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Resolute Failure Vs. Intentional Success

Hello Manifesters. My last blog focused on intentions, which presents a more gentle practice toward embodying a journey toward an objective. Intentions succeed where resolutions fail, generally because the focus is upon the movement toward the goal rather than the goal itself. I believe most of us upon hearing the word resolution, think of the classic New Year's resolution, which is a form of goal setting. While we are still in the throes of the first month of 2022, perhaps we should investigate why most resolutions fail and reiterate why intentions may prove more successful.

Begin with the definition of resolution and you can see why it is doomed to fail before it has begun. The word resolution means to resolve or to definitively take action to do or not to do. Ultimately, a resolution focuses on an outcome without any indication of a realistic, measured or accountable way to arrive at the goal. Try thinking of it in terms of traveling to a destination. If you have never journeyed to a particular destination or had a horrible experience previously, you would need to chart a new course. When traveling we generally do not pick a place and just start out willy-nilly. There are steps defined by a series of actions. How long will you need to be traveling? What type of transportation will you take? What do you need to get there, when you are there, for your return? Where are you staying? What is the purpose of your trip? What activities will you partake in enjoying? How will you return?

Resolutions often require creating a plan to achieve them, but most of us just pick an area of focus: lose 20 pounds, exercise 3-5 times per week, sleep more, drink alcohol less, eat healthier, and the list continues. So I pose the same question? How can you get to your destination without a plan? And less awareness of what lies ahead makes us less motivated to achieve. In fact, a CBS News Poll and an article in The Atlantic both summarized that the very uncertainty of entering a pandemic has significantly decreased actual resolutions as well as the desire for them. Much of that is due to the fact that pandemic living has made optimism and goal setting somewhat self-defeating by its very atypical nature.

"Predicting the future isn’t just hard: it’s impossible." -Jessie Wood

If you do not know how to begin, start with one thing you would like to achieve. You want to lose 10 pounds. You want to read more. You want more quality time for your primary relationship. HOW? The often missed step is defining what you wish to achieve actually means for you. Sometimes we feel pressure to create a resolution based on social trends, peer pressure, not focusing upon the process, but upon the outcome we want. By reflecting upon what we truly want to achieve and then shaping it into a personalized and specific action, the practice is where we begin to transform. When we focus on the process, we achieve much more impact no matter the outcome. We focus on what moves us forward no matter how big or small and celebrate each win, we lose the rigidity of resolution and invite the gentleness of intention to guide us.

While 77 percent of people who committed to a New Year's resolution stuck to it for a week, only 19 percent of those who made resolutions actually fulfilled them within two years."

So how to begin. Start with the focus and work backward. Let's take the practice of reading more. What is more? Not just what is more, but specifically more for you? 1 magazine article per week? 12 books a year? 2 short stories a month? Choose and then measure. How long does it take you to read X amount in X time? And what type of reading for what purpose? Novels for pleasure? Research for a project or to develop self-care? Learning something new to increase brain activity? What's most important to you? Actively reading for pleasure, for expanding knowledge, for self-care? What does that look like? Does it matter what you read or when? Keep asking and discovering until you have the specifics for yourself. Then, having well-defined specifics you can create your intention.

Some intentions to support goal setting using the example of I want to read more utilizing the steps of actionable, measurable, accountable, and sustainable are:

  • I am willing to practice reading a novel at bedtime for 15 minutes to 1 hour 3 times a week to help wind down and prepare for restful sleep.

  • I am willing to practice exploring new genres of literature for pleasure by picking a new book in a different category each month.

  • I am willing to practice exploring non-fiction reading by choosing a magazine subscription for one year that supports my desire to expand my knowledge.

Keep in mind that you can alter or create a couple of specific intentions to support one overall intention. The three above could be in support of a guiding intention, such as "I am willing to practice reading 3-5 times a week for pleasure and learning." That may be the intention you pick along with the 3 other intentions to help you create goals to support those intentions. Goals supporting those intentions could be: Set a timer for bedtime reading 3 times a week. Find 12 genres of literature to explore. Purchase a subscription to "The Economist".

Intentionality is the opposite of living on autopilot. Understanding how to use intention effectively can increase what you put into your work, and what you get out of it. -Amy Vetter

Hopefully, we have revealed the major difference as to why intentions have a more probable chance of success compared to resolutions. No matter the outcome, my belief is that with gentle practice, celebrating each step forward, and fortitude, intentions can replace resolutions as a successful methodology. And we will be amazed at our purposeful progress.

If you want to internationalize your resolutions for maximum success, sign up now at Want support, accountability, to learn more about intentional living? Need help identifying where you seek change? If you're feeling stuck, rudderless or just unsatisfied, it is time to request the personalized support you desire. Take the first step toward increasing your chance for successful manifesting. Get a free 15 minute consultation at

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