In the last couple of months I have been reminded of one big question on almost a daily basis: “What is you intention?”…What do you want? What is your goal? What do you wish for?
January has been the perfect time of year to be asking and reflecting on these kinds of questions. I full-on believe in New Years resolutions, if they are thought-through, with real depth and truthful ‘umph’. The first month of the year is like a blank slate, a fresh canvas upon which colourful dreams and bold ambitions can manifest. I, like so many people, started this year with a resolution- a firm decision to do something….something good, for myself and for others. And at the threshold of the second month of 2016, with spring dawning on the horizon, this desire behind my resolution still burns bright.
My problem in the past has often been that I have wanted to do so many, many different things ALL AT ONCE. Alex affectionately calls this tendency of mine ‘dog brain’ – I’m like an excited puppy running around frantically trying to pick up a stick, a bigger stick, a ball, treat, SQUIRREL!! I want to do it all. But the danger is that I spread myself too thin, and I end up not being able to do any of the things I wanted to do. This year I can feel that this is changing. I have focus this time, and I can actually see my resolution coming true!
This is how:
I have set a clear intention:
Three books I read recently have asked me to set a new goal for myself. The Yoga Master Max Strom, in A Life Worth Breathing, urges you to reasses your health goals and make wellness your priority, whilst in Ayurvedic Welness Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar asks “What are your three main health goals?”. In Integrative Nutrition by Joshua Rosenthal the first chapter is called ‘Set an Intention’. I get it, Universe: Health should be my priority. In November I decided to enroll with Joshua’s course at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, the New York Health Coach program that has exploded in popularity, gone purely online and is now the biggest Nutrition school in the world, teaching thousands of people every year in over 100 different countries how to inspire health and vitality in others. Since starting the course last week I have again been reminded that setting a CLEAR intention is the first step to success. So..time to share. My intention is:
To become the happiest, healthiest version of me, and to inspire others do do the same.
It’s a big goal but not unachievable. And it is CLEAR! I totally know what I want! I 100% recommend being brave and sharing your goals with others by the way – be clear about what you want and true to your dreams, and your friends and family are more likely to respect and support your goal!
I am visualising:
First of all I have written my intention down. This is a simple step, but a powerful one! I have something I call The Dream Book, in which I like to write down all my aspirations and aims. The key is to write them as if they have already happened – and only after you have sat for a few quiet moments visualising what it will be like to achieve your dream – what does it look like and feel like? Are you grateful, relieved, blissful, proud, bouncing off the walls?! Really imagine it. Then scribble it down as IF IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED: “I am so happy/grateful/at peace now that….”. In The Awakening Course Joe Vitale says that it’s a little bit like going internet shopping from the Universe – ask for WHATEVER you want, it doesn’t matter how big. Just imagine you can have YOU want! This has already worked for me. Over a year ago three big things I wrote down were that I was thankful (although none of them had happened yet!) to have cleared my massive overdraft, to be studying something that could help other people and to be in a loving and supportive relationship…and a year later they have all come true. I feel truly blessed!
I also recommend writing down your intention, along with a few feelings (be picky, these are important!) and a little visual (however small and scrappy) on a piece of paper and sticking it somewhere you will see it EVERY DAY! It will remind you of your desire, evoke your passion and keep you on track.
I am creating a plan:
Deepak Chopra says in a MindBodyGreen article about how to harness the power of intention (read here) that once you established your goal in a “state of restful awareness” you should relinquish your rigid attachment to a specific outcome, live in the “wisdom of uncertainty” and let the infinite organising power of the Universe decide the details. While I’m totally down with that and am loving the thought that things will fall into place just as they should, I have also been noting down a couple of rough plans when inspiration has struck. That is not to say these plans will always remain the same – I’m leaving room for it to evolve along the way. My intention is to help and inspire people to become happy and healthy (through my own discovery of wellbeing), and there are many different ways for me to do that. Last week an IIN lecture on intentions recommended setting no more than three main goals this year – a magic number apparently, Dr Kshirsagar recommended the same amount of health goals in his book! Choosing three clear goals to achieve in a year allows you to be selective and narrow in on your intention on a more manageable timescale.
I am taking action:
So I know what I want – now it’s time to start DOING, or my intentions will forever stay as dreams! Every time I make a decision I am checking in with my three main goals for this year, which are as follows:
1. To create and maintain a healthy, strong body and a balanced, compassionate mind
2. To become a Institute of Integrative Nutrition Certified holistic Health Coach
3. To save up enough money to do a Yoga Teacher Training course with Triyoga and Personal Trainer course with EIF.
As well as sharing my aspirations I am also working towards my goal by creating balance in my life, mentally and physically, and making sure I am surrounded by a loving and encouraging support network of family, friends and colleagues.
I am prioritising:
As “Queen of FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out) it takes a lot of effort to turn down invites and opportunities that come along. But the effort is worth it! I have really noticed the amazing power of saying “Sorry, I can’t, I have to study” or “no, I can’t afford that right now”. It’s an instant stress reliever and can feel very empowering – you are being clear with yourself and people around you that your goals are important and you’re sticking to them!
It’s all about placing those big marbles into the jar first , and then all the small day-to-day bits fall neatly in place around them!
For me the most important first step is making sure that I am making choices that optimise my wellbeing. When you are in balance you are in alignment with your true self and more open to receive from the Universe – read past the hippy-dippyness of that sentence and try prioritising getting enough rest, doing regular excercise, practising a bit of mindfullness to stay centered (try a yoga class, or download the Headspace app), eating your greens, being on good terms with people around you and staying away from processed food-products – I promise you that you’ll find it easier to notice opportunities and make choices that align with your goals!
I cannot tell you how powerful these steps have been in the last few weeks. By following them I have greatly reduced my anxiety and SAD. I hope they help you too!
So…what are your intentions for 2016?!