We have all made resolutions. They come from a place of hope.
A hope for something better in our lives. A chance at making a change and being happier than where we currently are.
There is nothing wrong with this.
I bet you center your resolutions around one or more of these common themes:
- You want to have more control over your life
- You want others (or yourself) to see you in a better light
- You want to have better relationships
- You want to be and feel in better health
- You want financial or mental security
Resolutions vs Personal Purpose
These resolutions are little more than wishes. It doesn’t matter that we really, REALLY want them to come true.
Chance and reality are against them from the beginning.
These aspirations come from a real desire for something better to take place in your life. The problem is that they depend on your life having no hiccups along the way.
Things rarely go as planned. You knew better when you made your resolutions.
Yes, you knew better but keep deluding yourself that this time would be different.
You will get healthier.
You will be better with your money.
You will read more.
You will drink less.
You will spend more time on your passions.
You will stop spending money on stuff you don’t need.
You will make better relationship decisions.
Ha – I do the same thing.
These aspirations ARE good for you. However, they are vague, lofty, and lack enough weight to keep you anchored when life gets rough and bumpy.
Let’s take a look at a resolution that always makes the most popular resolution charts each year. The “I want to get healthier” resolution.
This resolution leaves you wanting since it lacks definition. For example, what does “healthier” mean to you in practical terms?
- Does it mean more energy to do X?
- Does it mean fitting into a favorite pair of jeans?
- How will that actually serve you?
A resolution simply lacks the power behind it to get you far.
Instead of making resolutions you need to rechannel your energy towards a pursuit more worthy of you time and effort — discovering your personal purpose. This goes double for my fellow yogis.
Your personal purpose gives you clarity and focus that is well beyond anything a resolution can give you. Itwill make your yoga practice a powerful tool for change in your life.
At the core, your purpose gets past the fluff of a lofty aspiration as it involves asking yourself some deep questions, being honest with yourself, and being open to the answers you find.
What you want to discover is:
- What drives you?
- Who are you?
- Who can you truly be?
- Where do your priorities lie?
- What are your authentic passions?
When you decide to get focused and do the work to discover your purpose, you begin to direct your life towards becoming your best self.
You have to pursue this task with honesty and wholeheartedness. And it gets easier to live positively and to give up what does not serve you.
Purpose and Intensions
Once you begin this work to discover your purpose, is when you also start setting intentions.
Intentions are nothing more, and nothing less, than your person purpose in action. They are the practical and proactive manifestation of your person purpose(s).
Your days will be less and less typical. Setting intentions infuse them with passion, inspiration, and hope.
Setting and keeping your intentions keep your mind and eyes on your purpose. What you used to “do” has a personal and real significance now. It becomes easier to identify and drop the things in your life that do not line up with your purpose.
True intentions are born out of your personal purpose:
- they keep you on track in the rough and bumpy times in life,
- they keep you moving in the right direction,
- they build awareness of when you stray,
- and they give insights on where to course correct.
As I have stated earlier, resolutions are big, lofty, and easy to lose track of. When you rely on them life has a way of always getting in the way of your happiness.
Intentions, however, keep you focused on becoming your best self. Along the way, they keep you moving forward in the right direction with passion.
How to set strong intentions
- They come from your personal purpose.
- Use a strong verb — keep them action-based
- Make them achievable — keep them realistic
- Root them in the “now” — keep them within a short timeframe.
Do the work to tap into your purpose. From this posture, set one or two intentions, then plan for success by using small, manageable steps.
For instance, what can you do in the next 30 minutes to help you fulfill the one or two intentions you have settled on?
- set time aside on your calendar for a yoga class
- research two ways to get more energy after 3:00 P.M.
- call a loved one to tell them what they mean to you
- clean your pantry of all the feel-good food
- make a list of healthy items to buy tomorrow
- set your clock to wake up early tomorrow morning
- plan to start the day with a short gratitude meditation.
I hope this helps you see the importance of using intentions, not resolutions, in your life and on your mat. They are powerful and transformative when correctly set up and used on a regular basis.
Let me know what intentions you came up with in the comments below. I would love to see what direction you go with.