“A good intention clothes itself with sudden power.”     Ralph Waldo Emerson

2011 004 (3)

Do you make New Year’s resolutions or set intentions for the following year?  Is there a difference in them and how does that affect your life?  Do you usually follow through with what you set or intend?

Resolutions or Intentions

I used to make New Year’s resolutions and I saw them as goals for the year.  Often I worked very hard to achieve them, but encountered many blocks along the way that delayed the achievement or made it impossible.  Then, when I was unable to meet the goal, I felt bad about myself.

A few years ago, I gave up making resolutions and started setting intentions.  For example, my intention was to publish my book by the end of 2011, but that didn’t happen.  Because I’d never published a book before, it took much longer to edit and prepare it than I anticipated.  I could have published it and met my goal, but the book wouldn’t have been as professional as I wanted it to be, and part of my intention was to make it as professional as possible.

Do You focus On An Aim Or Course Of Action?

The definitions of resolution and intention are interesting.  Resolution means a course of action decided upon or firm determination.  Intention means an aim that guides action or a course of action one intends to follow.  The difference is subtle.  A course of action sounds like a plan.  We know what we want to achieve and how to achieve it, but an aim that guides our action indicates an underlying reason for whatever we are going to do.

While it is true that intentions alone don’t lead us to accomplish what we wish, they are an important guide when combined with action.  My experience has been that the steps I need to take to a goal may change as I travel the path, so if I’m stuck on doing it a certain way, I may overlook a much better choice.  What keeps me on the path, though, is the intention.

Our Word Has Spiritual Power

Ernest Holmes, the author of Science of Mind and the founder of that philosophy, says, “Just what is meant by ‘your word?’ It means your conscious intention, your conscious direction, your conscious faith and acceptance that, because of what you’re doing, the Power of Spirit will flow through your word in the direction you give.”  So in creating an intention, we are setting “our word” in motion in the universal flow of energy.   Once we put it out there, it can draw to us what we need to accomplish our goal.


Intention (Photo credit: turahbird)

Combine Intention and Action For Results

This doesn’t mean we don’t take action.  It means we start taking the steps we know to take and stay open to what shows up. We stay focused on the intention.  For example, my intention in writing a blog post every week is to share what I know so that it may help others.  So that people know when to expect the post, I write it every Wednesday, but writing it on another day doesn’t affect the intention.  So there may be variations in the path to fulfill one intention.

One of the most typical New Year’s resolutions is to get in shape; yet, most people stop exercising in two months and gym memberships plummet by March.  I suspect many people set goals in this area expecting unrealistic progress.  Maybe focusing on an intention would work better.

After I stopped dancing, I walked regularly to stay healthy, but I was living in New Orleans where it rained often and I couldn’t walk outside.  Sometimes it was too hot.  Finally, I got sick of my own excuses about why I wasn’t walking, and I bought a treadmill so I would never have an excuse not to exercise.  This worked.  I also realized I need variety and get bored doing the same thing every day.  Some days I hike or walk outside.  Some days I walk on the treadmill and read while I exercise.  Some days I just walk rapidly in the house.  I have also taken yoga and tai chi and dance classes.  So my intention is to stay healthy and that requires that I get some kind of exercise at least 5 days a week.  Being open about it helps me to do it regularly.

Keep Good Energy Flowing

So if you’ve made resolutions or intentions, I wish you well with them.  Be devoted to what aim guides your action: better health, relating in a more loving way with others, developing new job skills.  Keep moving forward, but stay open to new possibilities, and know that staying positive about even the setbacks will keep the good energy flowing to assist you.

Happy New Year!  What are your intentions or resolutions for the year?  Please comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                                     ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  I highly recommend that you set aside time to view this video: Wayne Dyer – The Power of Intention (video)Like Clouds Without Rain, Life Has A Crush on You, Spiritual Reading, Ernest Holmes (audio)


  1. The definition of resolution is “a course of action determined or decided on,” or “a firm determination.” That sounds awfully final, doesn’t it? Not very flexible at all. Maybe that’s why my New Year’s resolutions haven’t lasted – they feel too much like something I have to do or should do, almost against my will.

  2. The intention carries us farther than a resolution which seems fraught with judgment and failure. An intention acts as our anchor and pulls us back to center, away from the distractions, allowing us to carry out the direction that we set for ourselves again and again.Why not set yourself up for success in 2013? Set an intention. Direct your mind to what you want to do or be or feel. You will have repeated occasions to experience success. And you will have repeated occasions to say, “how human of me” and then step one foot in front of the other on your journey.

  3. In his book, “The Seat of the Soul,” Gary Zukav states that an intention is not only a desire, it is the use of your will. Setting a powerful intention requires clarity of vision and determination. Allow yourself to have your dream, create a vision of the intended outcome, and, despite adversity or those who might unintentionally be sabotaging that dream, stay focused on your intention.

  4. I really like the distinction between NY resolutions and intentions. I think you’re right that intentions takes away the some of the stress that would come with only focusing on achievement. I always enjoy thinking about “new starts” and a fresh look at what is working for me, and what maybe isn’t! 🙂

  5. I love this! The distinction between resolution and intention is so on key. Intention plus Action Equals Manifestation of the dream.
    When you clearly set your intention and add the foot work (by acting on what you believe), then your faith/belief will cause the right people, things, situations, circumstances, and resources to move toward you. Faith in our intention will cause us to SPEAK. Words are pregnant with creative power, They birth our current reality. So it is very important that the intention and the words we speak are in complete alignment. If they aren’t , then we will not get the right result. So it is extremely important that we watch the words that we speak.. Likewise, our intention is a promise that we make to ourselves, a covenant. If we lack faith in our words, then how can we manifest what we “say” we desire? This is so rich…

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