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The traditional setting—and breaking—of our intentions is upon us. It’s New Year’s resolution time.

We’ve said and heard it all before: “New Year, new me! I’m going to worry less, workout more and make extra time for family.”

There are so many things we think we should change about ourselves and, faced with a clean slate, we’re suddenly inspired to make this next year the best one yet.

The Trouble With Resolutions

That’s all fine and good, but the problem is that by February most of our intentions have been forgotten and we go back to our old habits and ways of life. This only makes us feel worse because we have yet again broken a promise to ourselves. Not being able to honor our word can be a very demoralizing experience. Even if we don’t register it on a conscious level, we feel ashamed and embarrassed about our inability to follow through. 

One of the problems with setting yearly intentions is that we operate with the wrong motives. We list all the things we think we should do and don’t tap into the deeper why. We forget to ask ourselves: Why this intention? What is driving it?

A Better Place To Begin

Looking at where the intention comes from is a great starting point. In order for our intentions to be more than fleeting thoughts, we need to operate from a place of feeling. Feelings are what drive us and ultimately what we’re after when we set goals. What are the feelings associated with losing weight, with traveling, with making more money or with having stronger relationships?

Take a look at some core feelings that drive your desires. Ask yourself: Why do you want to set this intention and what are the feelings behind it? On a broader scale, what are the feelings that you value in life? What are the key feelings that drive you?

People tend to set their intentions in these three main areas of life: career, relationships and health. If you view your intentions from these three places, consider what you would like to achieve in each arena and what are two or three of the core feelings driving that desire. Do you want to lose weight to feel sexier? Do you want to make more money to feel in more control? Do you want to get married because you want to feel secure or have a partner? 

Applying The Passion You Find

Whatever your answers may be, unearthing those driving emotions will start you on the right foot in terms of understanding your motivation and best course of action. When we operate from a place of feeling, we connect with the passion behind the intention and are more able to keep our promises to ourselves. When our intentions to are inline with our feelings, we are more likely to achieve our goals. 

As this new year begins, take a little extra time to explore before you simply set down a few fleeting intentions. If one is not something you are excited about and truly driven to do, put the intention aside and ask yourself why you are even considering this resolution in the first place. By operating from a place of feeling, your New Year’s intention may no longer be a such a struggle. You’ll be much more likely to live your intentions. 

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