Setting Intentions, Not Just Resolutions: A Holistic Approach to the New Year

By Adedayo Ebenezer Oyetoke Published on: November 27th 2023 | 3 mins, 554 words Views: 98

As we approach the end of another year, it's time to reflect on our accomplishments and set goals for the upcoming 12 months. While making resolutions is a popular tradition, setting intentions can lead to a more holistic and sustainable approach to personal growth. In this blog post, we will explore the difference between intentions and resolutions, the benefits of setting intentions, and how to create a holistic approach to the new year.

What is the difference between intentions and resolutions?

  • - Resolutions are typically short-term, goal-oriented plans that we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. They often involve making specific, measurable changes in our lives, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, or saving money.
  • - Intentions, on the other hand, are broader, long-term goals that we set for ourselves. They are more about creating a sense of direction and purpose in our lives, rather than focusing on specific outcomes.

Why set intentions instead of resolutions?

1. Holistic approach: Intentions promote a more comprehensive approach to personal growth, focusing on the overall well-being of our minds, bodies, and spirits. This contrasts with resolutions, which often focus on external outcomes and can lead to feelings of failure when these outcomes are not achieved.

2. Flexibility: Intentions are more adaptable to change and can be easily adjusted as our circumstances evolve. Resolutions, on the other hand, can feel rigid and inflexible, making it difficult to adapt to new challenges or learnings.

3. Self-compassion: Intentions encourage self-compassion and understanding that setbacks are a natural part of the growth process. Resolutions, however, can lead to self-criticism and feelings of failure when we don't meet our own expectations.

4. Long-term success: Intentions are more likely to lead to long-term success because they focus on creating a sense of purpose and direction in our lives. This can make it easier to stay motivated and committed to our goals over time.

How to create a holistic approach to the new year:

1. Reflect on your values: Start by taking some time to reflect on what truly matters to you. This could include your relationships, health, career, spirituality, or any other aspect of your life. Identifying your core values will help you create intentions that align with your deepest desires.

2. Set SMART goals: Once you've identified your values, set SMART goals that align with them. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This framework will help you create intentions that are clear, actionable, and attainable.

3. Create an action plan: Break your goals down into smaller, manageable steps. This will make it easier to stay focused and motivated as you work towards achooking your intentions.

4. Practice self-compassion: Remember that setbacks and challenges are a natural part of the growth process. Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion when you experience setbacks or fail to meet your goals.

5. Stay adaptable: As you work towards your intentions, be prepared to adjust your plans as needed. Life is full of surprises, and being adaptable will help you stay on track and committed to your goals.


Setting intentions, rather than resolutions, can lead to a more holistic and sustainable approach to personal growth. By focusing on our values, setting SMART goals, practicing self-compassion, and staying adaptable, we can create a holistic approach to the new year that promotes long-term success and well-being. Happy new year in advance!

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