I want to lose 10 pounds! I’m going to drink less. I’m going to call my mother once a week. I’m going to…ahh forget it…life just has a habit of getting in the way.
Sound familiar? We are all familiar with the age old tradition of making New Year’s resolutions. And then swiftly breaking them one by one. Our confidence and motivation shattering into more pieces with each failure.
So why don’t they always work? Specific resolutions can easily fall short. Especially when we grasp at and are so attached to the desired outcome or goal.
Whatever happened to the journey? The moments in-between?
Setting general intentions for a more fulfilling life is more conducive to long term sustainability and change. An intention is something intended, an aim, a plan. A purpose or attitude toward the effect of one’s actions or conduct. In the field of medicine, the word intention is actually defined as ‘the healing process of a wound’. How fitting! Who doesn’t want a better quality of life?
Here are some examples of intentions:
- A healthier, more energetic body
- A more compassionate heart
- A more relaxed mind
- Overall ease and well being
- Better relationships
Off we go then, into the New Year, laden with some wholesome intentions.
What course of action is required to gently nudge along our intentions? Let’s start with a rather dynamic duo. Both meditation and the power of repetition are scientifically proven to lead to significant changes in thought patterns. This can be true for repeating both positive and negative phrases. Positive repetition is more likely to lead towards fulfillment, while repeating negative phrases can lead to stress and depression. How many of us have suffered from years of self beratement? “I’m too lazy, not smart enough, not attractive enough, not good enough, etc.”
Our thought patterns are the result of years of ingrained mental habits. We have many layers of these messages that we act on consciously or unconsciously.
With meditation and repeating our positive intentions, new messages can permeate the deeper levels of our mind and become new healthier thought patterns. With positive intention setting, we are intending to replace resistance, confusion, and struggle with an easier way of living. Less judgement, less anxiety, more acceptance, more relief. Less holding, more flowing.
So what is the process, and what are the effects? The process is quite simple, but not always easy!
*****Sit, breathe, repeat intentions, breathe, sit.*****
One could integrate the intention repetition into their existing meditation practice. Or why not start a new practice? Just a few minutes per day and notice what happens.
This intention repetition technique can be quite helpful when trying to motivate yourself to take on new projects. For example, this year you really want to tackle some big issues like the environment, vegetarianism, volunteering, going on a retreat, joining a sports team, music group, book club, university class. Getting back into the dating scene. The above mentioned intentions are very holistic, and can apply to pretty much any area we are looking to improve upon.
So! What are some of your new year’s intentions? Care to share? We would love to hear from you. We are interested in both success stories, and also the very valuable lessons learned from the not so successful stories. Simply trying something different can make all the difference.
Happy New Year!