Intentions for the New YearTuesday, January 3, 2017 9:47
Forget Resolutions: How “living with intention” yields better results than “resolving to try”
The new year is a time we often renew our commitment to ourselves, consciously checking in with that part of us that we know is capable of creating, quite literally, anything. It’s a time when we ask the questions: in what ways do I want to grow and transform, and how will I accomplish these goals? What positive changes do I want to manifest in my life?
Enter – the inevitable New Year’s Resolutions. Ever notice how so often, within a few weeks of the new year, most resolutions have been broken – leaving us with feelings of guilt, shame and failure? This year why not take a slightly different approach: We invite you were to forego the tradition of making resolutions… and instead tap into the power of intention.
Why do so many New Year’s Resolutions fail?
The word “resolution” carries a negative vibration – coming from a place of inadequacy, lack or the need to “fix” something. It focuses your attention on the “problem” and reinforces the notion that you are not enough. There is a strictness in resolutions – all or nothing.
Resolutions are future-oriented and focus on attachment to outcomes (lose 10 pounds). Intentions instead anchor us in the present moment and focus us on trusting the process. For example, instead of resolving to do yoga five times a week, you could simply set the intention to honor your body with the movement it craves. This intention might lead you to find time to a break to stretch in the middle of your workday, to take walks in your neighborhood a little more often, or dance in the kitchen while you cook.
Intentions are like planting seeds and honoring the process of their growth. Here are a few ways to help you plant seeds of intention for yourself in the new year:
To find intentions (instead of resolutions) requires asking yourself what you want and creating a quiet listening space to find the answers. Try quieting the mind and focusing inward through meditation. Committing to a regular intention meditation is a great place to start inviting its power into your life.
Write it down
The physical act of putting pen to paper can transform your intentions from abstract head stuff into a real, physical object. Carry your intentions with you. Read and update your intentions often.
Share your intention with others
Intentions become more real when we voice them aloud. Find someone to share your intentions with, and turn to them for encouragement and accountability. For some daily intent-spiration, www.intent.com (an online intention vision board social network) is a great tool for accountability and support.
Check in with yourself daily
Bringing awareness to an intention at the beginning of each day is a positive practice for training your subconscious mind to prepare for whatever life throws your way. You’re telling yourself “no matter what happens out there, this is how I choose to experience it.”
Remember – baby steps
Rather than focusing on a goal that feels unattainable, shift your awareness to what you can do today … right now…in this moment to embody wholesome thoughts and feelings. While it’s important to dream big and have a vision, zooming too far out can often leave us overwhelmed and paralyze our progress. Set the intention to take small actionable steps in the right direction every day by bringing awareness to your state of being.
Let go of the “how”
As explained by spiritual teacher and author Deepak Chopra, “our intentions attract the elements and forces, the events, the situation, the circumstances and the relationships necessary to fulfill the intended outcome. We don’t need to become involved in the details. Let the non-local intelligence synchronize the actions of the universe to fulfill your intentions for you.”
Intention is about getting in touch with an inner transformation that can take place in every moment of every day – with detachment from the end result. It takes away the unrealistic all-or-nothing pressure of the “New Year’s Resolution” and sets you up for better success and happiness.
We wish the best for you in the new year, in whatever you set your intention.