My theme for January has been, “Ditch those New Year’s resolutions!” Because they don’t stick.
If there’s a change you want to make in your life, New Year’s resolutions are not the way to create lasting change in your life.
But if you do want to create lasting change, I have the secret: setting intentions. I even created a worksheet you can download to help you set those intentions.
First, let’s talk about the difference between resolutions and intentions
I’ll refer to what I said in my podcast about setting intentions:
An intention is different than a resolution or what we call them during the rest of the year, a goal. Setting an intention is something between a wish and a goal.
A goal is something you plan your way on how to get there and cross off your list your steps as you achieve them towards your set goal. A goal is usually something you think up rather than feel into. It will often sound like a “should.”
I should earn more money. I should stop procrastinating. Should are judgements and not firmly anchored in our heart’s desire.
Setting an intention is like making a wish except you don’t expect it to magically appear from the outside. It starts to grow from the inside out as you listen to yourself and your follow you emotions. An intention is an inspiration with words. The spark inside of you awakens and ignites you, it triggers you to produce something that feels like “you” as you grow it from the inside out.
The way we begin figuring out our intentions is by daydreaming. More tips for how to daydream the future you want are in my podcast.
Using the worksheet to set your intentions and change your life
Now I want you to download the worksheet and look at it, and then read this example to help you understand what to do with it. The worksheet has instructions obviously, but an example may help ground you in how to think about doing this for yourself.
I have a client, Robert, who had been feeling unhappy at work for some time. He’s been pretty open about how he wants to leave his current employer for a real change of environment. As you probably know, the job hunt can take quite some time. So Robert was just feeling miserable in the interim.
Robert did some daydreaming and envisioned a workplace where he felt connected to his colleagues and excited about the work itself. After some more digging he discovered that the place he used to get this feeling was in meetings with his team – before several personnel changes and a corporate restructuring, that is.
Since a new job was a long way off, how could Robert get more of this feeling in his current job situation? He decided that he’d take the time to connect with at least one member of his team after a meeting and thank them for an insight they’d shared, or how they made the meeting a success. He believed that if he modeled the behavior he wanted to see, others would be likely to follow suit. Even if they didn’t he knew he’d feel more connected to the work.
Robert’s intention was:
I will be in a place where I feel more connected with my colleagues and interested in my work in a year’s time.
For interim steps, Robert wrote:
- I’ll make a point of connecting with a member of my team after a meeting and letting them know I appreciate them.
- I’ll pursue a project opportunity I know one of my peers is working on in another department.
- I’ll do five networking things per week (connecting on LinkedIn, having lunch with my contacts, etc.) to connect with like-minded people and to grow the likelihood I’ll find another position.
Robert then wrote himself an email in Slow Message App so he could check in in one month’s time to make sure he was sticking with what he wanted to do. But on a daily basis, he followed the steps for Plan-Do-Review (really, go read this blog post now! I’ll wait here) to be accountable to himself on a more short-term basis.
Be Like Robert. Make 2016 the Year of Self for Yourself
It’s your turn now. Download the worksheet and keep building a better you.