I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

Resolutions and Intentions

At the start of every year, I, along with mil­lions of oth­ers around the world, make res­ol­u­tions. We decide, often quite flip­pantly, to do cer­tain things. It could be to change a habit, lose weight, or to get fit­ter and just “be health­i­er”. But 99% of the time they are lofty goals that last only a couple of weeks, a month or maybe six weeks if you really try hard, but they rarely last.
As I began think­ing about my res­ol­u­tions for the year, I made my usu­al trip to the dic­tion­ary for a definition.

• a firm decision to do or not to do something.
• a form­al expres­sion of opin­ion or inten­tion agreed on by a legis­lat­ive body, com­mit­tee, or oth­er form­al meet­ing, typ­ic­ally after tak­ing a vote.
• the qual­ity of being determ­ined or resolute. 

It struck me that a res­ol­u­tion is much more than the lofty ambi­tions we make at the start of each year. They are inten­tion­al. A com­mit­tee will not vote a form­al res­ol­u­tion into place without hav­ing a firm inten­tion to fol­low through with it. Yet very often we determ­ine what our new year’s res­ol­u­tions will be simply by a fleet­ing desire or a moment­ary decision. We base them on noth­ing more than what we think is going to be a bene­fi­cial thing for us to do. We’re not inten­tion­al in our thoughts and often do not stand firmly behind our decisions, evid­enced by the same res­ol­u­tions recur­ring year after year. In stark con­trast, a real res­ol­u­tion is inten­ded, it has pur­pose, it is designed.

• some­thing that is inten­ded; pur­pose; design;

A res­ol­u­tion is point­less if we have not con­sidered why. Why do we want to get up earli­er? Why do we want to use our time bet­ter? Why do we want to be fit­ter? All of these are good things but why do we want to do them? If we decide to do these things without think­ing about the real pur­pose, they will nev­er stick.
To make them stick, we must go fur­ther than think about why we want to do them. Once we have a firm motiv­a­tion in place, we must design that res­ol­u­tion using our motiv­a­tion as a basis. As it says in Pro­verbs chapter 14 and verse 15:

“A simple man believes any­thing, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” 

If we resolve to just do some­thing without thought we not only waste time, we waste our inten­tions and we waste energy. It’s hard enough to gain momentum when begin­ning a new thing that has a clear motiv­a­tion, but gain­ing momentum on some­thing without a clear aim or goal? That’s likely to end in a fail­ure which has an impact on oth­er plans we make. Once we are dis­cour­aged by some­thing it’s very hard to recov­er the con­fid­ence and enthu­si­asm that we need to start some­thing. The memory of fail­ing at one thing lingers at the back of our minds and saps at what little con­fid­ence or belief we have about the new thing.
If you’re read­ing this as it approaches the second half of Janu­ary, and you’re strug­gling to stick to the res­ol­u­tions you made only a couple of weeks ago, I encour­age you to stop for a moment and ask your­self why you wanted to do them in the first place. If you can­’t find a con­crete answer, maybe it’s time to recon­sider. So many times I’ve heard someone declare they want to do some­thing, but because of a lack of a defined des­tin­a­tion they struggle, become dis­cour­aged and lose all motiv­a­tion. A com­plete waste of that ini­tially well placed inten­tion. Don’t waste that lim­ited sup­ply of energy you have try­ing to build momentum behind some­thing that’s just a shal­low thought. Instead put it into a res­ol­u­tion that has a des­tin­a­tion, some­thing that has value.

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