The start of a new year is always great to reflect on our own goals and dreams and to set an intention for change. But how do we get out of old behaviour and adopt a new way of living? Is it enough to have a new years resolution and raise our glass on New Year’s Eve to exclamate the newly set goal? Is this how we create change? In my own experience and by observing others this has hardly ever worked.
If there’s something bothering you and you’re longing for a change, i.e. a change of diet, letting go of undesirable habits like smoking, drinking, sleeping in… We have seen this all being proclaimed at 12am on the 31st of December by many people and some even got up the next day and made a start but hardly ever anyone lasted longer than January on that course.
It’s great to aspire to do something else in the New Year and to change the direction of the old path.
So, how do we come to new beginnings? It all starts with an intention rather than a resolution. What is the difference between an intention and a resolution?
An intention as the yogis practice it under the sanskrit name ‘sankalpa’ is set in present tense, starts with ‘ I am …’, and assumes that change has already happened. It is always a broader goal, i.e. : I am joyful, I am content, I am peaceful, I am abundance … It leaves a blank space for divine intervention to come in and decide how to achieve this more desirable state of mind. This might come with loosing weight or stop smoking, or not. The outcome is the same: you find yourself in a space with more freedom and happiness. And that is what you really wanted to start with, if you’re going deep within and being honest with yourself.
On the contrary, a resolution is defined, concrete goal in the near future, that is tangible, measurable and set by the mind: loosing 20kg of weight, stop smoking within 2 weeks, drinking only 1 glass of wine in the evening, getting up 3 times a week early mornings to go jogging, … these are clearly defined goals which let little to no room for grace to come in and create better life circumstances. The ego mind has it apparently all under control, so why bother?
The problem is, it costs you an enormous amount of energy to keep going with these goals and no higher energies are coming in to the rescue. Therefore failure has to happen, once energy runs out. And what were these resolutions for in the first place? To feel better, more at ease, more joyful, content, peaceful. So why not setting this intention to start with and let your higher self decide how this change will manifest in your life. Then it’s not you who needs to put all the energy into it, the energy is coming from an endless source of creativity that will never run out and your goal will be achieve effortlessly.
I wish you all a very happy year 2021 and may all your good intentions come true!