Setting New Year’s resolutions can be a recipe for failure. Switching gears and naming New Year’s intentions for 2022 can be a freeing exercise that allows you to grow and embrace change without negativity.
Wow, where did 2021 go? I can’t believe that we are approaching 2022. Wasn’t it just March 2020? As I approach this new year, I feel a sense of transition. Maybe it’s the many years of the idea of new year’s resolutions ingrained into me that gives me a sense of newness with the year’s changing. It feels like there are possibilities when we begin a new year. What will 2022 bring? Will I have success? Will I have failures? Will I be happy?
Speaking of the new year, let’s talk resolutions. Whenever I set myself up with a resolution, I seem to drop it by about January 5th. Last year I think my resolution was to work out every day. That did not last long. Why is that? Well, sometimes, specific resolutions set us up to fail. They often are pretty high goals with high expectations. “I am going to work out every day” or “I am not going to eat any sugar.” Those are ambitious and wonderful goals but hard to attain immediately. When the goal is too high, it’s easy to think in that all-or-nothing mindset. The intention and desire are there, but the goal is not realistic in its follow-through. Thinking about this as we approach 2022, it may be better to set an intention of “I am going to move my body more.” This is more attainable in the long run.
Lately, I have moved from concrete resolutions to a theme or word. I took this up based on a practice from my office. We each go around and pick a word to represent our intentions for the new year during our January staff meetings. In the past, I have chosen balance or confidence. In choosing an intention rather than a specific goal, I have more space to explore what this intention looks like and more opportunities to be successful rather than again, the all or nothing thinking that I either reach this goal or fail. For example, when I choose the intention of balance, I can work towards achieving balance by setting limits or finding time in the week for me—so many opportunities to be successful with the concept of balance.
So as I approach the new year and possibilities of 2022, I am thinking about my new year’s intentions that I am going to set for myself. This year, I think my intention word will be CONNECTION. 2020 and 2021 have been the years impacted by the fallout of the pandemic. Working from home and social distancing have created such isolation. Add in a new baby, and my social circle is dwindling. I am craving connection new and old in the new year. So I intend to put forward into the universe to create and foster connection in my world, whatever shape that looks each day. By setting this intention, I feel encouraged and ready to explore further, rather than burdened by a specific expectation for myself. I feel the energy and desire to make connection a reality rather than shame of what I “should do.” I feel empowered to grow in 2022 in a way that works for me.
Join me in this intention setting. What is your intention for the new year?