A New Year and New Intentions

It’s the new year, time for…goals? Resolutions? I have missed many goals and broken many resolutions. But I have become a great fan of intentions. For the new year, make new intentions. What the heck do I mean?

Image of the word Start at the beginning of a road to the mountains, Make your new intentions for the new year.


As a writer, I first came across the term creative intentions as explained by Orna Ross in her eleven-part blog series, The Power of Creative Intention for Creativepreneurs.

It is my belief that everyone is creative. See my post, You Don’t Have to Be an Artist. But I know not all of you believe that. So drop the word creative and just use intentions. 

Anyone and everyone can set intentions. About now you’re getting impatient for a definition. (I know I was when I started learning about this mindset). To get to a definition, we need to look at the root word, intend.

According to Merriam-Webster, intend means “to have in mind as a purpose or goalPLAN” or “to direct the mind on” or (archaic) to proceed on a course.

Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

To have in mind as a purpose seems a much better way to think about what my plans are for the new year. In my mind, a goal and a resolution have more permanence and allow little flexibility. An intention seems a more flexible way to plan despite the interruptions and disruptions we all face in life. 

close up of dart board, Keep your eye on the target with new intentions

We can miss a goal. We break most resolutions. But an intention is a focus. When life gets in the way of your plan, take care of that event or disturbance intending to return to your primary plan. Every morning begins with a renewed intention.

It’s a wise man who understands that every day is a new beginning, because boy, how many mistakes do you make in a day? I don’t know about you, but I make plenty. You can’t turn the clock back, so you have to look ahead.

Mel Gibson

More than One

Heck, you might have more than role and therefore more than one area of intentions. I am a writer which means I’m also a marketer and a website manager. Another of my roles is as a caregiver. Therefore, I have intentions for Making (writing stories), Managing (website and blog), Marketing (my books), and Home (caregiving and household duties).

When I decide upon my intention for a new year, I make one broad intention for each area.

My intentions this year are to finish If I Should Die (Make), Improve my website (manage), run ads for my books (Market), and be a compassionate caregiver and manage our household duties (Home). I also choose two or three secondary actions for each.

Going Forward

Once I know what my year’s plan looks like, then I break up those intentions into quarterly and monthly steps. No matter what life interruptions I have, I keep my focus because of my intentions. 

Do you make goals or resolutions? Or do you prefer setting intentions? What new intentions have you set for 2020?


  1. Interesting way to look at it. On one level, it really just seems like semantics – just another word for goal. “Intentions” could also be thought of as the actions you plan to take in order to reach a goal. I don’t do resolutions, because those always struck me as something where if you miss once, you’re done. Whereas I always think of my goals as flexible, or at least something where you can “fail to success” (i.e., you still have more accomplished than before). Whatever you call them, good luck!

    1. Yes, you’re right about “intentions” also meaning your action plan. In a way you’re also right that it’s semantics. But semantics matter. It’s a trick we can play on our brain. For you, goals and “fail to success” works. For me the words “goal” and “fail” derail me. We each must find our own path to success. Good luck to you, too!

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