“New Year, New Me.” What does that even mean? Okay, yeah 2020 was a tough year for everyone. But how does the new year, 2021, change you as a person? What is going to be new about you in one day? What are you going to be doing differently? Why does making a change on January 1st become the time that we decide to make transformations? Why not tomorrow? Why not RIGHT NOW? Yes, I get it, the new year is like a fresh start that we attach next to this commitment, but why are we putting so much pressure on this “New Year” to be a better you? Why not start now? Why are we committed to making New Year’s resolutions just for this time of year? Yes, it is important to have a time frame for goals, but why do we tend to fall short? What is the missing puzzle piece?
New Year's resolutions are, for the most part, not sustainable. We are setting ourselves up for failure. We have been taught since kindergarten to make a New Year’s Resolution and when making these resolutions or goals, we were told to make them quantitative. But we have been missing a KEY piece of this “goal-setting.” Let’s get qualitative. WHY? You tell me “WHY,” WHY do you want to lose 50 pounds? Yes, having a goal is important, but behind every goal, there is an emotion. That emotion is your WHY, ultimately fueling your intention.
The words intention and goal are mistakenly used interchangeably. When someone asks what your goal is for the year, your response might be something like, “I want to lose 50 pounds in one year. I’ll exercise 5 times a week and go on a no-sugar diet.” Yep, sounds like a goal to me! But this doesn’t cut it when Valentine's Day comes around and you get your favorite box of chocolates. You plan to have one chocolate then you know what happens next… Let’s bring it back to your WHY, or that word intention. Google describes an intention as “an aim or plan; the action of intending”. This might sound an awful lot like a “goal,” but unlike the goal, an intention is value-driven and has purpose. Intention is an intrinsic motivator filled with emotion and intensity, and one is more likely to accomplish a goal when it is aligned to that higher intention. So that goal of yours should not be set unless the intentions behind it are clear.
Quality > Quantity
Intention: “I want to feel confident in my body. I want to feel better in my clothes. I want to be healthy and set an example for my kids. I want to feel energetic during the day and sleep better at night.
Goal: “I want to lose 50 pounds in one year. I’ll exercise 5 times a week and go on a no-sugar diet.”
Your emotions as highlighted above drives behavior! The intention addresses how you want to FEEL when the goal is met. The intention drives the goal, and the goal becomes the roadmap back to that desired feeling. But if you remove the intention, the goal cannot come full circle.
Now we have all the ingredients for sustainable lifestyle changes. Implementing intentions into your everyday life will guide you to lifelong changes, rather than to the end of the year (or middle of February 😊).
- It’s time for you to put this to the test.
- Do some self-reflection.
- Take just ONE of your goals and identify the intention behind it. Connect that goal to the deeper meaning…the emotion of the intention because it will be that intention that keeps you engaged in your goals and pulls you through when the going gets tough!
Baily Kerr is a Wellness Department Associate at Merritt Clubs. For more information about Merritt Clubs Nutrition & Wellness Department offerings, please reach out to Lindsay Silbert at email@example.com