There's a certain kind of irony to the timing of New Year's resolutions. Coming on the heels of a busy holiday season that pushes burnout even further for many of us, feeling the pressure to then "change" something about our lives or habits is, well, not particularly an act of kindness. Yes, this time of year may shine a light on some habits we could shift for the better—like making more space for self-care, revamping a morning routine or prioritizing something that you're passionate about.

But, the problem with a New Year's resolution is that it can feel binary: Either you stick to it and it's a success. Or you don't, and it's a failure. Really, neither is true. And, more importantly, that is not the kind of energy we need in our lives right now.

If you want to enter the New Year with a fresh mindset, skip the resolution this year. Instead, create New Year's intentions to guide you during 2022.

What's the difference between resolutions and New Year's intentions?

One of the biggest challenges with a resolution is it is a goal without a plan that makes it possible. Think of common resolutions we hear year after year: to feel stronger, eat healthier, sleep better, spend less time on our phones. On their own, these are all fine goals—but without a roadmap, many of us get lost after the first turn. (AKA about mid-January.) Then what? We feel worse than when we started. Happy New Year!

New Year's intentions, on the other hand, are positive-yet-gentle directions you want to move. These are the steps in the process rather than the end destination. For example, instead of saying "I want to eat healthier," an intention looks like "I intend to learn what nutritious foods I enjoy cooking and eating." It may seem like a small change to the phrasing, but the effect can be a powerful act of acceptance and positivity.

How to create New Year's intentions

In contrast to resolutions, intentions are much more about feelings—and especially those we want embrace in our lives, such as peace, contentment, fulfillment, self-acceptance and so on. To help determine where to start, mindfulness expert Josephine Atluri recommends these steps...

  1. Reflect by thinking about recent challenges you faced and what traits could help
  2. Brainstorm while writing out words or phrases that resonate with you
  3. Put your intention into affect by creating a daily ritual related to it

An intention can feel like a fresh start and an exciting journey—just in a way grants you the love and appreciation you deserve. To help bring your New Year's intention into focus and stay on track, here are a few of our favorite products.

Shoppable

Motherly Intention Notebook Grow

Motherly

$8

1. Intention Notebook

Your brainstorming session starts here. Nurture your most important garden, mama—your heart and mind. This simple open-ended notebook will inspire you to capture your thoughts, your lists and your goals to help you on your path.

Motherly Mantra Candle

Motherly

$20

2. Mantra Candle

If your intention is to be more in the moment or embrace the beauty of imperfections, a little aromatherapy in the form of this deliciously scented candle will help bring you back to your intention in a hurry. Perfect for a (rare) calm moment when you want to feel grounded.

Purple hydration bottle by Motherly

Motherly

$14

3. Hot or Cold Hydration Bottle

Making a habit out of an intention can be as simple as enjoying the process. With a hydration bottle that keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold, you may feel more inspired to sip away during the day—and the positive effects from feeling hydrated can easily spill over to other parts of your life. (Yes, pun intended!)

Sage yoga mat from Motherly

Motherly

$68

4. Sage Green Yoga Mat

Catching quiet time with meditation, yoga or gentle stretching is a great way to give your soul the cosmic hug it deserves. Remember, mama, self care is not selfish. It’s essential. We love the delicate color of this mat and the botanical design that reminds us of growth and progress. Just like the journey of motherhood.