Daymaker - a person who performs acts of kindness with the intention of making the world a better place.
~ David Wagner
, author of Life as a Daymaker; how to change the world by making someone's day ~

DayMaker - any thought, word, or deed that spreads happiness, compassion, or fruitful ideas.
~ Annis Cassells ~

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Try Intentions instead of Resolutions

“In the new year, I’m gonna…”   Millions of people make New Year’s resolutions, putting themselves on challenge to either stop or start doing something.  Maybe it’s to lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthier, spend less money or spend more time on something or with someone.  Maybe it's all of these.

Millions of others don’t bother to make resolutions.  Why?  Because they always break them.  They don’t want to feel the guilt that comes with breaking promises to themselves or to appear weak to friends and family when they don’t follow through.

But intentions are different.  I can still hear the calm voice of my yoga instructor, Margaret Blanc, at the conclusion of our relaxation phase. “Now it’s time to create an intention for yourself; for this evening, for tomorrow, or for the week.”  In the silence that followed, each of us could create her personal intention and repeat it in her mind. It was a time when we were most open, relaxed, and receptive. 

I’d walk away with that intention in my head.  In those days, it was always the same: “I am building my own happy life.”  Living alone for the first time, I was responsible only for me and to me; some days it was tough going.  And in those inevitable moments when I’d reach a low point, the intention I’d created would pop into my head, flashing like a huge neon sign.  Almost instantly, I’d notice that I was standing a little taller, throwing my shoulders back, and smiling, moving on to my next task or thought. 

After awhile, I realized that I was fulfilling that intention. Then, it was time to summon another. 

They say, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”  But intentions coupled with mindfulness hold power. 
Each of us can reach inside and come up with an intention for ourselves so that we can lead happier, healthier lives. An intention becomes reality when we concentrate on it for our own personal growth and well-being, when we listen to it and let it guide us.

Focusing on one clear intention, constructing it as a positive statement in the present tense, as if you are doing it now, makes all the difference.

Follow this formula for creating intentions:
* Close your eyes and take a few moments to become fully relaxed. 
* Let your mind wander until it settles upon something that you want or need to do for yourself.
* Create your intention:  “I am _______ing ____________________________.
* See yourself doing it.
* Let your body feel the way you’ll feel when you are doing it.

What intention will you create for yourself -- for today, tomorrow, this week, or this year -- so that you can take a positive step for a successful and happy 2012? Just start with one.

May you create a happy and fulfilling 2012 for yourselves.

~ xoA ~


  1. I'm with you, Annis, I think New Year's resolutions just set you up for failure. I hope you and Judy have a wonderful year in 2012!

  2. I like the idea of intentions over resolutions. While resolutions rely on constancy, intentions require determination. Seeing and feeling intentions create space for determination.

    Best wishes for a happy new year full of good things.

  3. Hi, Bobbi. I do know that I always failed when I made resolutions. Thanks for writing, and may 2012 bring you and Andrea all good things. ~xoA

  4. Hi, Dennis. I love your observation that intentions create space for determination. Thanks for sharing this. May 2012 be another superb year for you! ~xoA

  5. Your lovely post comes at just the right time! I'm working with intentions for The Artist's Way (I opened 2012 with it) and that this fits so nicely feels like one of those little nudges we get when we pay attention. Happy New Year, Annis.

  6. Amazing how those nudges come right when we need them, isn't it. Thanks so much for writing. xoA