Hope & Healing: The UF Health Blog

New Beginnings – Setting your intentions instead of resolutions

It’s the same song and dance every year – making a list of resolutions for the upcoming new year with the goal of checking every item off the list by the end of the year.

But life starts getting in the way, and we slowly let go of checking those items off our list. We lose sight of our goals, we lose awareness with the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. It doesn’t have to be that way? What if we could approach the new year differently?

Setting Intentions

This year, try something a little different. Instead of resolutions, set intentions.

What’s an “intention”? Merriam-Webster defines it as a “determination to act in a certain way” or what you intend to do. Intentions are focused on the present self and with being more mindful. Setting your intentions for new beginnings is more than writing your typical resolutions list.

“We lose our awareness when things happen in our lives,” said Irene Estores, M.D., an assistant professor and medical director for the UF Health Integrative Medicine Program.

At times, our goals can make us focus so much on the future that we fail to enjoy the present. Setting intentions is less doing and more being.

Why Setting Intentions May Be Better for You

Setting intentions can help you feel better about yourself. Why? Because setting intentions is a practice you can do every day. Focusing on intentions instead of resolutions that can be “checked off” and forgotten allows you to pause, reflect and take more time to be aware of your life, your senses and your mental health.

At the same time, you can create goals and action steps towards being more mindful and more present.

Healing Starts with You

Duke University's Wheel of Health The Duke Integrative Medicine Program created a “Wheel of Health” to help others create their own personalized help plan, responding to one’s current health needs that are adaptable to their future health. At the center of the wheel is a more mindful and aware “you.”

“Healing starts with you,” said Dr. Estores.

Intentions can help you feel more mindful and aware, in turn, making you feel better as a whole. It is a daily reminder to reflect and check in with yourself to make sure you’re truly being mindful of yourself and your goals.

*The Wheel of Health is from the Duke Integrative Medicine Program.

End Goal

Intention setting is a practice; you will need to set your intentions every day. Intentions make the process of becoming a more mindful, present and better you easier. So, put away your checklist, set your intentions for this new year, and just be.

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