Every January, most of us pledge to a personal list of resolutions to kick start the new year.

Many are eager to improve their health and wellness, adopting the latest diet or exercise routine, renouncing old habits and seriously pursuing a healthier life.

Some are inclined to seek a higher level of professional satisfaction from their careers- by way of a new job, a promotion, entrepreneurship and a start-up. Others, to inspire their team to thrive, become more assertive and convincing, gain greater influence in their organizations.

Those who lean on the emotional side, in general, are looking to reduce stress and enjoy life more. They strive to increase empathy and compassion, become less complicated, more confident and happier.

Others whose spiritual dimension takes precedence will try to express gratitude more often, learn to forgive, increase consciousness or find peace.

And the more ambitious will probably venture for a complete transformation and a radical self-reinvention during the year.

Whatever the objective or combination of resolutions spurring us, it has been shown that only a small number of us achieve the aforementioned during the course of the year, while most of us gradually lose interest after a few months, or even weeks. This could be due to a lack of genuine commitment, or the absence of an action plan.  Other reasons include having no clear definition on how to measure progress or even lacking incentives to keep us on track during the entire process.

What could happen if, instead of focusing on goals that are tactical and disintegrated, we engage in introspection and seek out the essence or intention that lies at the base from which all our desires and aspirations emerge? What if we search for the common point of convergence?

To understand the real intention giving rise to our purposes and desires as opposed to defining the latter could allow us to learn more about ourselves and reveal what it is we truly want to be manifested in our lives.

And, if we could sum up this intention in only one word, what could it be? Let me provide a couple of illustrations.

I have a friend who has chosen “AND” as his intention-word for 2018.He says that “AND” allows to put two things together, two people, two thoughts, two ideas, and to create a new reality that is more inventive, more beautiful and richer. He thinks that “AND” is more important than “OR” and is absolutely convinced that when adding, the result is always greater than the sum of its parts.

My friend is committed to developing and fostering “AND” in his life; he wants to be more inclusive and hence more creative. Connecting instead of separating will be his objective this year, and his resolutions and goals will consequently be centered on this intention.

I, on the other hand, have decided that my intention-word for 2018 is “FLOW”.  During this new year, I plan to place less resistance on what happens and accept things and situations as they come. I want to stop predicting, pushing and controlling results and outcomes.  In short, I want to concentrate on being rather than doing.

The oriental masters use the metaphor of the river when they describe this process, they say that a river always remains the same and at the same time, it brings forth new water each moment.

I will make my intention-word “FLOW” ever present, and like a mantra, it will accompany me during the entire year as the foundation of my goals.  Remembering it will help me stay the course when destabilizing situations threaten to deviate me from my goals.

This doesn’t mean that I will avoid the action plan or eliminate measuring the progress or setting a few incentives. Simply put, I believe that identifying myself with what I deeply want will make the process much easier, more authentic and fun.