My New Year’s Intentions

I’m a little late to the game with this post, but I just haven’t really been able to look too deeply within myself over the past few weeks. Some painful things have been coming up with this teacher training and I started to become very critical of myself, so I certainly didn’t want to think about ways I should be changing.

First of all, I’ve decided to use the word intention instead of resolution because I want to focus more on changing my mindset and less on fixing the things about myself or my life that I think should be better. Every year I make resolutions like: workout 4 times a week, drink 64 oz of water every day, or meditate every morning for 10 minutes. All things I know would make a great impact on my life, but I would drop them all after the first few weeks. And then came the self-criticism…I always just blame it on a lack of willpower or laziness. I’ve always had a very difficult time developing new, better habits until one day I went vegetarian and never looked back…and then vegan two months later. And then I realized what I needed in order to develop these good habits or changes in my lifestyle…an incredibly deep rooted reason for why. Something to have at the back of my mind to keep me going and remind me of why I made this change in the first place. I’ve tried every diet in the books, but until it came from a very deep place within me (not wanting to be responsible for the suffering of animals) there was just no way in hell I was giving up cheese and dairy.

My point is…I realized I would be setting myself up for failure if I decided THIS YEAR would be the year I’d stop procrastinating, or do yoga every day, or do 50 sit-ups every morning. So I decided to change the kind of intention I set. This year I aim to make more of an internal change and then maybe the more external changes I’ve strived for in the past will happen naturally. Here are my 3 main intentions for the New Year:

1. To do only what feels RIGHT.

In 2018, I want to live more aligned with what I want my life to look and feel like. With this I’m hoping to really tap into my intuition and pay more attention to my body and mind.

2. To practice ahimsa (non-violence) in every aspect of my life.

Ahimsa, or non-violence, is the first Yama of Pantanjali’s Yamas and Nyamas that he laid out in the Yoga Sutra. The Yamas and Nyamas are a set of ethical principles that Yogis are meant to live by. This first one, ahimsa, is the reason I decided to go vegan. In the month that I focused on practicing ahimsa, SO many amazing changes came about in my life that I want to dedicate this entire next year to focusing on it. Violence or harm comes out in so many ways in life from our interactions with others to the waste we put back into the earth. From the way we view ourselves to the foods that we eat. You could spend an entire lifetime working towards achieving non-harm in your life, but for now I’ll just keep it as my focus for 2018.

3. To practice more gratitude.

This one originally was going to be to practice more contentment, but the more I thought about how I wanted to work on this, the more I realized that gratitude and mindfulness are at the root of being content (granted, mindfulness is at the root of all of these changes in mindset). When you practice gratefulness for all the amazing things in your life, suddenly all of the “road blocks” in life become insignificant. There are always things to be grateful for whether it’s a supportive family or a beautiful sunrise (like the one above!). A roof over your head or guacamole (which I’m thankful for every day because I eat it literally every day). I hope that the more I practice gratitude, the more accepting I will be of who I am and what my life looks like at any moment.

So those are my 3 main intentions for 2018! I plan to check in with myself throughout the year with my daily journaling and my *almost* daily meditation. I hope this inspires you to set some intentions from the heart for 2018. It’s never too late!

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