Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one! Happy New Year!
January is a great time to hit the reset button. And this year, let’s do things differently. We are taking a cue from well + GOOD’s recent article, “Why you should focus on intentions instead of resolutions this year (and how to do it).”
We have all been there, the year to learn French, pick up knitting or run a marathon. Setting goals that will make us this brand-new person. In 2016, we are doing it differently. Spiritual teacher Chandresh Bhardwaj says to first step back and sit with your ideas.
“Our minds love to linger in the past and jump ahead to the future; resolutions only help encourage that behavior. They are always related to a fear from a conditioned past or a worry about the future,” says Bhardwaj.
Bhardwaj provides us with his 5 steps to start the New Year. From his book Break the Norms: Questioning Everything You Think You Know About God and Truth, Life and Death, Love and Sex.
1. Stop making limiting resolutions. “As a spiritual teacher, it’s often expected that I’m full of amazing resolutions, and that I’m ready to give you one as well. But the truth is I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. A resolution is limiting. When you set a resolution, you declare, ‘I am only going to think about this defined notion in my mind.’ Resolutions are governed by your mind, and anything governed by the mind doesn’t have great consequences.”
2. 2016 is all about intentions. “Sankalpa—the Sanskrit word for intention—is generated for your soul’s growth. A good intention nurtures your consciousness and has the power to significantly raise your awareness. When you set an intention, you don’t have to worry about your actions. A righteous intention creates a righteous action.”
3. Meditate on your intentions.
• On a sheet of paper, write down one intention. Make sure this intention is practical and able to be accomplished in two to three months.
• Keep the intention in your alter or somewhere safe.
• Sit in silence. Relax. Be mindful of your breathing.
• Bring your awareness to your heart and plant the intention that you have created.
• Express to the divine that this intention will manifest itself in 90 days. (You can choose the specific amount of days here as per the nature of your intention.)
• Now, release the intention out into the universe with complete faith.
4. Be present. “Someone once told me that you cannot dive into the same river twice because a river is always changing. This is true of human consciousness as well; it is always changing…We have forgotten to embrace the present moment and are instead too busy chasing the unknown future. Relax. Look around. You are here. That’s enough for now!”
5. Stop trying to predict what’s coming. “When you try to determine what your future holds, you may actually end up destroying that very future you are looking forward to! Your tomorrow has its own beauty and life. But if you have already decided what your tomorrow holds today, you aren’t doing it any justice. Let tomorrow take its own course.”
What are your 2016 intentions?