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Setting Your Money Intentions for the New Year

January 07, 2019
Drop 10 pounds in the New Year!
How to be happier in 2019!
Declutter your house and your life!

You’ve probably seen these headlines on social media, in the checkout lane at the grocery store or on TV—those New Year’s resolutions, all encouraging you to be a better, healthier, happier version of yourself starting on January 1st.

Have you ever kept a single New Year’s resolution?

Many of us start January with gusto, only to soon forget what it was we resolved to do!

The thing is, the idea of wanting a fresh start is good thing! A new year is a new beginning. It’s a great time to reflect on the year that was, and to look ahead to the year that is to come. Take stock of your life! What is going well for you, and what could be better? But instead of setting a resolution, why not state your intention?

What’s the difference? By definition, an intention is a determination to act in a certain way. A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something.

Psychology Today argues that setting an intention manifests something you want to do. It’s a positive call to action to achieve a dream or desire. An intention is about something you want to do, rather than something you feel you should do (but don’t really want to). An intention is also not something to beat yourself up about if you fail to achieve it. Instead, it’s a gentle reminder to guide you back on track.

Take the traditional resolution of losing weight, for example. It’s a goal for many, but it usually sets you up for failure. What happens the first time you skip a workout? Your resolution is over! Instead, you could set an intention to live a healthier lifestyle. That could include working out more often. It could mean eating more vegetables or getting more sleep. The intention is a whole-hearted commitment to a purpose, and it doesn’t hinge on one specific outcome.

When it comes to your finances, you may want to set a resolution to spend less money. But what happens when your refrigerator stops working, or the kids grow out of their shoes sooner than you thought? Another resolution fail. An intention, on the other hand, may be to be more mindful with your purchases. 

Or, maybe you want to resolve to get into fewer money fights with your partner. You may instead set an intention to change your tone or approach when discussing money issues.

Begin by making a list of things you’d like to change in the New Year. You could have one thing on your list, or 20. Start thinking of ways to achieve them. What is the call to action? What steps can you take to move toward this change in your life? Write out your intention and carefully consider it, then commit to it. Remember, your intention does not bind you like a rigid resolution. Instead, you are devoting yourself to your intention through specific thoughts and behaviors.

In “The Power of Intention,” Wayne Dyer defines intention as a “strong purpose or aim, accompanied by a determination to produce a desired result.” An intention is something you aim to achieve by living with purpose.

So, with a new year here, ditch those resolutions and intend to create a new experience for yourself in 2019!