New Year's resolutions

By Marc Felix and Kathrin Seitz | Jan 15, 2011

Marc's perspective

Every year, I hear people tell me that they’re making New Year's resolutions. When I ask them how they did with previous year’s resolutions they usually say that they forgot about them in the busy-ness of their lives. 

What can we do to better keep our resolutions?  Here are some thoughts. 

I prefer the word “intention” to the word “resolution." I especially like the Hebrew word “kavanna,” which Kabbala defines as “the Heart’s intention." I believe that by sourcing our intentions from our hearts instead of our heads we are tapping our true wisdom.

Our intentions require not only the heart’s wisdom, but also the heart’s passion to manifest in the world. 

Consider also, as the Buddhists do, is my intention just for my own benefit, or am I going to benefit as many beings as possible? I believe this altruistic and compassionate approach brings us the support of the universe and the angels in a way that a selfish intention does not. 

Write it and say it. Often we forget how powerful language is. It has been observed that writing an intention multiplies its power compared to just thinking about it. Saying an intention out loud magnifies it even further. This is one place where repetition counts. Say your intention often. One of the laws of the mind is that what we focus on will increase.

Share your intention. Tell your partner or a close friend your intention. Making it “public” in a safe way will give it more reality. The intention will then also have the support of someone else visualizing your success with you.

Start with simpler, smaller intentions and build up to larger, more complicated ones. The success you have with smaller intentions will give you the confidence you need to manifest your bigger intentions.

Be realistic. If you set an unrealistic intention, then you won’t believe it. You’ve got to believe it to manifest it.

Visualize your intention as having actually happened. This is a key in the esoteric art of manifestation. 

Take action. No matter how wonderful or how focused your intention is, it won’t manifest without a step by step action plan. This is a physical world, and to change it requires physical action. I might have a very strong and clear intention for my desk to be on the other side of the room, but it won’t get there till I move  it! 

Remember that this is an abundant universe. After you have set your intentions and taken the steps outlined above, be grateful and allow the abundance of the universe to flow into your life.



Kathrin's perspective

Make it New!

— Ezra Pound

I agree with Marc’s piece. Let us find our intentions in our heart, not our head. As well, let’s be aware of who we are. If we are freedom loving, for example, specific goals might bore us. Highly creative people won’t be drawn to traditional goals; detail-oriented folks may not like vague intentions.

Let us choose goals that excite rather than intimidate us. I am a creative type.  Setting an intention of making two cold calls a day to find students does not bring me joy, it terrifies me; whereas, putting together a class about relationships excites me. That is a desire that comes from my heart and sparks my imagination.

Move toward goals that feel great rather than ones that meet societal expectations. Say you want to lose weight and eat well. Why not take a cooking class with a group of friends? You’ll have a built-in support group and you’ll have fun being together and cooking. It might take a bit longer to lose weight, but you'll enjoy the process. Interested in exercising more? Put together a group of friends for a daily walk rather than force yourself to go to the gym to work out. You’ll have to show up to support your friends and keep your promise.

When I made resolutions in the past, it was as if I imagined a doppelganger who, a bit like me, but a lot like someone I had never met, would become a pole vaulter, a world traveler and a millionaire in a mere 12 months.

Needless to say, that did not happen. My intentions have become less grandiose as I have matured. Now, I like to think about creating what my friend Isabel calls “quiet goals.” Maybe a goal to lead a more balanced life or to learn to express myself more fully.

My first intention of 2011 year is to reconnect to spirit. Will this make me rich and famous? Probably not; but, it will increase my sense of satisfaction and ease. And I’ll be easier to live with. And it just might benefit other beings, as well.

Before we set out to create intentions, it is good to review what is important to us.  What are our core values; that is, what do we value above all else? Is it family? Or the creative life?  Or career?  Maybe all three.  In looking at 2011, how will we integrate these values in our intentions?  It’s particularly important, as Marc says, to write down our intentions. I would add that we ought to keep a list of our core values in our calendar, at our desk.  Some place we see every day. Then, when we encounter a difficult moment, we can check our values and be guided to make a decision that meets our intentions and values.

Here’s another way to change your relationship to goals. Change the verb. Think of pursuing goals rather than achieving them. The pursuit alone will change us. And no heavy “shoulds” at the end of the year when you don’t “achieve” what you set out to achieve.

And, I would add this: Life is change.  We don’t know what is around the corner.  So, if you veer off your intentions, trust your process.  Perhaps you are being guided.  Perhaps it is time to let go. Perhaps, it is time to sing:

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.  The mind that is not baffled is not employed.  The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

— Wendell Berry

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