Updated: Jan 16
It's the season for setting resolutions like exercising more, losing weight, saving money, etc. Resolutions are great and it's always beneficial to work towards goals but I stopped setting resolutions several years ago because of a change in my perspective. During a regular yoga class, as I sat on my mat, observing my breath, the teacher instructed us to set an intention for the class like she usually did. That day, I was having an unusually hard time choosing one and the only thing I could muster up was to focus on my breath. Throughout the class, my mind would race and I would fidget but with my intention, I was able to redirect my focus to my breath which allowed me to accomplish a presence I wouldn't have without my intention. At the end of class, I truly felt as though my intention had helped me grow my ability to focus. As I lay in savasana I thought, "if only I could set an intention for the year like I do in class." And so I did. For my first year, my intention was to speak my truth. Each time I felt silenced or afraid to say how I felt, I remembered my intention and it set a tone for how I approached situations that year. At the end of the year, I couldn't believe the difference. Upon reflection, I found how that intention guided me and it drove me to speak up when I normally would keep quiet. After that, I replaced resolutions with intentions.
Resolutions are just face-value goals and intentions seem to achieve more inner growth. They unlock opportunities to be more, achieve more, and become more.
Intentions are deeper than resolutions. It's asking ourselves what we want to manifest in our life, what we want to shift or heal, and what vibe do we want to set. It's asking the universal energies to align with ours. Intentions are a bit more magical than resolution.
Here's how I set my intentions:
The winter solstice marks the time for reflection so I spend the first couple weeks after the solstice journaling and reflecting on the past year. I reflect on my previous intention and what I learned from it. I journal about my growth, hardships I've had, and patterns I've noticed. Then I look at the values I'd like to embody. With that, I can start to get a feel for the intentions id like to set. I go beyond the traditional resolutions of, say, losing weight and ask
myself why that's my goal.... because I want to be healthy so I would consider making healthy choices as my intention. Making healthy choices is a lot broader than losing weight and it includes mental health, spiritual health, and physical health.
In the past years, some of the intentions I have set are: to be a peaceful warrior, be playful, be creative, go with the flow, be more present, and be balanced. This past year probably hasn't been more challenging than any other year but I feel it to a whole new depth. A pattern I noticed was my lack of self-care and my inability to prioritize myself. Once I found
that pattern, I knew it was something I needed to work on.... and tadaa... My intention for 2022.
Once I have found my intention, I write it on my (usually new) planner so I will see it often. I write it on a post-it and stick it to my fridge so I will see it multiple times a day, at least for the first month. Lastly, I seek out a crystal to infuse my intention into. I keep my crystal in my pocket or in my purse so that each time I touch it or come across it, I remember my intention throughout the year. If I'm having a hard time putting my intention into action I hold my crystal to help energize my intention within myself.
I feel like the funnest part is the journaling at the end of the year to see what I've learned. When I did playfulness, I realized how hard embodying playfulness was for me and I realized the shadow work that I needed to do. I didn't accomplish bringing playfulness into my life like I thought I would, but I got to know myself deeper and healed wounds I hadn't known were there. I hope, whatever you choose, resolutions or intentions, that 2023 is filled with adventure, growth, and healing. Namaste.