How would you like to Thrive in the New Year?
Every single year we tell ourselves that “this year is going to be the year that [fill in the blank with some unlikely resolution]” and by January 10th we’ve ditched our meditation practice, put our running shoes back in the bin and headed down to the pub declaring that we’ll do Sober October instead of Dry January because of some work or other social commitment. Sound familiar…
Sadly, the large failure rate of New Years' Resolutions mainly equates to why we resolve and not our ability to follow through. New Years Resolutions are just that: resolutions made based on a date and not on any specific epiphany, mid-life crisis or come to Jesus Moment that we may have had. What separates these resolutions, from all of the many successful, and dare I say less hyped, mid-year resolutions is the intent that we have put behind them.
We shouldn’t be discouraged, however, The New Year brings with it a host of new possibilities, promises and intentions. Likewise, with each New Year, we all undergo a process of transformation, where we try to shake off the habits that we no longer want, while simultaneously calling in the life that we do want.
French Naturalist, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, often simply referred to as Lamarck, identified early on how important intent is to the life of an organism. Lamarck was living around the same time as Charles Darwin and due to the nature of the similarity of their work, Lamarck was often overlooked. While both men were concerned with evolution; Lamarck's theories differed from Darwin’s because he didn’t believe in the competitive nature of the natural world, but rather in the intention of the natural world. First presented in 1801, Lamarck’s Theory of Inheritance and Acquired Characteristics believed that organisms changed during their lifespan to adapt to their environment. Lamarck argued that giraffes developed long necks so that they could exploit the high branches of trees and camels developed humps to store water for their trips across the desert. These changes arose from a need within the organism which knew that through their evolution they could thrive. Lamarck noticed that each of these animals had a conscious intention to change which led to their evolution.
So how would you like to evolve and thrive in the New Year?
The intention is described as one's motive or purpose. It is becoming more apparent how important purpose is in the scheme of life. Taking time to set goals is an important part of the New Year as it allows us to examine our lives and priorities. Clearing space to look at our short and long term goals also allows us to step back and observe our daily behaviours and how they transform into larger life themes.
So often we go through life trying to meet our daily needs. These daily needs are often described as our survival needs; such as the need for food and shelter. Often we get so consumed in the slog and fear associated with meeting these survival needs that we fail to look outside of our daily routines and at our larger longings.
Just as Christmas rolls into New Year and each year rolls into the next, our lives have a certain flow. It is suggested that when we are living in Dharma, our lives develop rhythm and a natural unfolding occurs.
Dharma is difficult to define, mainly because the term is used across multiple traditions. In Buddhism, Dharma is expressed in the teachings of the Buddha and related to the cosmic law and order. In Sikhism, Dharma is referred to as the path of righteousness and refers to one's moral duties towards God. Most commonly, Dharma is known for its meaning in Hinduism. This refers to our behaviours that are considered to be in accordance with the laws that make the universe possible. The common thread that weaves through each of these traditions is the idea of the life path and action.
What many of us fail to see in our daily lives is that when we aren’t in our Dharma our lives also have a flow. This flow, however, is heavily guided by the emotions of fear and thus, every heavily jarring event and frustrating feeling just feeds into the next. The one thing that can help us break free from the mundane flow of our lives and into our Dharmic flow is Intention.
We can adopt some habits and routines that will enable our intentions and actions to become more powerful in the New Year.
Crystals For Goal Setting
Amethyst is one of the most commonly recognised crystals. This is for good reason as Amethyst is said to carry some of the most potent healing properties of any stone. Amethyst is a good stone to keep near to you when you are trying to set goals and focus your intention as it is said to enhance focus.
In the Chakra System, Amethyst is considered to be the stone representative of the third eye and is considered to keep you grounded allowing you to focus on your intention without distraction.
One of the easiest ways to use stones is to either wear them as jewellery or carry them as tumbling stones. Using them in mediation is another popular and effective tool and it certainly can’t hurt. However, don’t think crystals are right for you?
Think and Grow Rich Style Journaling
One important way to kickstart the power of your intention is to write your goals down, plain and clear. It is suggested that the more you write your goals down, the more clarity you will have. The more clarity you have the faster you will begin to attract your goals.
The phenomenon that is Napoleon Hill suggested, in his groundbreaking book Think and Grow Rich, that one should write their goals down specifically. Hill writes: “Write the exact amount of money you want to make. Write the time limit to acquire this money. What will you do in exchange for this money? What is this plan to acquire and accumulate this money?" Hill then goes on to suggest that the statement should be read every day morning and night.
Yoga For Goal Setting
Before any Yoga or Meditation practice, assuming you do either, is the best time to set intentions. They allow us to become energetically aligned with our intentions during a time when our minds can become naturally quiet. During the chaos of the day, it is hard to maintain an intention on a goal that may seem so abstract and unrelated to the daily grind. Dedicating as little as 15 minutes towards your goal can really jumpstart your year and your momentum like never before.
Lots of powerful meditations, both paid and free, are available online. Now, more than ever before, we can access some of the greatest minds of intention setting out there. If you're looking for some intentional inspiration looking into the work of Wayne Dyer, Joe Dispenza and Gabby Bernstein is a good start. Each of them provides a jargon-free, down-to-earth introduction to the business of intention that is both contemporary and relatable!
Best of luck with your goals!
How would you like to Thrive in the New Year?