The New Year is upon us. It’s time to set those New Year’s Resolutions. Or is it? When you set a New Year’s Resolution and you don’t manage to achieve it, how do you feel? Do you feel defeated and deflated? We start out with excitement and great expectations of the changes that we will make—this year. Yet, if we don’t achieve those goals and make those changes, we can be so hard on ourselves.
When we set New Year’s Resolutions, we can set ourselves up for failure. We set goals that we may not be able to achieve; and when we don’t, we feel as though we’ve lost, or that we’re not good enough! New Year’s Resolutions focus on the future, rather than on the present. When we lose that extra 10 pounds, we imagine how good we’ll feel. That might be true; we might feel better when we’ve lost some extra weight, but what about right now? We want to feel better in this moment!
When we set an intention, we set ourselves up for success. Setting an intention can help you to live in the moment and enjoy each moment as it comes. An intention gives you a road map for how you want to live your life, rather than a resolution, which only gives you a map showing you the final destination, and doesn’t give you any idea of how to get there.
Suppose you do want to lose weight. Think about how you can achieve that. What would you do in your life to bring that weight loss to fruition? Would you intend to eat more healthfully, nourishing your body with more fresh fruits and vegetables? Would you intend to move your body each day to give it the exercise it requires to stay strong and flexible? Perhaps your intention might be to ‘live a healthier lifestyle’.
Once you’ve set your intention, write it down. Then take some time to think about how you will feel when you assimilate this intention into your life. You may feel stronger; have a more positive outlook on life; feel more energetic. What wonderful feelings and outcomes to achieve for yourself!
Knowing that we cannot predict the future, allow yourself to enjoy the present moment; live in the present moment and bring your conscious awareness of how you want to ‘be’, into the present moment. “Sankalpa—the Sanskrit word for intention—is generated for your soul’s growth. A good intention nurtures your consciousness and has the power to significantly raise your awareness. When you set an intention, you don’t have to worry about your actions. A righteous intention creates a righteous action.”
I, as many of us are, am looking for more joy, and gratitude in my life. My intention is ‘to explore my relationships’: to explore my relationship with myself, to explore my relationships with others, to explore my relationship with the world I live in.
When I begin these explorations, I believe I will feel more joy in these closer and more connected relationships, and I will feel gratitude for the relationships that I am nurturing and holding close to my heart—whether the relationship is with others, with me, or with the world around me.
This year, anchor yourself in the present moment, set an intention, and create meaningful changes in your life.
Pose of the Month
To ground yourself in the present moment, try an asana that supports your Root Chakra— Utkatasana (Chair Pose):
To do Utkatasana, start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your big toes together and heels slightly apart. Make sure that your knees are pointing forward. If they aren’t, adjust your feet. Inhale, as you bring your arms up over your head. Exhale and begin to bend your knees as though you are going to sit down in a chair. Sit down as low as you can, and bring your weight into your heels. Look down at your feet to make sure you can see all 10 toes. If you can’t see your toes, then your knees are too far forward and you are putting stress on the knee joint—so sit back. Lift your toes, and this will help you to sit back towards your heels. Tuck your tailbone and firm your abdominal muscles. Hold this pose breathing in and out through the nose for 6 to 8 breaths. To come out of the pose, straighten the legs and bring your arms back down to your sides. If it is difficult to keep your arms up over your head, you can bring your hands to Prayer, or Anjali Mudra.
Good luck with intention setting. I’d love to hear how it goes! Next month, I’ll explore the Root Chakra!
Reference: Why you should focus on intentions instead of resolutions this year (and how to do it).https://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/why-you-should-focus-on-intentions-instead-of-resolutions/