Intention setting is a fickle beast, because it is sometimes confused with a resolution, most notably made during the month of January. It’s sad to say but most of the time our resolutions are not only short-lived but they’re short-failed. The reason for this is that some resolutions are centered on ego and expectations that will not fully satisfy a true need or want if it ever did come to fruition. Think about it for a moment:
New Year’s Resolution: Go to the gym more.
Intention: I am healthy and whole.
New Year’s Resolution: Quit Smoking.
Intention: I choose to live healthfully.
So I ask you to change the narrative this “resolution season” and use an affirmation to focus on a resolve or intention that is specific to you to bring about a positive change in your life.
Make a Sankalpa.
San= A connection with the highest truth
In yoga, Sankalpa means intention. Sankalpas are usually practiced in Yoga Nidra (a form of meditation), but today, think of a short phrase, sentence, or mantra that is clear, concise, and speaks to you. It’s expressed using the same wording each time to bring about a positive shift, change, or clean slate. It’s often in the present tense, using “I am” or “I will.”
The most notable difference between a boring old resolution and a Sankalpa is the belief that it is already within you. You are already whole, healthy, a non-smoker, etc. We simply need to peel back some layers and, like stepping stones, achieve our goal. Think of something you want to do. Write it down if you can and keep it somewhere safe.
How to set an Intention/Sankalpa:
Plant the seed.
When you start a Sankalpa, you are actually willing something into the present moment. If you think it, the intention behind your thoughts in this moment is already happening.
Keep the intention short and simple, using direct and positive verbiage. Do not use modifiers such as “I will try to heal;” rather, “I am healed.”
Visualize your intention.
Sankalpas are the dreamers. Choose something that is most certainly attainable but is also challenging, perhaps fear-evoking, and most likely, a little uncomfortable. Then, like stepping stones, move forward using what you have. In our daily lives, we can draw upon our Sankalpa at any moment, using it as a guide for our thoughts, words, and actions.
All paths lead to and from your intention.
As you move through your role as a wife, a mother, a father, a brother, a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, things will bubble up and choices will be made. If it doesn’t serve your sankalpa or intention, be ok with letting it go and choosing something that does. Keep coming back.