The new year offers a renewed promise for healthier living. How do we go about change? With one sneaker in the gym and a bare foot in the yoga studio, I observe two different approaches to self improvement.
Fitness folks focus on outcomes like losing 15 lbs. or running a marathon. Goals provide measurable benchmarks and motivate us as architects of our future.
Yogis set an intention called a sankulpa. Examples include, “I choose healthy foods” or “I exercise my strength and stamina.” When repeated in the present tense these statements affirm shift in the moment.
When we feel like a lost ship lost in a dark sea, what’s better: goals or intentions? Both can illuminate our path.
Aiming for a goal guides us toward a lighthouse. However, goals can be unrealistic, attainable or limited to a myopic mindset. We never know if choppy waters or rocky shores will hinder us.
Like a flashlight, a sankulpa shines our inner light directs conscious change. Our luminosity strengthens with focus and colors our daily lives. Our glow becomes dim or diffuse when we underestimate our intent.
Consider what is obscured in the darkness. What do goals signify and intentions reveal? If you did lose weight, would you allow yourself to feel beautiful or powerful? What self-destructive habits conflict with your higher purpose? Shine into your shadows.
Both goals and intentions commit you to the daily marriage of the mystical and the mundane. They kindle small steps toward healthy change.
In the spirit of new endeavors, here are my aspirations:
My goals: write a blog post each week
finish the book by the end of June
present workshops, trainings and lectures on yoga and holistic fitness
My intentions: spark new conversations about exercise and health
walk my talk
inspire (a) movement
I look forward to sharing my progress with you.