Why do so many people make New Years resolutions with good intentions but don’t reach their goals?
The ancient wisdom of Stoicism is timely and the approach suggests setting intentions instead of goals. Setting intentions involves focusing on actions within your control rather than specific outcomes. Instead of fixating on achieving a particular goal, you focus on establishing intentions based on your values. Your focus is on what is within your control and adjusting your reactions to what happens beyond your control.
We have little or no control over our partner, our boss, the stock market, sickness and illness, death and other stressors that occur in life. Therefore goals are difficult to reach. Intentions on the other hand, are based on your values and higher morals and how you will react to setbacks or frustrations. Your reactions are within your control. Stoic philosophy focuses on your intentions instead of setting goals. For example, you set an intention to approach challenges with resilience, to act justly in business dealings, or to continuously learn and improve. This way, you align your efforts with principles rather than external results, promoting a mindset of tranquility and improving amid uncertainty.
Stoic journaling is a reflective, purposeful practice that helps to cultivate a deep understanding of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. It also highlights your intentions for the day and reflects how well you did and how you can improve the next day. The steps in stoic journaling are:
- Gratitude — Write down three things that happened today that you are grateful for. …
- Good — Write down three things you did well today. …
- Bad — Write down three things you could have done better.
Through journaling we realize how much more productive we are and how many things we have to be grateful for as we prepare for our next day of living out our intentions.
Having a coach through this process is very empowering. A coach keeps you accountable and supported as you clarify and live up to your desired intentions through daily, weekly or monthly sessions. Schedule a free 15 minute session to discuss your intentions for 2024.. www.innovativecounselingservicesinc.com