Say No to Resolutions: 10 Experts Share How To Set Intentions For The New Year

Before you get too carried away with making a New Years' resolution list for yourself, your family and your home, it's important to know that 54 percent of people fail to commit to their New Year resolutions past six months. If you're looking to make a mindful and permanent change, shift from making resolutions and instead, choose to set intentions for the new year.

Not sure how to set intentions for the new year? Listen to what these 10 experts have to say about intention setting and ways to intentionally dive into the new year.

1. Set the tone for 2022

"A resolution means to solve, which means you relate to what you are resolving as broken or needing fixing. Instead of a resolution, set intentions for the new year!" says clarity coach Abigail Gazda. "The most powerful way to set an intention is to speak into the experience you want to be having of yourself and life rather than the manifestation of a material thing."

Making a cup of tea.

2. Find magic in the mundane

“Create small rituals that help you find the beauty and magic in the mundane. This could look like a walk without your phone while being completely present to your surroundings, slowly making a cup of tea or coffee with full attention or savoring a meal without distraction," says Jen Wyatt, ritual facilitator and self-discovery guide at Wander Free Wellness. "When we focus fully on our senses, we arrive in the magic of the moment — and this creates a ripple effect of beauty, peace and positive change in our lives."

3. Consider current circumstances

"The goal of setting goals for 2022 is to make your life better than it was in 2021. To achieve this, stay aware of your current circumstances and the challenges you will face in the coming year. Being intentional and realistic will change your life!" says owner and writer of EverythingAbode.com, Rebecca Lauren.

Family walking together outside.

4. Start with your values

“When I started to set intentions for the new year versus resolutions, I sat down and asked myself what was truly important in my life. Ask yourself what is truly important to you. Spending more time with family (without electronics) and getting out in nature together? Living a more sustainable life? Being more present and slowing down? Living a healthy lifestyle? Think about what you want to do more of in your life," says intentional living expert Lora Devries.

“Figure this out and set your intentions around this. It makes keeping your intentions easier and more natural as you embrace the lifestyle that is important to you!

5. Block time

“Set an intention to limit distractions in the new year. Try time blocking," says certified life coach Kamini Wood. "Time blocking involves dividing a period of time into smaller segments of blocks designed for specific tasks. You can use this time management technique to divide your working day or week into sections, address the tasks in a smaller time frame and do them with intention and attention. This can ensure limiting the distraction of jumping from one thing to another."

6. Leave time for reflection

"In order to make long-lasting, sustainable changes to your life, your intentions have to align with a higher purpose. If they don't, you'll lose momentum easily, or worse, throw yourself off track," says Erin from Female Mind Unleashed. “Spend some quality alone time reflecting on your big goals for the next year, five years, 10 years – then come up with actionable baby steps you can implement month-after-month in 2022."

Woman painting a project.

7. Prioritize passion projects

“The best creative intention-setting tip I can give people wanting to make changes in their life in 2022 is to engage in something they are really passionate about," says Rebecca Crespo, the founder of Minimalism Made Simple. "It doesn't matter if it's something unheard of or something that many people have done before — the most important thing is that they are fully committed to it. Without this level of commitment, it is easy to lose interest over time or become unmotivated. That is why I think that to make the changes they want, they must get really excited about their new project."

"Additionally, it's important for people to set intentions for the new year while not expecting change to happen overnight. Change takes time and it's OK if it happens gradually — one step at a time. Just make sure you're always moving forward and growing. Also, don't get frustrated if you do not see results right away. If you keep trying, you will eventually succeed and that's all that matters."

8. Set intentions on a daily basis

"A great way to start the day is by setting intentions during your morning shower to focus your mind and attitude before juggling daily demands," says Amy Jo Szymanski from Intelligent Intentions. "First, start with quick gratitude shout out to the universe for the new day. Then, set simple intentions like making a conscious effort to choose patience with other drivers during your morning commute, not allowing any negative comments during the day to affect your mood or intentionally making time to destress with a walk."

“These techniques may sound super basic, but small daily micro-steps create self-awareness, help us develop positive communication styles and make space for self-love investments. Of course, daily intentions aren't intended as a "to-do" list. Daily intentions are in the present moment using the power of thought to guide your actions to the way you want to feel. And be received by others."

9. Write it, read it, repeat it

Person writing in their journal while petting their cat.

“Remember, when you set intentions for the new year, your intentions only work if you work on it. Make sure you get your intentions down on paper. Write out what you want and say it out loud, so you can hear and feel it deeply, says Jeff from Jefe Living. "Also, the words you choose are very important. Use language that puts your attention on what you want to happen. Use language that feels good, accurate, attainable and even a little scary (you gotta grow, right?)."

“The difference between an intention and a goal: an intention is something you embody and feel. A goal is something you take action towards. Your actions infuse with your intentions. Take as much time working with one intention until it feels really clear. This is often a messy process — welcome any resistance you feel and keep at it until you are completely satisfied. Lastly, make sure you write your intentions onto a piece of paper and put it somewhere you will see it every day. Every time you see your piece of paper, take a moment to say it out loud — nice and slowly. Repeat this action so often that it becomes second nature."

10. Opt for clarity

“Intentions don't need to be big accomplishments — sometimes they are internal shifts that we crave, desire or need, says certified therapist, Whitney Boole. Struggling with a relationship, a career choice or a tough decision? Set the intention to find clarity around it and that shift alone will pave the way to finding the clarity you need in the year ahead,"

Mindfulness matters

All in all, whether your intention is to redecorate your apartment, prep healthier meals at home, move across the country or do more yoga, know that if you go into the new year fully mindful of your truest intentions for the days ahead — the more likely you will make your goals reality.

Charlsie NiemiecCharlsie Niemiec has spent the last 10 years working as a content marketing and social media editor and strategist. With in-house experience ranging from The Elf on the Shelf to CNN to Piedmont Healthcare, Charlsie has freelanced for the last four years with clients ranging from ESPN to the Atlanta Beltline. When she's not copyediting or scrolling on Twitter, she is walking her very scruffy wirehaired terriers mixes Leonard and Biscuit or probably watering one of her 54 houseplants.

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