‘Intentions’ feels much more manageable than resolutions! What matters to me, when I think about New Years intentions, is what motivates us to achieve them. Intentions driven by shame and inadequacy invariably fail. Those driven by a sense of self-love and optimism… only fail sometimes.
Fail is probably too strong of a word. When we fall short of our goal, the question again is how we treat ourselves in the moment we notice that we’ve missed the mark. Do you berate yourself or are you able to treat yourself the way a good friend would treat you? Or better yet, can you treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend of yours? (I know I can’t always do this!).
I remember once hearing about a gym that had a New Years bootcamp that threw cupcakes at members working out while ridiculing them about their body image. I’m serious, that exists. What kind of change is that? Even if it “works” you’re stuck with the message that your self-worth rests on having escaped the demon you’ve run from. The problem is, our demons keep at us, and you end up living in fear that they might catch you one day.
The cupcake example is an extreme one. But you might ask yourself if there are ways you “throw cupcakes” at yourself in order to change. Is it possible to face your New Years intentions (and the bumps in the road that come with change) not by running from what you don’t want, or to what you do want, but with the stillness of self-acceptance?