Setting intentions for the new year

Happy New Year! I'm grateful to have ushered in 2011 by celebrating with friends and family.Maybe it's the business strategist in me, but I've always been a firm believer in setting goals, writing them down and working out a strategy to help you get there. Many times throughout the year, when life sends me challenges, I map out a sheet of directions for myself so I don't get lost. Even in the most dire situations, when there are many things you can't control, you can still have a strategy to at least help you get by. 

Is that too Type A for you? New Year's resolutions are another way to make positive changes in your life. Maybe you have set some today and are challenging yourself to become a better person in some way by making a list of things you will or will not do.

This year, instead of resolutions, I decided to keep it simple and blissful. Since I love yoga, I adopted a new tradition of setting a Sankalpa. I'm by far no yogi on the subject, but setting a Sankalpa requires looking inward to make an intention of the heart. Rather than a list of "I will" or "I will not" like resolutions, Sankalpa is a resolution that reflects on our state of mind and ambitions for the year ahead. To learn more about Sankalpa, check out this article on Yoga Teacher Training. Here's an excerpt: 

The powerful Sanskrit word, Sankalpa, means resolve. It is a chosen resolution made during the practice of Yoga Nidra. It is a process of training the mind to develop trust and faith in yourself and provide a direction for your whole life – if you use it wisely. Its effect is to awaken the willpower within, by uniting the conscious awareness with the unconscious forces, lying dormant. It takes the form of a short phrase or sentence, clearly and concisely expressed – using the same wording each time, to bring about a positive change in one’s life.

The purpose of Sankalpa is to influence and transform the whole life pattern, not only the body, but also the mind, the emotions, and the spiritual forces.

Any approach you take to attain self betterment in the New Year can help you get your life on the path you desire. Consider creating an intention or Sankalpa, a strategic plan or a list of resolutions to help guide you through the year. Write it all down and make it official. Revisit it, and check in with yourself throughout the year to make sure you're aligned with intentions, goals or actions that will make you happy.

May you be blessed with peace, love and happiness in 2011. Happy New Year!