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University of Colorado

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Is it Better to Set an Intention or Make a Resolution?
December 31st, 2017

I was recently asked by a reporter, "Is it better to set a intention or make a resolution in the new year?"

Below is my reply. I hope you gain inspiration from it. Let's start a movement in 2018!
 

"Of the two, intention is preferable to setting resolutions because an intention is a mindset that prepares us to act. It's an essential first-step. Resolutions are generally just vague wishes.
 
But neither is effective, alone, for achieving our goals. We must first articulate clear, realistic goals, and describe exactly what success looks like.
 
Clear goals are key for an intention to turn into action. 
 
I call this, Intentional Transformation - setting an intention with a plan...and then making it happen.
 
This involves visualizing what your future state looks like. I describe the visualization process here: https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/878424
 
My process has been used by 100s of people and organizations to create meaningful, sustainable change. I encourage you to read, reflect, and use these visualization principles. Feel free to tweak them to fit your particular goal and personality.
 
After you’ve visualized success and set a realistic goal, create a workable plan, with a timeline.
 
For instance, say you want to live healthier in 2018.  To do so, you would like to lose 10 pounds. Your friends tell you to run but you’ve never run before. Running is not realistic for you.
 
Instead, plan to walk a specific number of steps (if you have a watch that tracks such things) or distance per week. This is much more realistic. This also might involve taking the stairs at work rather than the elevator. Which ever you choose, determine how many steps you need to get in per week to achieve your movement goal.
 
Notice, I'm not suggesting that you focus on your ultimate goal of losing weight but rather the process you need to achieve your goal. You can weigh yourself at intervals, but remember that your goal is improved health through weight loss and this is achieved through daily movement. Doing so (while also eating healthy) will help you shed the pounds.
 
I call this your action goal - the intermediate achievement (e.g., daily steps) that will help you achieve your target goal (weight loss, and, ulitimately, a healthy lifestyle).
 
We only achieve our goals when we have realistic, workable plans with a clear timeline and measurable action goals along the way.
 
Before beginning your quest, assemble a small team, or even just one person, to join you on your journey and hold you accountable. Achieving meaningful goals is difficult.
 
Having a partner or team alongside you will help you keep going when you lose motivation, the going gets tough, or you experience a setback, which is inevitable."
 

I would love to hear what your action and target goals are for 2018 and what you are going to do to achieve them.
 
Share your thoughts in the comments section and your community here will cheer you on to success.
 
Here's to Intentional Transformation in 2018! 
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University of Colorado

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