Making New Year’s resolutions is a tradition that dates back to medieval times. We love them because they bring inspiration and hope for a brand new start, but more often than not, they also bring disappointment.

What if, instead of resolutions, we set intentions? Think the two words are interchangeable? They definitely are not, and the biggest difference between them is frame of mind. Just say the two words out loud with purpose and observe how they make you feel.

A resolution is standardly something from the past that you would like to fix or change. Intention is a purpose that you set for yourself in moving forward. Intentions are very powerful and work with the natural flow of the universe. Many believe that if you state your intention and put it out into the universe, the universe will respond. Resolutions feel more challenging because you are focusing in the wrong direction – backwards (in trying to fix something that exists) versus moving forward with purpose. Resolution = Past = Fix. Intention = Future = Purpose.

Let’s take an example. The most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. What you are saying is that you are not happy with your current weight and want to fix that. An intention, which can lead towards the same result but is based on forward movement, is “I intend to make healthier food choices.” With the resolution, if you don’t see the pounds coming off, you’ll be disappointed in yourself, and that resolution will probably go by the wayside. Your intention will always be there. You may not make healthier food choices all the time, but if you continue to believe in your intention, over time it will come to fruition.

It may seem like semantics, but it’s not. It truly is a difference in your frame of mind, and intentions – or forward purpose – work with the universal Law of Attraction. If you haven’t seen or read Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, which has sold over 28 million copies and has been translated into 46 languages, this would be a good place to start: “Ask. Believe. Receive.”

Here’s to moving forward in the New Year!

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