Making Resolutions vs Setting Intentions

Making Resolutions vs Setting Intentions

Last Updated on December 31, 2023 by Avia

Making Resolutions Less Resolution-y

A Better Guide to Making Resolutions and Setting Intentions: The New Year is encroaching.  That means a lot of different things to different people.  For some folks, the changing of guards in time is a sign of promise and hope for better times.  For others, it can represent a time of unknowns.  And let’s face it. These past few years have been pretty freakin’ challenging for many of us – what will this next year have in store? Hmmm.  It makes one wonder.

The Thing About Making Resolutions (Ugh)

Are you a resolution-maker? That’s cool.  I’ve got gobs of respect for people who are in the camp of making resolutions each year.  Me? I’ve tried that, even stuck to some of them.  But these days, I’m not a big fan of making resolutions.  In a way, I think they kinda set me up for failure.  It’s hard to make an overarching resolution and expect to stick to it through the entire year – much less a lifetime.  However, resolutions can be healthy because it’s good to have goals, right?

I’m more into baby steps when it comes to making resolutions.  I’m also into playing around with the term “resolutions” because, as I said, the whole resolution thing holds stigma. It’s just too resolution-y. You know, stodgy and just so eww-ugh!  Maybe it’s my deep-seated aversion to obligations or getting stuck in commitments.  There’s something too concrete and inflexible about the concept of resolutions for me.

Setting Intentions vs Making Resolutions

Making Resolutions vs Setting Intentions
Making Resolutions vs Setting Intentions

So yeah, I get twitchy about resolutions. What’s a quirky girl to do?  I started thinking about different approaches to resolution.  I wanted a way to establish an intention for improving my life around the New Year without feeling inevitably doomed to fail the next time I shoved a double-fudge brownie in my maw. 

That concept of “establishing an intention” got me rethinking resolution.  A resolution is a mark in the sand that says “I’m not putting up with this anymore, and I’m going to change.” However, setting an intention has a kinder, gentler feel to it, don’t you think?   So rather than say “I’m making a such-and-such resolution for this year” You might find me more apt to say, “I’m going to set this intention this year.”

Setting intentions feels more flexible.  It’s about working with the Universe, checking in with your internal energy, and aligning in such a way that allows positive changes in life. Resolutions, on the other hand, feel like a big fat sledgehammer whacking me over the head every time I skip meditation or yoga.  Do you see what I mean?

Resolutions tend to be 100% action-based and seem rather staunch. It’s like Yoda always levitating around your New Year’s resolutions, grumbling, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Alternatively, setting intentions can be a more fluid process to achieving positive change.  Most importantly, intentions allow for adjustments when the doo-doo hits the fan.  The Resolution Yoda isn’t flexy when you have a dozen doughnuts in response to having a truly horrifying day.  An intention, however, will allow you to spiritually pull through setbacks more easily. An intention gives you a softer place to land if you fail.

Why Set Intentions?

If you’re keen on manifesting your desires, it’s obviously important to set intentions. Intentions are a way to focus your mind, spirit, and energy on something specific that you want to be manifested in your life.

Setting intentions is a higher, finer version of resolutions because it more intensely connects with the Universe. An intention that you are committed to ramps up your vibration, connects with your universal higher self. It’s a mindful statement that says, “I’ve made my decision, asked the universe (or higher self) and now it must be.” 

Intentions Lead to Manifestations

The great thing about setting intentions vs making resolutions is that intentions lead to manifestations.  When we build a cooperative relationship with ourselves, the Universe, and our intentions, more often than not this stirs up incredible manifestations in our lives.

Focusing on intentions gives way to manifesting good stuff in your life for the upcoming year. To me, this seems like a more healthy and viable way to create positive change rather than abiding by rigid resolutions.  At least, setting intentions that lead to profound manifestations has helped me far more than “making resolutions.”  I wonder if it might be the same for you? 

Tips About Setting Intentions (instead of resolutions) That Result in Real Manifestations

The lovely thing about intentions is that there is no right or wrong way to make them.  And the funky thing about the resulting manifestations is that they often come about in ways we might never expect (or intend).

Intentions are energy.  Manifestations respond to that energy.  Your intuition takes the lion’s share when it comes to intentions and manifestations. Alternatively, a resolution typically relies on hard-core willpower.  With that in mind, how do we set intentions that render impactful manifestations? Here are a few tips…

Get Real About What You Want

Think of your intentions as the access road to the highway that allows your manifestations to speed into your life.  As intentions are the gateway, you’ve got to get clear about the destination.  Meaning, get real about what you expect.  For instance, setting an intention for a million dollars is ambitious – but is it realistic?  As an alternative, you might want to intend for a better that you love doing that makes you enough money to spend with extra to indulge yourself or your family at the end of the day.

Or, if you’re setting intentions about weight, it’s not altogether realistic to expect a 100-pound weight loss to magically manifest overnight.  Instead, perhaps you could set intentions to crave more vegetables over fattening foods. Or maybe you could intend to feel more healthy each day and intend that your quality of physical wellbeing is improving every day. 

You get the idea. There’s a big difference between youthful wishing and mature intention-setting.  Be realistic.  Setting intentions with a goal for real manifestations is about improving your life – not winning the lottery.

