In each moment, we possess the power and freedom to change. The beginning of a new year is an excellent reminder of this. We're prompted to reflect upon our goals, accomplishments and lessons learned. It's not often in our fast-paced world that the pause is a national norm or embraced. This is truly a unique time. As Jan. 1 approaches, let's seize this opportunity to stop, breathe and make intentional decisions that are truly aligned with our hearts.
New Year's resolutions can be daunting. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the thought of making them, it may be helpful to rename them -- how about New Year's goals, intentions or reflections?
Allocate a special time to reflect upon the past and set intentions for 2012. Consider how long you need and block the time out in your calendar. Mornings are usually good as our minds are more fresh and clear. Choose a quiet place, where you feel at ease, to do this work. You may want to journal your thoughts as well.
Consider what structure works best for you. Some of my friends, for instance, prefer to set goals by category: finances, relationships, work, self-work and so on. Creating a structure that supports your thinking can transform the experience.
Before beginning, you may wish to clear the mind and invite calm with a new beginnings meditation:
Breathing in, I am aware of all nutriments, habits and people who are not supportive of my well-being.
Breathing out, I release and let go of all that which is not helping me toward wellness.
Breathing in, I see wellness in me.
Breathing out, I am determined to change for the better with mindful thoughts and actions.
Practice this meditation for as long as you wish, with gentle in and out breaths. Try not to control your breathing, but rather let it flow naturally. When you feel ready, consider your intentions and write them down.
You may wish to post these somewhere where you will see them often. I also find it helpful to tell others of my goals -- this adds another layer of accountability.
Last year in the Savor Sangha, we began a tradition of sharing our intentions with each other on Facebook, in the safe space of an event wall.
Here you may post your intentions alongside other mindfulness practitioners. It's a wonderful resource for reflection too: The community members who posted their intentions in 2011 can now look back on previous goals as a resource for their intention-setting experience this year.
Join us in sharing your 2012 intentions!
Follow Lilian Cheung, D.Sc., R.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SAVOR_the_book