Remember how you felt on January 1, like you were going to set the world on fire this year?
Write a book.
Land a promotion.
We were all going to do all of this all while looking fabulous because, of course, it was New Year’s Day and we made resolutions. RESOLUTIONS. Only now as January prepares to slip into February, as 2015 seems a little less bright, shiny and possible, many of us have failed. No really, there is an actual study saying that 90 percent of resolvers have bailed on their goal by January 26.
You may have been one of them, resolute that you had smoked your last cigarette, drank your last Starbucks, skipped your last spin class and now wallowing in the special kind of self pity associated with letting yourself down.
What I have come to realize is the problem is not us or our lack of resolve; it is the very act of resolution. Because this word brings to mind a measurable number (20 pounds), or a single-outcome finish line (I will be happy if only … ).
The problem in this it leaves only this tiny little sliver of space on which you can be successful. Everything else (10 pounds, happiness in an unexpected outcome) is failure. So, of course, we quit. It all feels so impossible.
This is why I--a check-list loving, goal-setting, resolutionary--have come to firmly, explicitly, 100 percent believe in the power of setting intentions for your life. Because an intention is a deep abiding principle, a desire for the big and the real and the stuff that matters like happiness and health and love. Intentions are about how we live in the little small moments, not simply what we accomplish in big ones.
I am both a yogi and a yoga teacher, and one of the most powerful moments of class is at the very beginning when we set an intention for our class. What I always say is bring to mind something you want to invite into your life or something you want to let go of. And just by setting this intention, you make room for the breakthrough.
And because it is not quantifiable--I am going to be 10 percent less stressed after class--the charge is taken out of it. You can just feel less stressed, even by one percent and be closer to who you want to be.
This focusing on who you are at your core not what you outwardly accomplish is powerful stuff. It is the only way to real change.
So stop resolving and start evolving into who you want to be.
We are building a group of Intentionaries at Wishing Well, and it is revolutionary.