Diving Into 2022 With Intention
Jan 17, 2022
Every year when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, millions around the globe mark the occasion with the age-old tradition of a midnight kiss. Synonymous with this kiss and with the dawn of a new year comes the customary internal self-assessment and resolution to improve—an intended fresh start to ignite the emergence of a better version of ‘you’.
But this year, as we embark on another journey around the sun, the teams at Fitness Together® studios urge you to ditch your New Year’s resolutions—and instead, to consider a different approach to the change you would like to see in the year ahead. This year, we ask that you entertain the idea of beginning your year, not with fleeting resolutions, but instead, with intention.
Most people have been through the roller coaster of emotions that come with eventually-failed resolutions.
Why? Because when making a resolution, most people speak in absolutes.You make promises to yourselves, like, I’ll work out twice a day, every day until I fit into my high school jeans; or I’m never eating sugar again, no matter what.
These ideas feel totally doable in moments of motivation that are rife with willpower, but once the motivation inevitably begins to wane, the resolutions fall flat (and that’s often a good thing—many resolutions aren’t a sustainable part of a healthy lifestyle).
Intentions are different.
Starting the New Year with an intention—a focus on achieving a desired state of being rather than hitting a rigid goal—creates space for progress, consistency, and adjustments along the way. An intention isn’t a concrete, must-achieve goal, rather, it’s a guideline for living in a way that leads you closer to where you want to be physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually. Intentions create habits that can be adjusted and changed as your goals and needs evolve.
Let’s take a look at how you can create intentions that stick, and help you move toward a happier, healthier version of yourself in the coming year.
Step 1: Make a list of what you want to achieve.
The start of your intention development process may look similar to a New Year’s resolution list. You might want to pare down your running mile time or hit your goal weight. You may want to get promoted at work or create a healthier marriage.
As you write down what you’d like to achieve in the coming year, pay attention to common threads. For example, if you want to exercise and be more present with your kids, you might find a single issue (like not getting enough sleep, or spending too many late nights at work) is stopping you from getting what you want.
There’s no need to dig into how you’re going to transform these goals into intentions yet—right now, you’re simply making a list of the parts of your life you’d like to change over the next twelve months. Setting intentions leaves plenty of room for you to be flexible in your methods, figuring out what works along the way.
Step 2: Dig into the why behind your goals.
Now, it’s time to start thinking about the true reasoning behind what you want to achieve in the coming year. Be honest with yourself—there’s no wrong answer, nor is there a need to judge yourself.
If you want to run a marathon, think about why. Do you love running and the accomplishment you feel as you tackle the training process, or do you want to be able to post a picture of yourself at the finish line on social media? If you want to get a new job, think about whether you want the new job because it’s a better professional fit and you love what you do, or if the new job is really about the paycheck that comes with a new company. There’s nothing inherently wrong with any type of motivation, but digging into the why behind your goals can help you develop intentions that will truly make you happy in the long run.
You may find that when you consider the why behind your intentions, your goals are superficial, and that’s ok! It can take some time to figure out what aspirations are meaningful for your life. Taking the time to go back and forth, thinking about your goals and the reasoning behind them, can help ensure that you create intentions that have meaning for you.
Step 3: Be specific about the state of being you want to achieve.
This is where it can get a little bit tough (especially if you’re more pragmatic than emotional—but stick with us here).
Think about how you’ll feel as you work toward your goal. Will you get to enjoy a deeper connection with your partner? Feel a sense of accomplishment as you hit the gym for a scheduled workout? Feel proud of yourself as you overcome your fear of public speaking? Identifying the feeling you seek is key. Remember, this isn’t about judging yourself—it’s about internal reflection and honesty.
When you develop an intention, you’re moving toward a state of being. You may want to feel relaxed, accomplished, healthy, strong, proud, committed, connected, or something else entirely. Establishing the state of being you hope to achieve through intention is a method for moving your life in a deliberate direction.
When you make a resolution, the journey stops when you meet your goal. Intention is different. When you develop intention, you’re creating a path for your life—a roadmap to help you get to where you want to go, and to keep going.
Once you’ve identified the feeling you want to experience as you work toward your goal, you’ve determined the root of your intention. Knowing your intention allows you to live a purposeful life, constantly looking for new ways to participate in behaviors and activities that lead you closer to your desired state of being.
Step 4: Create a (very) flexible plan.
There’s no need to abandon any finite goals you may have as you work toward living your intention, but it’s important to be flexible in your methods. Remember, intentions don’t end when you meet a goal, rather, you’ll continually seek to develop new ways to work toward them.
Focus on the habits that will help you live your intention—the goal that you may (or may not) meet as a result of those habits is a fantastic side effect of working toward the version of yourself that you want to be.
Periodically, reassess whether working toward your shorter-term goals is helping you live in alignment with your intentions. If the answer is no, it’s time to reevaluate that goal.
We’re Here To Support You.
At Fitness Together® studios, we’re on your side. We’re here to help you grow in your health—no matter what that means to you. Reach out to your local studio today to start your personal wellness journey. We can’t wait to help you accomplish your goals and establish your intentions in 2022 and beyond!