Intentions Instead Of Resolutions
The New Year is just around the corner and this year is coming to an end. The last few days of December are good time for letting go of the previous year and starting a new year with a clean slate. A lot of people take this time to reflect on the past year and set new resolutions for the year to come. But this year, the team at Yogi Spirit have decided to skip the usual resolutions. Why? Because New Year's resolutions can be a challenge to keep.
Resolutions are meant to guide our lives through the year. But they can feel like a burden especially when we slip up as we invariably will because we are human. This can lead to feelings of guilt and criticising ourselves about our lack of discipline. While New Year's resolutions are grand gestures it is difficult to plan out an entire year with grandiose plans. We may also need to change direction and to bend with the winds of change.
When we set resolutions, we often do it from a sense of fear or of not being good enough. That feeling will haunt our decisions throughout the new year and will not allow us to step out of own way and trust ourselves . New year's resolutions can lead to feelings of disappointment in oneself.
It makes sense that resolutions don’t stick when you stop to consider what a “resolution” is: 'the solution to a problem, a decision or determination, an opinion expressed as part of a voting body'.
So let's start the start this new year by being kind to ourselves and not set self punishing resolutions, instead start 2019 with an intention.
Why an intention?
Wayne Dyer defines intention as “a strong purpose or aim, accompanied by a determination to produce a desired result.”
An intention is something you aim to achieve, something that has a purpose, something that you actively work to manifest in your life. And that intention can be a single word that evokes a state of mind. One single word. That's all you need. It is the equivalent of a mantra with the intention of focusing on key themes that motivate us,” says Roy Cohen.
This word will be your soul's compass. It will guide you on your journey and allow you to make decisions that align with who you are. The word will invoke positive feelings. Your intention will encourage you to make decisions based upon how how it makes you feel.
An intention will be a more all encompassing theme that guides you. For example a resolution might be to go to yoga class 3 times a week, but this might feel like a command. Whereas a single word such as 'health' which may include going to yoga class but it may also involve your sleep or your diet. So if you don't make it yoga, other aspects of your lifestyle are still nurturing your intention. The intention lives on in more decisions than going to a yoga class, it is about the lifestyle that you want to be living.
How do I pick my intention?
Begin by reflecting on this last year. Journalling about your year both the bad and good can give you insights on how feel and how you want to feel in the future. What do you want more of this year? Ask yourself how you want to feel , what can you do more of that aligns with your true self and makes you feel happy.
Picking an intention will mean really going inward and listening and trusting yourself. The word you pick will create an emotional response within you and create a sense of excitement for your life.
If you don’t know what word to choose, that’s okay. Finding a word that aligns with you can take time and requires some thought.
What do you want out of the next year? What do you want when it comes to your career? Health? Finance? Personal wellness? What makes you feel alive? What’s most important to you? What drains you? What holds you back? What brings you frustration? What would make you happy? What are some goals you want to achieve?
Meditate or journal on these questions and look for a connection. A word may spontaneously arise, trust yourself. Ask yourself what word is at the core of those goals. If your goal is to finally enrol in that class that you've been wanting to take for ages, maybe courage is what you need. Then courage is your word.
Once you’ve found your word, remember it. To create the life you desire, remind yourself of your intention during the day. Have your intention written down on a post-it or put on a mirror or a fridge so you can see it every day and make choices that align with your intention. When challenges arise, look to your intention for guidance.
With this intention, you have a simple word that will guide you throughout the year by encouraging you to make decisions that will lead to feelings of happiness.
Henry David Thoreau as you enter the New Year: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”