New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone. Now that January is (finally) over, it raises the question: If you made New Year’s resolutions – have you kept any? Do you envisage them lasting the year? If the answer is yes – then that is fantastic! If you are one of the lucky few who find them easy and helpful, then read no further and carry on doing what works. 

If no:

Well, then you’re not alone…

If you find yourself breaking, forgetting, or becoming frustrated by your New Year’s resolutions, you might be familiar with that cycle of setting strict goals and feeling shame, guilt or failure when they inevitably fail. It’s a well-worn trap for many of us at this time of year.

If you find yourself making and breaking your NYE resolutions, let’s explore that a little more and see if setting intentions might serve you better. 

On the surface it might seem that ‘Resolutions’ and ‘Intentions’ are basically the same thing. But there is a subtle and powerful shift in the language we use in the stories we create for ourselves.


Sometimes resolutions offer measurable results, and specific timelines that are helpful. They allow us to measure progress, or keep us focused – these can work well in some circumstances. 

However, one of the (several) definitions of resolutions is:
Resolution: the act of solving or ending a problem or difficulty: 

a successful resolution to the crisis.
(Cambridge dictionary)

This suggests to us on some level that there is something within you that is broken and needs fixing. A crisis has happened, and it needs resolving.

But applying this language to ourselves can lead to a negative mindset. You’re beginning the New Year with something punitive and restrictive. A lot of the resolutions we make are bound up in societal expectations; perhaps we feel the need to change something in our appearance, adopt certain behaviours, conquer a particular thing, or just get ourselves ‘together’ in line with these expectations.

These types of resolutions are born from a need to ‘fix’ something within ourselves. Our yoga practice gives us space to explore the idea that we are already ‘enough’ and invites us to accept ourselves as we are. 


Setting an intention is a powerful way of calling ‘more’ into your life. More gratitude, more abundance, more ease, more joy. A feeling that there’s nothing wrong with you right now, but you can be inspired to find space to cultivate the best version of yourself – that truly serves you.

The shift from resolution to intention is subtle – but it moves away from what you perceive yourself to be lacking, and instead allows you to cultivate a more beautiful, mindful way of living. It’s a compassionate way of setting goals for yourself.

Try it 

Start by naming how you want to feel, and what you want more of in this year. Choose words that reflect these feelings, and what you need to release to make space for these feelings. 

Use powerful ‘I am’ statements to visualise yourself in the outcome you desire. 

So if your resolution was to quit a habit you no longer want this January (a common one!) your intention going forward could look something like: 

I make choices that align with my health. 

I am grateful for what I already have/am

To stress/worry less: 

I can find calm in turbulent times. 

I focus on my breath and the present moment. 

To achieve something – a work or personal goal 

I am worthy of success. I am working towards the life of my dreams. 

Write your intention in your journal, or stick it on a post-it on your yoga mat, your bathroom mirror – anywhere you will see it often! Let your intention infuse your thoughts, words and your deeds. 

Remember that these things aren’t always linear, and that you are ever-evolving, ever-growing and ever-learning. There’s no limit to what you can learn, achieve or accomplish… whether that’s in a month, a year or a lifetime. 

Have you set an intention this year? Comment below and start connecting with your community… 

*Sidenote. Sometimes what we’re working through is beyond the usual scope of NYE resolutions. If you suspect you may be struggling with addiction or abuse, then seek professional support. 

As always, the tips here are personal reflections, and do not replace the advice of a medical professional. Always consult your doctor or health practitioner before embarking on new exercise and wellness regimens. Yoga on the Edge is not responsible for any outcomes that may arise from following the information above.

Recommended Posts