June 16, 2020

Why Intentions, Instead of Resolutions?

It’s that time of year again. The gym is packed, sober January is in full force, #NewYearNewMe is on our minds and, undoubtedly, our social media feeds. But this year, the usual fanfare is accompanied by a new word, “intentions.” Well, the word isn’t new, in fact it’s pretty ancient. It can be found in ancient Indian texts, namely the Upanishads, as far back as 800 to 500 BCE. Nevertheless, you have likely seen it or heard it this year in place of the hallmark “resolutions.”

Here’s why we are saying goodbye to resolutions and hello to intentions in 2020 and the decade to come. 

Reason #1. Don’t jump to conclusions.

Let’s start with good old school definitions (tbt Merriam-Webster). 

Intention (noun): 

1: a determination to act in a certain way: RESOLVE 


3a: what one intends to do or bring about

Resolution: (noun) Well Merriam goes off with this one, so I’ll hone in on the key points…

1: the act of process of resolving: such as

a: the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones

b: the act of answering: SOLVING

c: the act of determining

Interestingly, that intention can be defined as “resolve”, but there is one key difference that I want to point out here; it is in the secondary parts of these definitions. Intentions are about intending to do or bring about; resolutions are about the act of answering: SOLVING

Sorry not sorry to hop on my soapbox here, but let me just say: you don’t need to have the answers. Often times it’s actually better to approach life without the answers; but, rather, with curiosity, hard work and positive intent. (See my personal favorite yoga sutra, 1.12, about effort with non-attachment to outcomes for inspiration on this point, here.)

Reason #2. The future is 20/20

Intentions are future-oriented while resolutions seek to remedy the past. 

Our past is there to learn from, but not to dwell on. You heard me, pack up the pity party. As we look to a new year, we seek optimism and fresh opportunities. We are not looking to dig up the baggage of all the things we f@#*ed up last year.  As a habitual dweller (yes, I love to relive and recount the past), I opt for intentions to provide me with forward momentum rather than resolutions which more often than not take me two steps back on a trip down memory lane. 

Reason #3. There is power in thinking positive thoughts. 

Manifestation, ya heard? 

It’s the concept that your thoughts become your reality. So, if you are continually beating yourself up and reliving the past, you guessed it, those same patterns, behaviors and circumstances will keep coming back to you. The classic Vedic text I referenced earlier, the Upanishads, states, “You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.” 

In sum, where you put your energy, your thoughts, your actions, you find results. You are a super-attracter; attract your wildest aspirations and dreams - not your past mistakes. You’re better than that.  

Reason #4. You are here, now!

There is no time like the present to make an intention. You didn’t have to spend hours meditating, journaling, surrounded by crystals with your diffuser filling the room with lavender inspiration on December 31st to have your intentions set for the year (although, damn, that sounds nice). No, you can set your intentions anytime, anyplace, baby girl. It’s as easy as ABC, 1, 2, 3; MJ had that one right. 

So, are you with us?! Here are my intentions for 2020 in case you were wondering... 

Natalie’s 2020 Intentions

1. Release the past. 

2. Explore nature. 

3. Own finances. 

I’d recommend keeping it simple. Pick 3-5 that really speak to you, write them down and post them up somewhere. I’m a sucker for a sticky note, but a note on your phone works too. Just make sure you see it for a daily reminder of what you are working towards. You’re worth it. 

Alright, now that I’ve spilled the tea, what are yours? Share with us on Instagram. Don’t forget to tag or DM @motherdaughterunfiltered. Happy intention setting!

Natalie Danvers Simmons is Co-Host & Co-Founder of the Mothers & Daughters Unfiltered Podcast. Daughter of the mother-daughter duo, Natalie, brings a feisty, millennial perspective to their female-centric conversations. Mothers & Daughters Unfiltered aims to bridge the intergenerational gap and bring women from all walks of life together to learn and grow together with the core belief that we are stronger together. You can find Mothers & Daughters Unfiltered wherever you listen to your podcasts and can follow them @motherdaughterunfiltered on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. (www.motherdaughterunfiltered.com)

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