A new year, time to set intentions
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step ~ Lao-tse
So here it is 2016. We survived the the end of the mayan calendar, we are now living in the aquarian age. A shift in our consciousness was supposed to occur, are feeling the shift? Maybe you are and you’re amped to make changes. Since it is an American tradition to set resolutions at the beginning of the year, most people see it as a time to lose weight, get in shape, get healthy, exercise more, quit smoking, drink less, etc.. But often we make these resolutions only to abandon them with in the first two weeks of our change, so why do we so often fail?
Resolutions vs. Intentions
Society has taught us about instant gratification, but as human beings we are much slower than we would like to admit. We heal slowly emotionally and physically, it takes time and practice to gain a skill (unless we are naturally good at it). When we set resolutions they tend to be too grandiose and not well planned (more on this later). To take the pressure off, let’s call them intentions instead. When comparing the definitions of the two different words we can see that a resolution is: a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something. And an intentions is defined as: an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result. The word resolution sounds too definitive and if we do not keep their resolutions, that is a set up for disappointment in ourselves. Not succeeding in the change lowers our self concept and self esteem, and defeats the purpose of making an alteration in our lifestyle.
So why is making changes so difficult?
Change is difficult because of the way we are brains are wired, we are creatures of habit. In your brain the same synapses fire together all the time, effecting what we do, think, and feel! When you are making a change a new pathway for your synapses to fire is formed. The old pathway is like grooves in a road so your brain automatically goes there. So when forming new habits it takes longer and more work to do something different, since this part of your brain is not a hard wired.
So then how do I make a change?
The key to making a change is altering the way that we think about our habits. We must take small steps towards growth and change, then we are more likely to succeed. First prepare yourself for the change, use an affirmation to change your thought pattern about the habit. Second, just try to commit to your change for today. Third, inform your support network about the change that you are making so that they can help you to stay accountable. Ask for help when you need it. The more support you reach out for the more likely you will be able to attain your goal.
So say you are trying to get in shape, start out with going for a walk 5 minutes a day. Tell yourself you care for your body and are getting healthier with each day. Then invite your friend on a 30 minute walk. Then go on a 30 minute hike. Basically we are training ourselves how to change, see it as a process that is fun and rewarding. Each time you practice this new behavior it makes the neurological pathway stronger, which the more you practice it the deeper the groove is made.
So go set an intention and let it unfold and see how beautiful your life can be 😉
“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. – Oprah Winfrey” image by katerha