What are your Intentions?

I did it my way.
-Frank Sinatra

Why I prefer Intentions over New Year’s Resolutions 


Creating an intention is about finding out what I’d like to do or have happen in the New Year. It is a gentle process, one of tuning in and listening to the still small voice within. It’s a taking stock of where I am with my life today, and where I’d like to steer towards tomorrow. Am I heading in the desired direction? Do I want to tweak it here and there, or are we talking major changes here?

Resolutions connote differently. I RESOLVE TO sounds, well, like a legal document. Or the beginning of my Last Will and Testament. It’s a do or die proposition. It sounds authoritarian. Parental. Since I have issues with authority — who doesn’t — when faced with a directive like this, I tend not to listen. Or, if I’m in a particularly self-defeating mood, do the exact opposite. Besides, I don’t think that I ever kept even one New Year’s resolution. Have you?

Last year, my intention was to write morning pages* every day. It took me 4 or 5 months to get there. First I only wrote them at night once or twice a week. Then I started writing them more frequently, but still only at night. Maybe the late afternoon. For seven months now, because I want to, I write them just about every morning.

It took time to get here. I didn’t do it because I thought I should or because I obeyed an inner dictate. It came from a deeper, lighter place within. This process of daily writing grew into an activity I look forward to every morning. It grounds me deeply. It helps me to find the cheer and energy to face the day.

Check that one off the list.

This year my intentions are to meditate 10 minutes a day, and to write for this blog 10 minutes a day. Not publish, just write. Only 10 minutes. I’ve only been successful two days so far. It’s just something I want to do. I don’t have to.

Won’t you join me?


*The concept of morning pages was developed by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way.