Setting New Year’s Intentions

With the New Year quickly approaching, take a moment to review your 2010 resolutions and think about whether or not you’ve met them. It’s always beneficial to reflect upon where you’ve been before you think about where you’re going, so it’s a useful exercise  to acknowledge this year’s accomplishments and recognize any unmet objectives. This is a great time to ask, “Am I where I want to be in life?”

Many of us make New Year resolutions that we don’t follow. By definition, a resolution is, “the act of determining.” Simply stated, a resolution means you’ve decided to change because it is something you feel you should do. It’s no wonder that resolutions are so difficult to keep.

What if you made a shift in consciousness and set intentions, instead of resolutions, for 2011? By definition, an intention is, “a determination to act in a certain way.” This means you choose to act differently. Although it’s a subtle difference in definition, energetically, the distinction is tremendous. If you set an intention, you focus your mind on choosing specific outcomes, thereby energetically attracting what you want.

You can set intentions for all areas of your life—family, health or career—and they can be specific or broad, focusing on tangible things or intangible feelings. Whatever it is in life that you want, set the corresponding intention to attain it. Remember, this is about you. We all have the power to choose. There is no right or wrong.

Six Steps for Setting Intentions to Ensure Success:

1.    Set SMART goals. Keep them simple, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.
2.    Be clear about what you want. Either write your intention down or say it out loud. Commit to it. It can be as simple or complex as you wish.
3.    Be accountable to someone else. This will make you more likely to stick to your intention and not lose confidence.
4.    Keep it simple, achievable and stimulating, in order to make it doable. Sometimes we jump in enthusiastically and set unrealistic expectations. For example, if your intention is to lose weight, expect to lose one to two pounds per week, not 10 pounds in one week. That is rarely possible, isn’t healthy, and sets you up for failure.
5.    Create reminders, such as a vision board (a collage of pictures) to manifest your ideal life. Place it in an area you frequent as a constant reminder of your choices.
6.    Congratulate yourself. Be sure to acknowledge your efforts when any of your goals are achieved. Too often, we let our inner critic degrade what we’ve accomplished. Quiet that inner critic and celebrate what you’ve done!

Check in regularly to ask yourself if the choices you are making every day align with your desires. Don’t let fear of perfection hold you back. Opt for seeking excellence instead, and challenge yourself to do your best without failure. To start the New Year off confidently, why not choose intentions that set you up for success?

Barbara B. Appelbaum, the owner of Appelbaum Wellness LLC wellness coaching and consulting, is a certified professional coach with 23 years experience. Her free report, 25 Insider Secrets Everyone Over 40 Should Know, is available at For more information, contact her at or visit online.

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