Sankalpa – संकल्प or ‘good intentions’ in Sanskrit
New year’s resolutions can seems very exciting. A fresh start, a new beginning and possibilities in abundance. It is a chance to renew our commitment to what works in our lives and a chance to let go of what doesn’t. Then at the end of January the newness and excitement is mostly gone, the motivation might have worn off and you start feeling guilty…
A resolution is a strong decision to do or not to do something. Personally I found resolutions didn’t seem to put me in the right frame to create the changes i wanted to see for my life. The idea of setting resolutions wasn’t supporting me, but making me feel more critical and less accepting towards myself instead. An intention seems to be set with more mindfulness, more softness and more self-love.
During yoga classes and retreats we work with setting daily intentions. This practice shifts the energy of the day into a very different mode. I feel more positivity and mindful awareness throughout my day and I feel it has a big influence on daily life for myself and others. I decided to replace the traditional New Year’s resolutions for positive intentions instead.
It can be difficult to take a first step into a new direction. Always keep in mind, that every change starts with baby steps. Don’t set your goals to high: start with one intention and make it fun and easy. Create a routine for your newly found lifestyle-changes and keep it up every day. It’s easier when you keep it light, take it step by step and slowly integrate changes into your life. It also can be very supportive to combine a new habit to an old one. Let’s say you normally start the day with a cup of tea when you wake up, add 6 minutes of meditation right before. Combine them! This way a new habit that is still finding its place into your life, can be supported by something positive you already do!
First. Take a step back and remember the good intentions you had. If you set strong resolutions, translate them into positive intentions. Start with one intention. Maybe you wanted to eat more healthy, practice yoga more often or meditate every day?
It is important to look at your motivation to change something in your life. When you have your intention clear, write down at least 5 benefits of the change your intention will bring. Next, you write down 5 of the negative things that happen if you don’t change it. Now your motivation is clear. Every day, for three to eight weeks, repeat these ‘positives and negatives’ for yourself before you get on the mat, before you go to the organic food store or before you make your way to the meditation pillow.
If you tried it before and you forgot or lost your moment, don’t worry, let it go and just start over. And keep it fun!
“Intention is the seed which creates your future.” ~ Buddha
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