Monday #20: Intentions


Happy New Year, my friends and welcome to the new year of promise that is 2014! I actually do strive to have post titles that are clever in some way and, given that it is the week of resolutionsI figured some variation on “resolution” was in order–even though I am not particularly keen on the whole resolution thing. A quick visit to yielded so many great words that are synonymous with “resolution”!

Check these out: boldness, courage, steadfastness, design, earnestness, purposefulness, and decidedness. Wow! I love all these ideas of ways to be resolute! But, “intention,” which was also one of the synonymous words, was my favorite because I think that, above all things, intention speaks universally to that thing down deep inside ourselves that we must have in order to continue to grow our minds, hearts and souls.

New Year’s “resolutions” tend to have a negative connotation because we choose things in life that we are actually comfortable with and, through our resolutions, take them away. We beat ourselves up about all the ways we don’t get it right and then attempt some imagined idea of perfection; it is a sure recipe for failure and we know this but we do it anyway. Even the word, “resolution” speaks to this. Re-solution. Like a solution you have to come up with again because it didn’t work the first time.

But, the definitions of intention often include a reference to attitude, as in “the purpose or attitude toward the effect of one’s actions or conduct.” And, I think that this is, in fact, the thing down deep inside us that we need to grow minds, hearts and souls. Attitude. That’s where it all begins, right? So, I want to stay focused on attitude this year as much as I can and, with that in mind, I am looking at those synonymous words and coming up with some intentions today:

  • To have the boldness to try new directions with my work.
  • To have the courage to open my heart more.
  • To be steadfast in what I believe is the right path for me.
  • To design a life that keeps me in my joy.
  • To be earnest with the people in my life.
  • To act with purpose in matters that matter.
  • To decide what kind of human I want to be and live accordingly.

Strict, crash diets often fail. Arbitrary schedules and charts lose steam in short order. “Shoulds” and “oughts” make us feel guilty before we even consider changing our behavior. Attitude, however, can lead us toward better intentions one little step at a time. Things like boldness and courage empower us to be better at being us. Purpose gives our lives meaning. And, the best part is that we get to decide our own outcome.

May your 2014 bring you health, happiness and the outcomes you want.

TRY THIS WEEK: Consider your intentions and what they could do for you.

About Dar Hosta James

I am an artist living in New Jersey. I write and illustrate children's books, paint, draw, blog, coach, teach and speak about creativity.
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8 Responses to Monday #20: Intentions

  1. seaangel4444 says:

    What a wonderful post and a terrific way to start off the chilliest Monday here in Chicago for eons! Thanks for the warmth; I feel it! 🙂

  2. Thanks so much! Stay warm over there!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great post !!! Love the thesaurus !!

  4. Great post !!! Love that thesaurus !!

  5. Janet R says:

    Thoughts about resolutions and personal change have been rolling about in my mind since my family dispersed after the holidays. Self-criticism and deprivation are not energizing, to say the least. Imagine my delight upon reading your post and finding you have done all the work of setting meaningful and personal intentions for ‘me’! I am inspired.
    Thank you for your insights.

  6. Pingback: Monday #21: Time For Some Straight Talk, Child | Dar's 52 Mondays Blog

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