One of the Oxford Dictionary’s definitions of the word resolution is “A firm decision to do or not to do something.”
We make a lot of firm resolutions this time of year, don’t we? But what’s our true intention?
By and large, New Year’s Resolutions are “fuzzy” at best. For example, we resolve to eat better, but what we’re really saying is that we aim to eat better. We want to eat better.
But are we really resolved to eat better?
I wonder if we should consider retiring the word “resolution” altogether and replace it with something more reasonable. A word that both empowers us to hit our goals and also acknowledges that we are human beings who are allowed to strive imperfectly toward those goals.
What if… we made New Year’s Intentions, instead?
One of the Oxford Dictionary’s definitions of the word intention is “a person’s designs.” Wow, now THAT is a concept I can get behind.
We can design our days, our plans, our lives – but also be open to the fluidity of life. This means exercising compassion with ourselves. It means keeping our eyes and hearts fixed on what we want, while cradling ourselves in the loving embrace of self-empathy on those days that we don’t walk the path perfectly.
This is especially important for individuals serving as family caregivers for a loved one living with dementia. In the face of such a challenging role, embracing an intention exhibits so much more self-compassion than shackling yourself to some rigid resolution. You’re human. You’re doing the best you can. And you deserve a little “loving leeway” in your life.