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Stop Writing Pointless Resolutions This Year ‒ Why You Need Powerful 2023 Intentions Instead

Written by: Andrea Hunt, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


For many people, a new year is a time to make resolutions. But shockingly, one study reported that only 9% of people keep them. And what’s worse, 23% of people quit in the first week. So what’s going on? Learn why unfortunately most resolutions end up being sadly pointless by the end of the year and why you should set intentions instead. Read on to make 2023 your most successful year yet.

Photo by: Engin Akyurt

As the year draws to a close, many of us find ourselves reflecting on the past and looking ahead to the future. The start of a new year is the perfect time to start fresh and create meaningful change in our lives. Many of us approach the turning of the calendar with a sense of optimism and hope, and every year, we declare how ready we are for change and we’re hopeful that this time will be different.

If you’re one of these people, you’re not alone. Every year people make resolutions for all kinds of things, from health and career to more money, or finding that special person. Let’s be honest, if your resolutions haven’t worked, why not try something new?

Why most New Year’s resolutions don't work

One of the main reasons why New Year’s resolutions don’t work is because they are often too vague and outcome-focused without intention or a plan. We might have a general idea of what we want or don’t want, but without a clear plan of action, it can be difficult to stay motivated and follow through. Additionally, many resolutions tend to focus either on what we’re going to stop doing rather than what we want to do, why we want to do it, how we will do it, or how we will measure our success, etc.

For example, have you ever set a resolution that sounds like: “I’m going to lose weight," or "I’m going to make more money”?

Those are great ideas. But how will you do it?

Or maybe you’ve set so many resolutions and huge changes that it’s just not realistic and you get overwhelmed. When this happens, many people, unfortunately, sabotage themselves with procrastination, rebel against their own resolutions, and give up.

By March, they look around and realize that they haven’t made any money or lost any weight. They just accept defeat and go back to what they were doing.

The difference between intentions and resolution

Intentions are focused on the motivation for the journey rather than the destination, and they allow us to be mindful of our actions and how we can improve our lives with the changes they will bring. Intentions are about self-reflection and personal growth, rather than relying on external factors that may be out of our control. They give us a sense of purpose and direction in life, without feeling like we have to achieve something specific in order to feel successful.

Intentions also help us stay motivated and inspired throughout the year. Instead of measuring ourselves by 100% successes or 100% failures, we can focus on enriching our lives through experiences and progress.

This is the guiding principle that helps us strive to become better versions of ourselves by setting goals that are achievable yet challenging enough to keep us engaged. They allow us to take ownership of our lives and make positive changes that will benefit us in the long run. If we miss a task, we can still be on the path without feeling guilty or sabotaging the whole rest of the journey.

How to create intentions for 2023

Step 1: Set your positive intentions for the year in different areas.

Create areas like personal growth (skills, learning, self-improvement), health (mental and physical) career, money and finances, and personal relationships (family, friends, significant other).

In each area, write your intentions down. This could be something like:

  • “I intend to focus on my health and well-being.”

  • “I intend to prioritize relationships with family and friends.”

  • “I intend to learn more about financial investing.”

Step 2: Write down your motivation for these intentions.

Why do you want to improve your health? Why do you want to prioritize your relationships? Why do you want to learn about investing? Who do you want to have better health for? What positive change will this bring you? How will this improve your life?

In each area, write your motivations down for each intention. This could be something like:

  • “I intend to focus on my health and well-being because I want to be fit enough to go biking with my kids in the summers without feeling tired.

  • “I intend to learn more about financial investing because I want to pay off more debt and save more money so I can travel to Spain next year.

Step 3: Break down your long-term goals into smaller, more manageable tasks.

This will help you stay focused on what needs to be done in order to reach your ultimate goal. Additionally, it’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself and give yourself enough time to complete each task. Remember not to overdo it. If you try too much too soon you might create resistance and sabotage yourself! Try listing one change you would do and it helps to be specific. It’s also helpful to create a timeline with deadlines so that you can track your progress.

This could be something like:

To get fit, I will commit to 30 minutes of cardio activity 3 times a week in the mornings before work/lunchtime/after work.

Step 4: Create an action plan that outlines how you will achieve each goal.

This should include specific steps that need to be taken in order to reach the desired outcome. It’s also important to identify any potential obstacles or challenges that may arise along the way and come up with solutions for them ahead of time. Finally, don’t forget to reward yourself when you reach milestones or complete tasks – this will help keep you motivated throughout the process.

This could be something like:

I will buy a wall calendar and put a sticker on the days I do cardio.

If I’m tired and I miss a day, I won’t guilt trip myself. I will just go the next day.

At the end of the week, I will reward myself with X (something non-food related). At the end of every month, I will put X amount of money/time aside for X reward.

Step 5: Stay focused and consistent with your intentions.

This means setting aside time each day or week to work on your goals and staying committed to the process. It can be helpful to create a daily or weekly routine that includes activities related to your intention and remind yourself that it’s not all or nothing just because you missed a day or a deadline doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Additionally, it’s important to stay positive and remind yourself of why you set the intention in the first place.

Raise your standards in 2023

By setting intentions instead of making New Year's resolutions, we can create positive change in our lives that is more progressive, achievable and sustainable. We can also adjust our tasks and goals as needed throughout the year if something isn't working. Being flexible will help ensure that you never fail and “jump ship”, you just “adjust your sail” and keep moving forward.

For many people, having someone else to help them stay accountable to themselves is life-changing. This is why having a transformational coach is essential so that we stick to our intentions and help us reach our goals in the year. By setting clear intentions, periodically checking in, and working through our emotional blocks and resistance using EFT Tapping, it’s incredible what we can achieve when getting out of our own way.

Remember, every year is a new chance to grow, a new chance to change ourselves. Furthermore, what we are not changing in our lives we are choosing whether we realize it or not. So, what are you refusing to settle for in 2023?

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Andrea Hunt, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Andrea Hunt is an online transformational life coach & EFT Practitioner for expats and digital nomads. A US expat who's lived in 7 different countries, Andrea helps those who boldly took the road less traveled to thrive abroad with confidence. She understands the challenges of planning a move abroad, integrating into a new culture, finding new friends and social circles, rebuilding life after a job loss or breakup while living in another country. She helps you empower your mindset and erase your limiting beliefs to thrive.



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