Resolutions versus Intentions
Put up your hand… How many of you (like me) would admit your January 1st “resolutions” to hit the gym five days a week tend to disappear by January 31st? Why is this? It’s because resolutions are often based on what we “should” do – not necessarily what we want (as in, choose or decide) to achieve.
Intentions are the motives accompanying an action. In the example of seeking a new job (the action), the underlying motivations could include making more money, finding more meaning, gaining influence, or helping people. Intentions surpass conventional “best practice” because they tap into our vast potential to actively create the life of our dreams.
Remember the Law of Attraction; you can draw to you energetically that which you seek. Couple these principles with our inner force to bring into existence whatever we focus on through our 45,000 thoughts a day… I think you’ll soon see another intriguing difference between resolutions and intentions. Resolutions are typically founded on what we don’t want (back to the gym – being “fat”). If we think often enough of not wanting to be “fat”, we create the very conditions to stay “fat”. Rather, we would be well-advised to channel our power toward what we do seek (health).
Manifesting Our Intentions
Now, it is one thing to think you know what you intend and quite another to see what actually shows up! When the disconnection between these two is large, you may have to ask yourself if what you say you want is really what you want. Hence, the need to apply all four steps of manifestation: Desire, Ask, Believe and Receive.
Desire means becoming very clear about what you choose (always expressed in the positive). Asking includes both requesting support and acting as if what you want is already in your life today. As to Belief, here’s a fool-proof to know what you believe: Just look at everybody/everything around you! On some level, they reflect what you believe about yourself. So, if you’re surrounded by negativity, you might consider what “vibes” you’re sending out to “attract” it to you. Finally, to Receive is to stay open to getting what you asked for, even if your desires don’t always arrive in the form and timing you put forth.
The Top Ten List
Here is the step-by-step process I’ve been dedicatedly following (just ask my friends) every year since 2000. While my documents now average 12 pages per year, you needn’t go to these lengths! Follow your inner guidance as to what feels right:
- List all your successes and wins of the past 12 months.
- List all your disappointments and breakdowns of the past 12 months.
- Name your top ten accomplishments of the year.
- Write a paragraph or more that will allow you to feel “complete” (i.e., at peace) with the calendar year just passed.
- Capture five to seven key lessons you learned (or insights you gained) between January and December.
- List five BEING qualities (character traits and/or values) you choose to embody in the new year (some of mine have encompassed patience, compassion and courage).
- Name five DOING actions (i.e., what you want to achieve and/or how you intend to grow) in the next 12 months.
- Enumerate five things you will HAVE in your life as a result of your doing. Note the sequence of items 6 to 8. While North Americans are prone to think, what do I need to do in order to have certain things (skipping the “be” altogether), all manifestation actually starts with being…as in, who you need to be in order to accomplish the doing that will result in having.
- Identify what actions and attitudes you plan to Keep, Stop and Start doing in the next 12 months, based on your intentions.
- Develop a “mantra” for the next year. Mine is: “In 2009, I shine”. I add to these statements what I mean by any key words (in this case, “shine”).
If you wish to bump up the “oompf” of your intentions, how about creating a Vision Map? Buy several of your favourite magazines – cutting out pictures and words that inspire, uplift and move you. Put together a collage that is a visual representation of what you want to generate in your life. Hang your Vision Map where you’ll see it daily. Refer to it often to determine which choices, actions and behaviours will keep moving you closer to your best year yet!
“You get to fill the blackboard of your life with whatever you want. If you have filled it with baggage from the past, wipe it clean. Erase everything from the past that does not serve you, and be grateful it brought you to this place now, and to a new beginning. You have a clean slate, and you can start over – right here, right now. Find your joy and live it!” (Unknown)