Have you ever set a New Year’s resolution and after a few weeks, or even a few days, you’ve lost your motivation to stay the course? Yes? Me too. Setting a resolution is easy. Maintaining your commitment and follow-through is the hard part.

What if I told you there was a way to change this outcome? A way to increase the probability that you will stick with your commitments to change in the New Year? 

Resolutions are a way for us to create accountability for our future behaviors. We resolve to eat better, workout each day, spend more time with our families, run a marathon, or even find a new job. However, defining these types of decisions for ourselves, without a clear “why” behind it, leaves many of us lost and easily distracted in the uncertainty and unhealthy default options of the modern world.

This year, instead of just setting a few New Year’s resolutions, I’m also setting an intention. I do want to write my book, harmonize more quality time with my family, and hit a new career milestone. But, instead of committing to an accomplishment, I’m going to commit to a New Year’s intention.  When I clearly define the way I intend to live my life this year, I build a pathway for my resolutions to become my reality. 

So, what is my intention? To be more deliberate with my time in 2020. When I make a decision on how to spend my most valuable resource this year, I’m going to ask myself one question “Does this time spent bring me value?” Traveling for events, binge-watching my favorite show, or working on various projects can all be valuable depending on the situation. Everything is a trade-off when it comes to time. If my intent is to be deliberate with my time this year, I’ll set a strong foundation for staying committed to the things I’ve resolved to be most important to me this year. 

Maybe you want to lose weight and improve endurance in the new year. Instead of only identifying weight loss as your resolution, why not also set an intention to live a healthier life in 2020? When calculating your choices in 2020, ask yourself “Will this help me improve my health?” With this intent, you can choose exercise over being a couch potato, or making a healthy salad instead of grabbing fast food. This path will lead you to the weight loss and improved endurance you set out to achieve. 

We are embarking on a new decade that is full of opportunity – both to stay committed to our resolutions, or to give up on them when faced with challenge and uncertainty. By setting a clear intention for yourself in 2020, it will light your path and help you stay the course toward the future you desire. 


  • Dr. Jannell MacAulay

    Lt Col, USAF Retired

    Dr Jannell MacAulay is a combat veteran who served 20 years in the US Air Force as a pilot, commander, special operations consultant, and professionalism instructor. With her innovative leadership style, she was the first leader to introduce mindfulness as a proactive performance strategy within the US military. She continues to consult within the DoD, DoJ, and corporate America delivering keynotes and a high-performance warrior mindset training program, called Warrior’s Edge, which she developed with Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks and Dr Michael Gervais. She is a TEDx speaker and mother of two, who is on a mission to help individuals excel in high-stress and rugged environments, by showing them how to lean into each moment to find their best selves. Check out her TEDx talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EETDwk0_ErQ