Resolution or Intention? Which is likely to stick?

You've enjoyed the festivities of Christmas. Now comes the time of year when you set resolutions. But just how much thought do you give to this process?

Often our resolution is a desire for change, be it a physical change such as losing weight for example, or a mental change such as giving up smoking or sticking to a fitness regime. Each is a craving and craving can be seen as a form of suffering. We crave the comfort of food or the next cigarette whilst at the same time crave the idea of cessation. We crave the idea of being fitter or having a better body. Set with desire, resolutions are all too easily broken, leaving us with a feeling of guilt which means we are less likely to try the next time.

If instead, you set an intention to change; an intention that we repeat in our minds on a daily basis, it is more likely to stick. The word intention is misleading however as it gives the impression that we 'intend' to make a change but allows room for not succeeding.

So how do we set an intention that is likely to cultivate lasting change?

First, consider what is is you wish to change. It may be a long term goal. You could write down the steps you need to take to reach your end goal. Each step is a different intention so begin with step 1. It takes time to cultivate change; be kind and patient; you are more likely to succeed.

If you intend to go on a diet, you might actually need to change your attitude to food in order for you to succeed. Perhaps you see food as comforting and instead you could look at it as nourishing. Maybe you don't feel worthy of nourishment; the first step is to feel worthy; "I am worthy of nourishment." You might consider choosing your food carefully adding this to your intention. It is important that you contemplate the issue rather than the desire. This way you will find what is is you need to cultivate; the mindset you need to adapt.

Intentions are set in the present tense, as if it is already happening. It is often the opposite of what it is we wish to change.

You are more likely to succeed if you see yourself as the 'New You.' Visualise the person you hope to be and ask how she/he got there.  This may take some practice. Give yourself space and time to contemplate in silence. Once you have an idea of your intention, speak it out loud to yourself. See yourself as having already succeeded. Now repeat this intention first thing every morning and as often as you need to during the day. BELIEVE IT! You can change if you truly want to.

I wish you a Happy New Year and every success in 2018.