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On the cusp of a new year, we are surrounded by talk of resolutions.

I’m going to lose weight this year.”

“I’m going to get my finances in order.”

“I’m going to meditate every day.”

But we all know that resolutions don’t work. We lose motivation. Inertia sets in once again. Or we just forget that we made the goal in the first place.

According to Psychology Today, less than 10% of resolutions stick. What’s the problem?

The reason resolutions don’t work is because they are just mental exercises. Just ideas or desires with no energy behind them. The only thing that can make a resolution stick is a change in habit, lifestyle, or mindset.

In short, it takes setting an intention.

But what is the difference?

Intentions are the messages, plans, and directions we send out to the universe with our every thought – and make no mistake, the universe listens. Intentions dictate our personal level of vibration, including higher frequencies, like those of love, compassion, and generosity, or lower frequencies, such as fear, jealousy, and rage. Our intentions are determined by our thoughts and feelings, even if we don’t outwardly express them. They determine our reality, because like attracts like. We not only get what we give, but we get what we are.

Resolutions are also thoughts or ideas, but they are mostly fleeting. They do not pack any energetic punch. They don’t reflect the essential signals we offer to the universe.

We must become conscious of the messages that we send out with our thoughts and feelings. For instance, if we believe that we are powerless at work, we will continue to be met with overbearing colleagues who demean and exploit us. But if we know, without a doubt, that we are valuable members of the team, as worthy as anyone at our organization, we might find ourselves treated with more respect and authority – or with an opportunity to move to a better position. Our co-workers may not be mind readers, but we all unconsciously pick up on these vibes and react to them.

We can change our place in the world – including how others see us, our level of success, and any other area of concern – when we set the intention to do so. Sending a new signal to the universe allows our frequency to change, and other things fall into place. It’s both easy and difficult to do. Setting an intention, such as bringing in more money, is as simple as knowing that you are capable and worthy of greater wealth and abundance. But this must be a visceral knowing, not a mere intellectual exercise (although fake-it-till-you-make-it is a fine place to start). And it must be made in the present tense, “I am prosperous,” rather than “I want to become prosperous.”

The present tense shifts our vibration to a mode of having rather than wanting, which implies lack. Remember, we attract what we are. Wanting what we do not have only attracts more of the same – not having it. You must shift your mindset to an appreciation of all of the prosperity, in its many forms, that you already have, and think and act as if you already have everything you could ever need.

The real challenge in setting an intention is having utter faith that the universe will provide for you, and then let go of the outcome because the universe can offer so much more than you can imagine for yourself.

For instance, say you are hoping for a raise at work. By setting a simple intention for more wealth and then leaving it up to the universe to bring it to you for the highest good of all (a valuable clarifying phrase to tack onto any intention – you don’t want to attain wealth through a settlement for a bad car accident!), you may instead receive an unexpected windfall that allows you to quit your unsatisfying job and pursue your dream of entrepreneurship. By aligning our intentions with our highest good, we are open, flexible, and ready to receive.

This doesn’t mean that you can then sit back and wait for the universe to drop everything you want into your lap. You have to pull your own weight and commit to the actions necessary to realize your intentions. But that effort will be much more effective — you will be more motivated and encounter fewer obstacles — if you combine your action with intention.

So when you set your intentions, rather than resolutions, for 2020, you seek to become what you want to receive – and that makes all the difference.

Happy new year!

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