by Kathi Szabo
I rang in 2022 with my word of intention, Surrender.
I’m looking at my intention as letting go of controlling what I cannot control. Giving up trying to manage every outcome and instead allowing things to unfold. To observe what is happening around me, and then formulate what only I can do, not what others may do.
Yet here I am, 3 weeks into the new year and I’ve had to remind myself several times to surrender. Reverting to my controlling ways is not easy to change, but having one word to focus on has helped me stay on track. It’s not easy, but I don’t expect changing something that has been a part of me for decades was going to be.
And then there was my intention of getting back to a regular yoga practice. Yes I teach yoga at least 3 times a week, and soon to be 4 with the opening of Yoga37 in Mansfield, but any yoga teacher will tell you, teaching is not the same as a practice. So over a week ago, I joined The Movement in Allentown. I scheduled a class. Then, last Sunday I wasn’t feeling well and I didn’t want to risk infecting anyone, so I canceled. Almost a week later, I’m feeling fine, but I haven’t rescheduled.
All-In – but then what?
Many of us, (if not all of us) start the new year with grand plans, intentions, resolutions, and goals. We are “All-In!” This is the year I’m going to do that thing I’ve been talking about for decades! Or maybe it’s the year you’re going to finish that project. Or maybe you’re going to get healthy! Get a new job. Stop complaining! So many things we are going to do and boom! It’s February 1st and we are back on the treadmill, running and running, but still in the same place as the last minute of 2021.
Where are you in these statistics from https://discoverhappyhabits.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/?
64% make it through January in keeping to their New Years Resolutions
In a 2016 study, of the 41% of Americans who made resolutions, only 9% felt they were successful by the end of the year.
Why do so many of us give up on our intentions? The article gives 4 reasons:
- Unrealistic goals
- Didn’t track their progress
- Forgot about them
- Too many resolutions, goals, or intentions
Which one has stopped you in the past?
This is a great one when it comes to weight loss and exercise. After watching a motivational speaker like Tony Robbins or Les Brown, we think we can do anything! We’re going to lose 50 pounds and get into that skinny black dress we wore 10 years ago by June! Too often we set unrealistic timelines on ourselves. The intention or goal isn’t unrealistic, but sometimes we simply need more time to get there.
Getting down to my ideal weight, the term Mark uses in his Metabolic Mindfulness program to describe the weight I would like to be at, is another one of my goals for 2022. Rather, my goal is to continue to progress to that ideal weight throughout the year. See, I don’t want a short-term fix here. Sure, I could go on several diets, start running 3 times a week and get to my ideal weight in a few months. But then what happens?
Well based on my history, when I hit my ideal weight I go out and celebrate, eating all the stuff I gave up on the diet. I take a week off from running. And in one week I’m no longer at my ideal weight.
Not the end I have in mind.
I want a realistic goal and for me, that is continuous progress toward my ideal weight.
If you are already struggling with your intentions or resolutions, is it because you place unrealistic demands on yourself? Is the timing necessary? We want our intentions to be a stretch, to invoke change, but we want them to be achievable. If you are looking at your 2022 intentions with doubt, change them up now and make them achievable!
When making intentions for the new year, just like when setting any goals in business or life, we will more likely achieve them if we regularly measure our progress toward them. This can be done in so many ways, but my favorite is checking in on my progress each day, each week, each month.
You may be thinking that’s a lot of progress check-ins. It’s not that I measure my progress say on my yoga practice every day, but I have a journal, a calendar of sorts, where each day I set my intentions. These are based on my weekly intentions, which are based on my monthly intentions, which come from my yearly intention. Of course, some things come up that need my attention and they get added as well. But I am very clear in mindset. I have my word, it is easy to remember. I have my intentions, they are achievable.
Measuring my progress is answering one question. Am I closer than I was yesterday?
Am I closer to naturally letting go of control? Does it feel more like me?
Am I closer to my ideal weight?
Am I closer to getting back to a regular yoga practice?
If the answer is yes, well I’m on track. If the answer is no, which is where I am right now for my yoga practice, I can make that a priority. Decide on one thing I can do that brings me closer.
Forgot Your Intention?
If you make it a priority to measure your progress, you can’t forget your intention. But if for some reason you do, then it clearly wasn’t your heart’s desire. Make a new intention, one that resonates with your entire being, and move on.
Too Many Intentions
This one gets me every day! Seriously, it really does!
I start the morning by writing in my journal all the things I want to accomplish for the day. Because I wake up refreshed and energized, in a positive mindset, I think I can do it all!
Sound familiar? Did you feel that way on January 1st when you set all those goals for the New Year?
I’ve learned from experience that I set myself up to feel overwhelmed when I give myself so many goals and intentions, whether it’s for the day or the year. And when we are overwhelmed, we tend to not be productive because we are spending more energy trying not to feel overwhelmed instead of just doing what we can.
If you think you may have set too many intentions for the year, go back to them and sit with them. Are they all important? Do they all need to be done in 2022? Which have you not thought of since January 1?
The last question gives you permission to let those go. If you haven’t thought about it in three weeks, it’s not important.
Decide which three at most are most important to you and hold onto those. Make them achievable. Measure their progress.
Adjust Your Mindset
Setting intentions for the year can be a powerful tool to creating your life, moving closer to the unique person you are meant to be. It’s the premise behind The Total MindShift, where we not just set our intentions, but we do so with purpose and with an understanding that everything we need to live our dreams, is all inside of us!
But we must consciously create intentions. Setting those that bring us joy. Those that bring everlasting change. Allowing us to shine our light on others. To become “powerful beyond measure.” In turn, we liberate others to shine just as brightly. For when we step into our greatness, we automatically become a beacon for others.