Meaningful Intention Setting
At the beginning of a new year, most of us are filled with dreams, goals, and resolutions. Meaningful intention setting starts with writing down your goals — or what I call MY INTENTIONS — for the new year to come.
As a yoga teacher, one of the things I come across the most is people saying things like “this year I will practice yoga five days per week” or “I will lose 10 pounds” and so forth. Resolutions start really strong, but within a few weeks, I begin to see them fizzle out.
Among other new year’s traditions in my family, we take time for meaningful intention setting. Each of us gets a piece of paper, and we write down our intentions and goals. Then at midnight, we grab our twelve grapes and make twelve wishes, just like I did growing up in Venezuela.
Vision Board Creation
Vision boards are an excellent tool for intention setting that is meaningful and effective. As a family, we create a vision board where we place pictures of things we would like to do or achieve, places we would like to visit, etc. Placing the vision board in a place you can see it often is very important, so you get reminded of your intentions every day.
In yoga we call intentions sankalpas. Sankalpa means “will, purpose, or determination.” To make a sankalpa is to set a meaningful intention.
The word Resolution is often be perceived as a negative word. Many set a resolution at the beginning of a year and then they feel guilty for not following through.
Sankalpa – Conscious and Meaningful Intention Setting
Sankalpas (setting conscious meaningful intention or effort towards something) give us a more positive powerful approach to improve our health and life.
Sankalpa means “will, purpose, or determination.” To make a Sankalpa is to set an intention.
If you set your intention to lose weight to be healthier and later find yourself in front of the freezer eating ice cream out of the box you can ask yourself what is driving you to do that. Ask yourself “Is this a result of you being stressed or sad?” Then you can realize how the power of conscious intention can help you deal with your feelings in a healthier way.
If your intention is to be healthier, then you find ways to incorporate a healthier lifestyle not just focusing on one aspect, like food. In other words…
SANKALPA = POSITIVE POWER
Sankalpa praises the true effort you are making to achieve your intention rather than focusing on what you are doing wrong. So every effort that you make to move closer to your intention COUNTS!
Take time to look back and let go of the guilt and be open to new possibilities.
SET YOUR SANKALPA
Start by looking inward. Take some time to meditate, to breath, or simply to journal in a quiet place.
Ask yourself questions that only you know the answer to:
- How would you like to feel next year?
- Where would you like to be?
- What can you add in my daily life that can help you be happier, healthier, etc?
- Create a short sentence or phrase for your Sankalpa. Be mindful to keep theses phrases positive and not to include any limiting words based on fear.
Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight. So be firm, but fair. Remind yourself of your intention as often as you can. If you fall off the wagon… dust yourself off and continue moving forward.