Why You Should Set Intentions for the New Year Instead of Resolutions

At the start of the year there’s a push to make changes to improve your life and for Ana Sheila Victorino, the power of intention setting is real

intention setting 2022

Photo: Pexels/ Tara Winstead

At the start of the year there’s a push to make changes to improve your life and for Ana Sheila Victorino, the power of intention setting is real. Victorino is the co-host and co-ceo of Tamarindo Podcast alongside Brenda Gonzalez and it was a result of setting an intention to be more visible that she joined the podcast. “Me joining Tamarindo podcast was the result of an intention in 2019 to step into visibility and own my imperfect but important voice as a Mexicana, as an immigrant, and as queer,” she tells HipLatina. Now she and Gonzalez host an annual intention setting event to encourage the practice.

Eighty percent of resolutions fail according to U.S News and World report, and some of the reasons for it,  Victorino shares, are the focus on what you DON’T have and more about what you “SHOULD DO” than what you actually want to do. “You set arbitrary hard to achieve resolutions that are daunting before you even start. Of course they’re not going to work. So in writing intentions, we are trying to step away from all of that.”

Here she shares tips for how to practice intention setting for the new year to help you achieve goals. For more info you can sign up for the FREE intention setting workshop Tamarindo Podcast is hosting today, Jan. 18 5 p.m. PT via Zoom.

An intention is a guiding principle for how you want to be, live, feel and show up in the world. You can set an intention for the day or for the year like we are doing today. Example: I intend to show acts of kindness today, opening myself to any possibility to bring joy into the life of another.

Intentions are not definitive or resolute. For example, an intention could be, I want to honor and take care of my body. This is one of the big ways it differs from a resolution. A resolution says “I want to lose 10 pounds”. It’s a firm decision to do or not do something. You will either fail or succeed no matter what. By keeping intentions less definitive, you also open yourself up to greater possibilities than you even imagined.

Intentions should be heart and purpose driven. They come from sitting down and thinking about what matters to you really at your core, what really brings you fulfillment. What’s behind a resolution/goal like “Make X much money this year? It may be to feel secure, abundant, or generous with your money. The WHY is the intention. Being grounded in the why is more important than the specific goals.

Creating the space to connect with your intentions. You can try practices like meditation, journaling, quiet space. Intention-setting is a mindfulness practice designed to help give you direction with less stress and fear of failure than more typical resolution.

Make it positive. Instead of “spend less time alone”, a better intention is “find community”.

Some questions you can ask yourself as you set intentions:

If you could describe your best self what does that look like?
Are there moments you feel in flow? What are you doing in those moments?
What do you wish you could experience more of?
How do you want to grow?
What does joy look and feel like to you?
What do you want to build, create, or nurture in your life?
Is there a mindset that you want to step into?
What excites you?
What types of relationships would you like to cultivate in the New Year?
What words do you want to align yourself with?

The goal of this exercise is to shed light into your deepest desires rather than what you think you should be doing. We want to shed external pressures on what, how, and when so that what you write is actually coming from your heart and not from society. The goal is not to create more demands, pressures and stress in your life. As you work through this, resist the urge to get in resolution mode. If while during the exercise you catch yourself writing “ I want to write a book by the end of the year”, check yourself. A better intention would be to write more or if you want to add some specificity, you could say write something every day.

Register for the intention setting workshop hosted by Tamarindo Podcast happening Jan. 18, 5 p.m. PT

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