Forget Resolutions, Let’s Focus on Intentions
Every year it’s the same routine. I create a resolution that seems like a lovely idea at the time but by the end of January, it’s been sidelined by other ideas deemed more important. Then when the next New Year’s Eve rolls around, I have these lingering feelings of guilt over last year’s long-forgotten resolution. There was one year though, when my resolution actually stuck; it was a commitment to saving money to take myself on a self-love date once a month, like a facial or a massage. And now, looking back, I see it was because this resolution was rooted in how I wanted to feel rather than how I thought I should be or the resolutions I thought I should make. That’s when I realized that resolutions were a tired tradition and it was time to focus on setting powerful intentions instead.
One of my favourite books that came out a few years back is The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte. In the book, Danielle coaches the reader on how to make intentions on how you’d like to feel rather than on timely goals. I know EVERY other goal-setting book suggests ‘timely goals’…and I don’t think there is anything wrong with those, it’s just nice to get a new perspective! After reading this book, I realized that this new process of committing to fulfilling our desires was revolutionary. Here are the 3 effective shifts the Desire Map created within my New Year’s resolution setting ritual:
1) You are deserving of your desires. So many of us are afraid to follow our desires because we feel guilt or shame around what we really want. So, instead we follow goals we don’t really love because that’s what we’re ‘supposed to do’.
2) There’s little authenticity in this practice and the universe knows it (which is why it can be so hard to achieve our goals – the universe doesn’t believe we really want to achieve them!).Words have potent power. The language we use dictates our reality. Be very careful which words you use to determine your intention(s) for the new year as they hold within them the power of manifestation.
3) Make changes without criticizing the past. Don’t let your past control your future! One of my favorite yoga quotes from Swami Kripalu is, “The highest practice of yoga is self-observation without judgement”. When we abandon the judgement we carry around for ourselves, whether it’s past regrets, shame, guilt, etc., we open up all kinds of new possibilities for expansion. Glorious.
This year, may you feel pride and and love for your new intentions. May you tap into your greatest desires. And may you not be afraid to really feel, to get to know who you really are, and to not be afraid to stand up for what you really want.
If you need help setting intentions, this program on clarifying your purpose and finding the path to your yoga teacher bliss may help.