolutions in the past, or if these conversations leave you feeling drained, you are not alone. But why does it feel like New Year’s Resolutions are so hard to stick to, and is there something else you can focus on instead?
Instead of concentrating on what "bad" habits you want to change this year, choose to focus on fostering the best version of yourself, whatever that looks like.
What is the Difference Between Intentions and Resolutions?
A resolution typically focuses on something you want to change or “fix” about yourself. When you think about things you want to change about yourself, that automatically brings up negative thoughts about yourself. Resolutions also tend to be measurable and defined and can include categorizing things as “good” or “bad.” On the other hand, intentions focus on bringing an abundance of things you love into your life. They focus more on quality than quantity and are often set more mindfully. Instead of setting parameters as resolutions do, intentions create space to explore and expand what matters to you. Intentions do not have an “all-or-nothing" approach, so the idea of “failing” or “breaking” is not associated with intentions as much as it is with resolutions.
Resolutions versus Intentions: Is One Better Than the Other?
Resolutions and intentions serve different purposes, so one is not necessarily better than the other; it is more about your goals. Resolutions offer little flexibility, so if you feel like you need that rigid structure, it may be best to stick to resolutions. On the other hand, intentions allow you to approach your goals with more compassion for yourself. In addition, there’s not a rigid set of rules for every encounter; they allow you to listen to your needs, whether that be the needs of your body or your mind, as you experience them.
Overall, while it depends on your specific goals, intentions offer more room for flexibility, self-compassion, and growth, so if you haven’t tried setting intentions before, 2022 may be a good time to start.
How to Set an Intention
Setting intentions require self-reflection and identifying your desires. They allow you to decide what you want and how you want to experience life. So, here’s where you start:
- Identify your wants in life. How do you want to experience things?
- Think about the why behind those desires. Sometimes you must dig a little deeper than just the initial want to find the root of the desire or to create actionable items
- Clearly articulate, think about, or write down what you want to achieve or accomplish. You can frame this as one word or create an “I” statement
- Return to the intention regularly. Try to approach new experiences by living this intention
Real Examples of Intentions for 2022
We reached out to our community to learn about the intentions they were setting for 2022, and here’s what we heard:
"I will prioritize health and approach uncertainty with calmness and trust.”
“I will continue recovery and take care of my body the way it needs.”
“I will remind myself that my feelings are valid.”
“I will be open to possibilities.”
“I will trust myself and my journey.”
“I will set more boundaries! In all aspects of my life, but also, I will create space for more forgiveness for myself.”
“I will engage with more positive self-talk.”
“I will prioritize myself and my mental health.”
“I will be mindful of my emotions, even if it means not being happy all of the time.”
“I will speak up sooner.”
“I will be more patient with sudden emotions.”
There is no rigid set of rules that intentions must follow, and they can be anything that speaks to you that you want to bring into your life going into the new year. If you are looking for more inspiration to set your own intentions, check out some 2022 Affirmations and Intentions from We the Urban on Instagram.