Carve Out Quality Time for Your Intentions

Eleven meaning in time

Remember that there are different ways to set intentions, including different times to do it. You might have daily rituals when you consciously set intentions. Or, you may want to establish a monthly or weekly routine to revisit and meditate upon your intentions.  And then again, think about New Year’s for big, long-term, intention-setting work.

Whichever time or routine you’re into, do be sure to carve out devoted time to ponder your intentions.  When you commit to a time and space exclusively for your affirmations and intentions for manifestation – your results are likely to come more quickly and be more intense. 

Also, be mindful.  Uttering mindless affirmations isn’t the best way to galvanize your intention and impress them into the ethers of the Universe.  Furthermore, just repeating written affirmations tends to get rote after a while. And you probably know better than anybody that rote means boring, and boring isn’t what attracts what you want in your life.

The Pen is Mighty When Manifesting

interpreting dreams writing it down

When you’re setting intentions instead of making resolutions, your spirit is your guide.  Connect with your higher self, and connect with your intuition and start writing.  Now, I hear the “yeah, but’s” already. You don’t have to be Shakespeare to craft an eloquent intention in writing. All you have to do is write your desires earnestly, honestly, and with your heart.

After you’ve written one (or several) intentions – now what do you do?  Well, you could do several things. A common tact is to write them on sticky notes and slap them on your mirror so you see them every day.  This is great because it keeps your intentions fresh in your mind.  But again – this can become snores-ville after a while, and you become desensitized to them.

Rather than playing the samey-same game with written affirmations – try something new.  How about writing them down and burning them during a ceremony.  I dunno, call me a pyro, but I love fire.  I think it’s revolutionary for shifting energy.  Fire is also a great catalyst for sending intentions, prayers, devotionals, and affirmations into the ethers of the Universe where your sentiment can be received and acted upon.

Your written-intention fire ceremony doesn’t have to be a big deal. It can be as simple as lighting a match to the affirmation over the kitchen sink or burning it over your favorite candle. The important thing here is to feel your desires burning with your intentions.  Then, see your intentions moving out into the great vast expanse where your higher self resides and is waiting to receive your deepest, heartfelt message.   

Remember, the thought connected to written intentions is more powerful than the actual piece of paper it’s written on.  Yes, the act of writing helps concretize your intentions. However, if an intention is viewed as a sticky note that you have to recite from your bathroom mirror – that doesn’t jingle the Universe’s bells as much as your excitement, anticipation, and energy behind the words.

Say It Like You Mean It

Cultural Meaning of Color - Orange

Speaking intentions is a great way to speed your manifestations your way.  This, however, can also get snoozy-boring.  So why not sing them?  Or recite them as if they are poetry.  You get the idea. Shake up the act of speaking intentions by finding unique ways to utter your affirmations.

And you probably already know this trick to setting intentions, but keeping them positive is key.  Whether writing or speaking intentions, keep it upbeat and avoid negative phrasing. For instance, if you want to lose weight – try to avoid intentions that sound like body-bashing.  Instead, employ positive and affirmative language. 

Honor Who You Are

Furthermore, phrase your intentions in a way that honors who you are. Here’s an example. Instead of speaking a weight-loss intention like, “I am thin, and lose weight easily.” That’s great, however, it could be better when you respect yourself to say something like, “I feel my beauty in every cell of my body. My body responds by radiating beauty to me and everyone around me.” 

See the difference?  One statement is limiting and focuses on the need to be thin.  The other affirmation recognizes that you are already beautiful, and your beauty is recognized by everyone, including yourself.

Check In With Yourself

One of the biggest impediments to manifestation is not recognizing underlying beliefs or self-talk.  Be a sentinel to your own thoughts and speech. For example, if you catch yourself saying negative statements like, “I hate this or that.” Or “Of course, it won’t work.” Or, “If I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all.” – stuff like that needs to be patted on the butt and immediately kicked into the playground of negative statements so they can play on their own – not in your head.

Same goes with negative beliefs.  Be vigilant at making internal mental scans and suss out conflicting beliefs that go against your positive intentions.  Let’s say you have a deep-seated belief that you can’t get a partner because of your appearance.  If you find those thoughts and beliefs noodling in your mind, do your best to replace them with different thoughts like, “I’m exceptional. My value is far beyond my external conveyance.”

The Last Word on Making Resolutions vs Setting Intentions

Resolutions don’t give much wiggle room to attaining your goals and dreams.  Intentions, however, offer tons of room for self-improvement, self-awareness, and working in tandem with the Universe to see your manifestations into reality. 

And if all of these tips on setting intentions instead of making resolutions are too overwhelming, that’s okay.  Simply reaffirming that you are bright, beautiful, and valuable in this world is affirmation enough to open the floodgates to superior manifestations in your life. 

Hey, it worked for Stuart Smalley. So when in doubt, adopt his mantra, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it, I’m worth it!”

However you choose to welcome in the New Year, I sincerely hope you experience the highest joys and brightest highs today and in the future.  I also hope these tips on setting intentions vs. making resolutions are helpful to you.  As always, thanks for reading!

Mighty brightly,

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