I recently read an article in Yoga Journal magazine that had a profound impact on me. The article talked about five steps to creating an intention to achieve your hearts desire! Sounds yaya and crazy right? Well, not so much. The way the article translated to me was, either you can keep doing what you're doing right now that's not making you happy or you can choose to take small steps to achieve the life you want. You need a bigger than self goal to begin with! How will your changes and actions affect others in your life and make their lives better? Sometimes, thinking in this way is all it takes to start the journey to achieving goals that you never thought possible. Everyone has different struggles...they could include weight loss, being financially independent, becoming more confident etc. The article points out that achieving these goals doesn't necessarily come from "true grit in the power-through-it sense, but through resolve which means to "loosen, untie, or release". Looking at it this way, resolve is a "form of surrender, a way to set our most heartfelt desires free into the world". "Growing an intention that relates to something beyond you".
So the first step is Surrender. Get really clear on what you want to bring forward into your life. We all have a higher purpose, whether it is being a better parent, creating a sense of community, healing relationships, or becoming healthier so that we can be there for those that we love and that love us. When you feel that your goals connect you with other people and a higher purpose, they seem more attainable.
The second step is to Inquire. This means including words and actions that bring what you desire into your life. Ask questions including:
"What do I want to experience more of in my life and what could I do to invite or create that?"
"How do I want to be in the most important relationships in my life, and what would that look like in practice"?
"What do I want to offer to the world and how can I begin"
"How do I want to grow in the next year?"
"What actions can I commit to that are consistent with this desire?"
"What needs to happen in the next year to move me forward on this path?"
What is the first step that I can take?
Step three is to Commit. Sometimes this is the most challenging part because it can be really easy some days, and other days it can be really hard. Making the commitment to achieve our goals comes with "habit building". It sounds so simple, but it takes tremendous will power and commitment to keep making "the decision day after day to achieve the momentum of habit". There are different ways to achieve this commitment, including making yourself accountable to a friend or community that you are a part of. Also, sometimes making a declaration just to ourselves can be very powerful. These declarations serve "an inherent desire to keep our word and deliver on our promises".
Step four is Perseverance. Perseverance can help us to get past our "unconscious mind" or our fear based patterns. Sometimes "opposing desires" are common. " One desire supports negative patterns and fears, while the other feeds our sense of well-being and fulfillment". Meeting obstacles and learning from them instead of feeling ashamed when we fail is empowering. Practicing self forgiveness instead of being so critical of ourselves "increases our odds of success". When we take the guilt out of the way, we admit our willingness to get back on track. We believe that we can achieve our goals and improve even though we have bad days and backslide at times. We admit that we are human.
Step five is to Envision. Envisioning is being able to see and feel what it's like to achieve our goals. Whether that's losing 5 pounds or 50 pounds or simply eating in a healthier way, exercising regularly, or learning how to deal with anger issues. Everyone obviously has different goals, but being able to envision what it looks and feels like to achieve them is very important. The article suggests writing a letter to your present self from your future self that's dated a year ahead. "Imagine looking back and thanking yourself for all the things you did or sacrificed to achieve your goals!"
I know that this isn't my usual post, but I wanted to share this article with all of you and I sincerely hope it resonates with you as it has with me!