How to set fabulous New Year intentions rather than resolutions

Are you thinking about setting New Year resolutions? It’s that time of year when many of us do, and yet, this isn’t a great time of year to make changes. The still, slow energy of winter is still deep upon us and most of our resolutions are a reaction to the excesses of Christmas. Too much alcohol, food, sugar and not enough exercise. No wonder so many of us struggle to make changes when our bodies are still in hibernation mode. This is however a great time of year for reflecting on what we want the coming year to bring us and exploring what might bring that our way, so we can be fully prepared to embrace it in the Spring time.


In recent years I have set intentions for the year. A much gentler approach to change as this focuses on a way of being, rather than on doing a specific thing. When you set a resolution to do something, it’s easy to feel like you’ve failed. When you’ve missed a day of squats, or had a glass of wine, or not stuck to your fasting day for example. When we feel like we’ve failed, many of us resign ourselves to failing and go back to our usual habits. An intention on the other hand, looks at the bigger picture for what you want to achieve during the year and describes how you want to ‘be’ in order to achieve that goal. As an example, if you want to become healthier in 2018, you might decide that your intention is something like “I will make wise choices to support my health”. You can constantly return to this intention in every moment to help guide your way of being. If you don’t choose wisely in one moment, it doesn’t matter. You can always choose wisely in the next moment. There is nothing to fail at, since every moment is an opportunity to choose wisely.


If you’d like to set your intention for the year, you may want to spend some time reflecting on the following questions.


  1. What do I want to leave behind from 2017?
  2. What do I want to embrace more of in 2018?


When you consider these lists, think about what way of ‘being’ would support these desires. Make a big list and feel which you are most drawn to.


This year, I’m distilling my intention down to one word. One word for the year is easy to remember and come back to. It becomes my centering point for all my decisions and reflection. In the example above, you could perhaps distil the intention down to the word ‘wise’. This year, I’ve decided to go with the word ‘strong’.

  • I’d like my body to become stronger
  • I want to doubt and compare myself less and believe in my abilities more
  • I want to be a strong and loving presence for my family


Strong will be my word for year. It will guide my decisions and reflection. When I doubt myself, I will come back to this word. How can I be strong in this situation? Do I need to identify the self-doubt and let it go, or do I need to build my knowledge for example? When I feel frazzled and ready to snap, I will consider what would a strong and loving presence feel like in this situation.


What is your word for 2018? How do you want to be? If you’d like more information on developing your word for 2018, Susannah Conway has some great prompts.


Wishing you a happy and fulfilled 2018!

4 comments on “How to set fabulous New Year intentions rather than resolutions

  1. This is such a great idea, Sam! Going to give my word some thought and then let you know what I come up with! Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarah Dew - A Simple and Contented Life

    Love this! I don’t believe in resolutions either, I much prefer setting habits. It makes your goals so much easier to achieve. My word for the year is Hygge. It’s time for me to slow things down and live more intentionally! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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