“In the new year, I’m gonna…” Millions of people make New Year’s resolutions, putting themselves on challenge to either stop or start doing something. Maybe it’s to lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthier, spend less money or spend more time on something or with someone. Or, all of the above.
Millions of other people don’t bother to make resolutions. Why? Because they always break them. They don’t want to feel the guilt that comes with breaking promises to themselves or to appear weak to friends and family when they don’t follow through.
But intentions are different. I can still hear the calm voice of my yoga instructor, Margaret Blanc, at the conclusion of our relaxation phase. “Now it’s time to create an intention for yourself; for this evening, for tomorrow, or for the week.” Silence followed, so each of us could create her personal intention, caressing it in her mind when we were most open, relaxed, and receptive.
I’d walk away with that intention in my head. In those days, it was always the same: “I am building my own happy life.” Living alone for the first time ever, I was responsible only for me and to me; some days it was tough going. And in those inevitable moments when I’d begin to feel down, that intention I’d created would pop into my head, flashing like a neon sign. Almost instantly, I’d notice that I was standing a little taller, throwing my shoulders back, and smiling, moving on to my next task or thought.
After awhile, I realized that I was fulfilling that particular intention, and it was time to summon another.
They say, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” But intentions coupled with mindfulness hold power. Focusing on one clear intention, constructing it as a positive statement in the present tense, as if you are doing it now, makes all the difference.
Follow this formula for creating intentions:
- Close your eyes and take a few moments to become fully relaxed.
- Let your mind wander until it settles upon something that you want or need to do for yourself.
- Create your intention: “I am _______ing ____________________________.
- See yourself doing it.
- Let your body and emotions feel it.
Each of us can reach inside and come up with an intention so that we can lead happier, healthier lives. An intention becomes reality when we concentrate on it for our own personal growth and well-being. Start your 2011 with a positive step for success. Create your intention – for today, tomorrow, or this week. Repeat as often as needed, and it’ll happen.