Setting New Year Resolutions vs Intentions

Jan 14, 2021

Have you’ve ever failed New Year resolutions in the past?

Perhaps it’s time to try out something different.

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Research on the efficacy of New Year’s resolutions is imprecise. One survey finds that four out of five people will eventually break their resolutions. Another study reports a higher success rate in the short term, however both studies agree that almost three quarters of people would have broken their New Year resolution by the time February rolls in!

calendar 2021 january circles

There are a couple of reasons why resolutions set us up for disappointment.

First, we underestimate how long it takes to kick a bad habit or adopt a good one. Popular wisdom says it takes 21 days. However, studies indicate that on average it takes approximately 66 days before a new habit becomes automatic.

Second, people tend to make long lists of big habits they want to change—like losing weight, saving more money, doubling revenue, and quitting smoking or drinking. Each of these goals is a heavy lift requiring considerable effort. We overwhelm ourselves by focusing on substantial changes down the road rather than on small changes in the here and now.

pin board with intentions
Try something different: Begin with intention instead.
Personally, I decided a few years ago, that the idea of a “resolution” per say, didn’t put me in the right frame of mind to make changes. I felt it was a bit judgy of what I wasn’t committing to in the present, and felt pressure to keep to my resolution 100%, or I felt like a failure.

So I shifted from setting New Year resolutions,which seem to have a tone of wanting to ‘fix’ something vs setting an ‘intention’.

The distinction between resolutions and intentions is more than a semantic one. An intention is more forgiving, without the built-in succeed-or-fail dynamic that seems to come with New Year’s resolutions. The idea of intention honors effort and process, and not just results.

woman with tea cup thinking
In setting an intention, you resolve that you’re already “enough,” so you move forward without having an attachment to the outcome- it’s more about the journey. You might still want to lose 10 kilos, but it isn’t focused on skinny jeans, it involves caring enough about yourself to eat good food and exercise. Naturally the pounds come off, but it’s not because you need to change who you are.

The catch is that you can’t just set your intentions and run off; you need to live them every day. As you gain wisdom through self-reflection, your ability to act from your intentions blossoms. We plant seeds of true intention in order to watch them grow like leaves on a tree, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s called a practice because it is an ever-renewing process.

couple coffee together laughing

This allows us to put less pressure on ourselves by developing the habit of making regular daily, weekly, and monthly intentions instead of making a big ordeal about laborious resolutions. In the same way as an attitude of gratitude should be a year-round practice rather than consigned to one day, setting intentions to better ourselves will be more sustainable if we spread the effort throughout the year.

Gaining Clarity on Your Intentions

archer on target
Undoubtedly, gaining clarity on what your intentions are and how they align with your life journey, remains the key element that will determine your success in manifesting your intentions.


My Weekly Planner which can help you gain clarity on your intentions.
(Scroll down to get this Weekly planner!)

Radical Wellness Programme 2021

For 2021, we excited to announce that the Radical Wellness Programme is commencing from 31st Jan 2021 for 8 weeks.

Is Radical Wellness for me?

This program is for you if you:

  • Have chronic medical conditions like ​Diabetes, Fatty Liver, High Blood Pressure, weight problems or inflammation​ and wish to gain better control of your health.
  • Have ongoing ​gut issues​ like IBS, Reflux (Heartburn) or a weak metabolism.
  • Feel mostly weak and tired and are keen to ​boost your vitality and energy levels.
  • Are a busy professional and are keen to ​boost productivity​ and efficiency by improving your focus​ and ​gain clarity​ about your purpose.

Radical Wellness program is an evidence based approach that incorporates practical tools such as YOGA and GUIDED MEDITATION that allow you to lead a life of peak potential.

As a gift from me to you, please download a FREE copy of my Weekly Intention Planning sheet that will help you live your HIGHER LIFE in 2021 and beyond.

My Weekly Worksheet

weekly intentions worksheet
Wishing you and your loved ones an epic 2021.

Helping you Discover, Empower & Prosper

Dr Arun Dhir