New Year's intentions get a bad rap. We all know the stereotype; everyone flocks to the gym in January with the intention of losing weight, but by February it's back to sleeping in and eating crap - another year, another fail. While creating a change in your life can offer challenges, I certainly don't believe that sticking with your intentions is impossible. I LOVE New Year's intentions, and I pride myself on having pretty great success. When I sat down to think about what I do that supports turning my intentions into reality, I saw that there were several things that promoted manifesting my dreams. I want to share them with you in hopes that your 2018 goals are met and your hopes surpassed!
Firstly, let's talk about the intentions themselves. Be specific and prolific. In other words a blanket intention to 'be kinder' is hard to quantify and hard to measure. Most big goals require meeting lots of little milestones along the way. So figure out what the key components of the larger goal are and make each one an intention to be met. Make lots of different kind of intentions - some that you know you will take pleasure in achieving, some that are easily doable and support a larger goal, and some big ones that will bring a huge sense of accomplishment. There is something really motivating about a win - so make sure your list has several easy wins on it.
In yoga, 'intention' or 'resolve' is Sankalpa; a promise to be kept. This is a promise you keep to yourself, so first and foremost it must matter to you. When forming intentions, make sure that they resonate; that they will be achievable because they're really something important to you, not just something you feel like you need to do. Try them on for size - imagine the feeling you'll have when this intention, or promise, has been fulfilled. If it doesn't land and feel emotionally satisfying - don't prioritize this intention. Spend your time working towards your hearts true desire, that way you'll not only be more motivated, the success will be even more profound.
It is easy to create a resolution list, put it away, and then remember it in December. Oops. One key to making intention reality is repetition, repetition, repetition. Put your list in a place where you can look at it and then look at it often. Every week remind yourself of your goals. If there is something that can be done during that week, put it on your to-do list, your calendar, or however you keep track of tasks (if you don't create to-do lists, start - it's pretty helpful). Repeat it mentally or verbally to yourself; when you wake up, beginning, during or ending your yoga practice, and especially when you're feeling lazy. Constantly affirming your goals brings them into your daily life and that is the only place you will meet them. So write, read, speak, sing, think, repeat your intentions!
One way to incorporate this repetition into your life in a pretty profound way is through meditation. I mentally refer to the following as my manifestation meditation. To practice, find your comfortable meditation seat, in a quiet space free of distractions (if you have a location you typically meditate in, of course do it there). Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and allow yourself a few minutes to become calm and steady in body, breath, mind and emotions. Clear your mind of chatter. Then, become aware of the situation, and outcome you are desiring and working towards. Become aware of the missing steps to fulfillment. Then release all thinking, rest only in awareness, the deep awareness of drawing to you what is best and necessary. Feel that, like a magnet, you are drawing in what you are meant to - even if it's not what you intellectually think should happen. Release all thoughts of should, all desires, all small thinking. Feel instead that everything you need is drawing towards you and be open to receive. This is a pretty powerful meditation and I have experienced undeniable results. The key is to let go of your own desires, and trust.
The last, and perhaps the most important, component of making your intentions into your reality is good old fashioned work. Yep. If you thought you could just repeat, meditate and let your intentions come to you, you would be mistaken. What's more you'd be cheating yourself of the incredible feeling of accomplishment and success that comes from continuing to dedicate yourself to achieving the life you dream. Make those dreams a reality. Use those to-do lists faithfully and update them weekly, or even daily. Check in consistently on the multitude of small tasks that go into a big goal and make a point, every day, to execute at least one small task. Over time small things add up to big things. Big things become big accomplishments. Don't get down on yourself if you have a less than exemplary day, this is a waste of energy and tends to build up reluctance or defeatism. Instead, take the time to register the things that you did well, the things you'd like to improve upon, then write out your tasks for the next day and move on. My philosophy is - if I put 4 things I want to manifest on my weekly to-do list, and I only get 1 done it's still one win!
Execution tends to be a very challenging part, so if you succeed in meeting your intention - celebrate your success! Treat yourself! To celebrate do things like: enjoy time with a good book, take a hot bath, get a pedicure, go on a hike, sleep in late, etc. vs. indulging in "reward" food, or alcohol, which tend to send you backwards - especially if your intention is to eat cleanly, or cut down on drinking. Instead, make the rewards things that are ultimately nourishing on all levels and align with your highest vision for yourself and life.
And there it is. Go forth and manifest! I'd love to hear from you if you have other tricks, tips and practices that help you to stay committed, create abundance, and manifest the life you're dreaming of so leave 'em in the comments or message me!
Furthermore! If your intention includes things like: investing in yourself, beginning a meditation practice, traveling to another country, taking your yoga practice to the next level, meeting new people, taking a risk, indulging in total relaxation, swimming with dolphins, eating cleanly, or having the adventure of a lifetime, you should probably nab one of the last remaining spots on our Sol de la Soul Retreat. We'll be staying at Xinalani Retreat outside Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Check the details and register today!