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How to Create a Powerful Sankalpa for the New Year

One of the Vedic paradoxes is that we are 100% fulfilled at all times and yet we are always evolving. It is important to remember our desire to evolve has nothing to do with our value as a being. The evolution is so we better realize that value that already exists within. The Sanskrit term for this drive to grow and evolve is "Sankalpa." Setting a "Sankalpa," or an intention, can be done in different ways but it should be clear and for the benefit of your higher Self and all others.

What makes for a good Sankalpa or intention?

Before setting a Sankalpa, ask yourself, what is the motivation behind it? More specifically, to what extent is my worth wrapped up in this intention getting fulfilled? For example, if we set the intention to lose 20 pounds this year, is it because you want to have more energy or is it because you feel less valuable as a person with extra weight? Try going for qualities rather than specifics. Consider what you desire to heal, transform, and how you'd like to feel this upcoming year as opposed to what you'd like to have, where you'd like to go, or what you'd prefer to look like.

How do I stick to a long-term goal for the New Year if I’m always following my intuition/what’s charming in the moment?

As long as the goal remains charming (i.e. our inner Magic Eight Ball continues to come back with yes) then continue to move in the direction. Don’t forget to keep checking in with yourself to see if all is still on track.

Where does the motivation come to stick to my Sankalpa if I feel fulfilled from the inside?

Once inner fulfillment comes, our desires percolate up spontaneously as a way to move our fulfillment around. So we can be very motivated towards a goal, it’s just the motivation has nothing to do with the worth of the Self.

How do I deal with the potential disappointment of the Sankalpa not working out?

You may have a strong preference for a certain outcome, but we want to hold some flexibility in our awareness. Expectations, fine…rigid expectations, problematic. If we set our intentions and dedicate ourselves to a direction but stay open to the possibility that our larger nature may have other plans, when things start to go differently than what we wanted, rather than doubling down on “our way,” we get curious about what is really going on. Three years ago, I started the year with some very strong goals for my non-profit that I was launching. Two and a half months in, Covid hit and it all went out the window. Zero expectations fulfilled. And 2020 turned out to be one of the best years of my life (I know I’m in the minority on that one).

Is there a proper method for setting intentions?

Yes, at the end of meditation after you’ve dropped the mantra but when your awareness is still somewhat deep, you put the intention out there, and like releasing a balloon into the sky, you let it go.

What are some Sankalpa/intention prompts?

How do I want to feel in the new year?

What is one ignored aspec of myself that needs healing?

What is one way I'd like to contribute?

What is one thing I'd like to create?

Where do I want my attention to flow in the new year?

What is one negative, cyclical pattern I'd like to end this year?

What is one positive belief I'm going to reinforce?

Who do I need to recognize/thank/make amends to before I can move into the new year?

What are some examples of a good Sankalpa for the new year?

In 2023, I intend to....

feel more light-hearted and playful

laugh more

be grateful for the "in-between" times, between holidays, big events, asleep and awake

put 100% full attention on someone when they are talking to me

try to better remember names

speak with less sarcasm

better appreciate the totality of my journey

slow down



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