This is the time of year when thousands, if not millions, create New Year’s resolutions. The popular resolutions include: lose weight, quit smoking, and find a better job. Unfortunately by April (or sooner), many of those resolutions are either forgotten or ignored.  

I propose that we reframe the process to harness the potential of who we can really become. I have many sources on intention; however, it truly became a realization during one of my yoga sessions.  

At the beginning of yoga, the yogi told us to “set an intention for our practice.” Her suggestion was to feel gratitude. As I started my practice. I found it difficult to hold some of the asanas, and most of them are usually not difficult for me. I started to become frustrated; then I remembered my intention of gratitude. I let the anger and frustration dissolve as I moved toward being more grateful: grateful for having the time and a yogi for my practice. In spite of not being able to do some of the poses, this was one of my best practices. I did not have a goal to have the best practice; it was my intention to be grateful and in the moment.

Vowing to include an intention on how you want to feel or how you want to be creates a deeper connection to what you are seeking out of an experience. Many dreams start with an idea and then evolve into a plan for action. Once your goals are set, you begin to pay closer attention to the dream. The combination of intention and attention is very powerful and, if sustained, often leads to action and finally, success.

Want to get started?

  1. Visualize how you want to feel or how you want to be (I recommend avoiding specific goals, e.g., losing weight). Meditate or sit quietly to connect with your inner self.  
  2. Once you realize your dream or desire, set an intention on how you want to feel (I created an intention to be happier in 2015), what you want to do, how you want to be, etc.  
  3. Create a visual (e.g., sign, list, image) to harness the power of attention (this keeps your dream and intention “visible”).  
  4. Develop a plan of actions to fulfill your intention.  
  5. Finally, act on your plan.

If you have already made resolutions, you may still realize the benefits of intention. Consider the ultimate feeling or being your resolution will achieve, for example, if your resolution is to lose weight, your intention could be to be healthy. If my underlying intention is to be happier, my resolution could be to spend more time with friends.

Intention can be a powerful tool. It helps us move from dream to reality, and ability we all have. 

Want to practice intention this year? Come to our Intentions & Habit Building Workshop on January 20th!

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Dr. Fonda Na'Desh is a Change Practitioner that helps individuals and organizations get out of their own way. She also works with small business owners to teach marketing and diversity.

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