The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) holds that all actions are controlled by intentions. TPB, developed by Icek Ajzen in 1985, suggests an individual's intention to perform or not to perform a particular behavior is prerequisite to any action. Intentions are defined as the motivational factors that indicate the extent to which people are willing to go to perform a particular behavior; hence, the stronger the intention to perform a behavior, the higher the likelihood that an individual will perform it.
I worked with someone a while back who took the theory to an extreme level – if you “intend” something strongly enough, it will happen. I thought of it as kind of a cult, maybe because she told me about it with that glazed dogma look that brooks no argument.
But, I have noticed there may be a kernel of truth there as well. If there is something we set our minds to and steer toward at every opportunity, it has a stronger chance of being achieved than if we are just moving along and hoping good things will happen to us. Of course, there is an element of seeing what relates to us there as well.
When I was very pregnant, all three times, I saw a lot of pregnant women in the environment – it seemed as if there was an abundance of pregnancy, but really it was just because it was on my mind and therefore in my view.
On the other hand, you never know. When I was a child, I went with my mom to a certain drug store in Albuquerque regularly. On the wall above a door was a poster that I loved and coveted greatly but I kept it secret because I thought my parents would think it was silly. Come my birthday and voila, there it was in the small present pile. Coincidence or intention?
While a resolution is a statement to change something about yourself or your lifestyle, an intention is more focused on creating abundance in your life. As a result, resolutions tend to inspire negative thoughts about your current situation and intentions can inspire actual focused outcomes.
“I’ve grown to love how setting an intention brings a feeling of excitement and promise,” writes Danielle Diamond (yoga and lifestyle expert) for nutritiouslife.com.
Diamond says the word “sankalpa,” which translated from Sanskrit, means resolve, or good intention. I love that there is an actual word for what I am trying to say.
Either way, my intent for 2022 is a reduction in sadness. So many sad things happened in 2021 I am quite tired of them and it’s time for things to turn around a little bit. I’m still not sure my personal intention will affect world sadness, but I can always try.