The Blend

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Blog

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Ditch Your Resolutions and Aim for Intentions


It's January 2020. You've suited up in your new sweats and sneakers and rolled into the local gym for the first time. You made a New Year's resolution to exercise four times a week, and you're sticking to it! Now, how exactly does this contraption with the pulleys work? Is that a chair lift or a triceps machine?


Fast forward to April, and you haven't set foot in a gym for weeks. Don't take it too hard — only 8% of Americans achieve their New Year's resolutions every year, and a big chunk of the population doesn't bother with them at all. But many people can make significant changes in their life, whether they adopt healthy habits or learn new skills. What's the secret?


Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work


8% is a fraction of the population. Behind that statistic lies a hard truth — resolutions aren't a great way to achieve your goals. Here's where a resolution can fall short:


  • Resolutions focus on the goal. Homing in on specific details can miss the big picture. If you resolve to "lose 15 pounds," you'll spend more time on the scale than on rearranging your lifestyle. 


  • With a resolution, there are two destinations: failure or success. A resolution creates pressure to pull through in the short-term without considering the long-term.


  • Once you achieve a resolution, you can revert to the same habits without consequence.


Aim for Intentions Instead


Ditch your New Year's resolutions and, for the upcoming year, aim for intentions. Intentions represent your hopes and your values. Unlike resolutions, intentions are not measurable or quantifiable. Here's why crafting intentions can put you on a path to happiness:


  • An intention focuses on the journey instead of the destination. Intentions are process-based: "I will treat my body better." "I will be more conscious about what I eat and why."


  • With an intention, there are many paths you can take, but all of them push you toward a happier, more fulfilling lifestyle. You could start eating more vegetables or work on reducing portions with the same intention. 


  • An intention makes motivation easier by centering your progress on positivity.


  • You will be open to new possibilities and can allow your intentions to shift during the year. What you discover impacts how you grow.


Possible New Year's Intentions for 2020


Take a step back from numbers to measure and boxes to be checked. Just ask: how do I want to grow? Here are some possible intentions you could incorporate into your 2020.


  • "I will connect with other people." Instead of catching up with a friend via email, head to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® and grab a couple of lattes. Set a designated time to respond to texts and notifications so you can spend less time on your phone. Call up an old teacher or co-worker with whom you've lost touch.


  • "I will focus on being grateful." There's a lot to be stressed about in 2020. Take stock and appreciate what you do have. Say "thank you" more often. Tell people how much they mean to you. Donate to causes you support.


  • "I will get more rest." Stop spreading yourself so thin! Taper off of caffeine after lunch. Take electronics out of the bedroom. Practice saying "no." Budget free time in your schedule, so you have moments to recharge and reflect.


  • "I will do more for myself." Reduce your subscriptions to box and delivery services. Try new recipes. Practice repairing household items when they fall apart. Create a coffee bar at home so you can enjoy a creamy cappuccino without leaving your cozy apartment.


Ring in 2020 with a realigned focus on intentions. As we head into the chilly winter season, cherish the journey and stop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® if you're in desperate need of a pick-me-up.