The most popular resolutions that are made for New Year’s relate to health and fitness. At Intent we really push the idea that you should strive not to make resolutions or physical goals like “I want to lose 30 pounds” but dig deeper in yourself and set intentions about how you want to feel for the new year – “I want to feel healthier and have a better sense of wellness.” It’s also important that to achieve your intent you set realistic smaller goals to motivate you to satisfy the intent desire in your soul. But once you have set your intent and created realistic landmarks to help you get there, how do you stay on track? According to StatisticBrain.com, 24% of people never reach their intended resolutions.
Your chances of succeeding at your intent increase as long as you keep the passion for it alive, and that means not letting yourself get bored. More than half of new exercisers quit within three to six months after starting a workout program, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). If you get bored or dread working out then you are much less likely to keep up the regimen. So how do you step out of your comfort zone? Try these tips.
- Try a new healthy food or recipe once a week – By expanding your food vocabulary you force yourself to learn more about the nutritional values of food, making it easier for you to make decisions about meals and snacks in the long term. Think of finding a new recipe as a new adventure. You can learn to love new foods or love your current favorites in brand new ways and this will prevent you from getting burned out on the same routine meals. “Find healthy foods you love, or learn creative ways to prepare foods so that eating is not a punishment, but a pleasant, (sometimes even spiritual) experience that involves mindfulness and togetherness,” says Sports Club/LA nutritionist Karen Sherwood.
- Take a group fitness class – There are so many ways to get in shape besides tying yourself to a treadmill or elliptical. It can be as simple as going for walks outside or changing your running route. Look at your local fitness center for their classes and pick something that you’ve never tried before. In September, Sports Club/LA launched their “Recess” classes, which helped adults work out by playing the games they had so much fun playing as a child. Or you may try one of their Blitz classes which is a full body work out designed to improve your endurance, strength and power. Take a yoga class for a month and then switch to cardio dance classes. Not only do you allow yourself the chance to try new things and meet new people, but also you work out different parts of the body and you allow exercising to be something you really enjoy rather than an appointment with a machine you’ve grown to dread. You are not a hamster on a wheel, so why create a work out routine that makes you feel like one?
- Stay centered and in touch with your intent – Sometimes our intents evolve as time goes on and it is important to stay connected to that feeling. Trust yourself to change as your intent changes. By building a meditation or yoga practice to keep your center you can feel when a routine has started to not work and you can use your inner instincts to adapt your routine to what your body and mind are telling you it needs. “Physical activity along with peaceful practices such as yoga or meditation to help build a refreshed sense of self. This is the glue that seals in the new lifestyle as the body begins to change physically, resulting in a new stream of motivation,” Sherwood explains.
By combining these tips you not only increase your chances of reaching your intent, but you also give yourself more opportunities to grow and learn more about your health. Being adventurous with your fitness and nutrition routines not only makes the journey more interesting but you get a deeper appreciation for the journey as you go on, and that will propel you forward. We hope you take these tips to heart and that your 2014 is healthier than ever.
We’ve been bringing it up over the past several weeks but today the Intent team is excited to officially announce 2014 as THE YEAR OF INTENT. From here on out Intent.com and the blog will be used to support our community in achieving their goals. Intent itself will be striving to do it’s part as a brand and a conscious company to make a world a better place. We think that an essential part of that is by helping our community utilize the power of intent not just as part of a meditation or yoga practice, but in every aspect of their lives.
What do you want to accomplish in 2014? Mallika Chopra intends to write and publish her book Living With Intent. Gotham Chopra intends to launch The Religion of Sports – a multimedia cross-platform project to answer why do you care so much about a thing you have no control over? Megan (Intent Blog editor) intends to finish her first screen play. MeLissa (Intent.com community moderator) intends to take her writing and acting career to the next level.
Whether you are trying to do something big like write a book or start a business or something more personal like intend to be a more patient person, we want you to come up with one major intent for 2014. Sign up (it’s totally free!) on Intent.com and post it in our Year of Intent category. We’ll be recruiting others with big projects to do the same. Then we’re going to support each other. Throughout the year you’ll update that intent with your progress (worksheets to help you keep track of your progress will be available soon!). Tell us about the major milestones you hit, or if you hit a snag and need help getting back in the saddle. We’ve enabled users on Intent.com to be able to post hot links and YouTube videos for multi-media projects. The blog will also be a tool for support (more on that below).
If you are unsure of how to set your intent or even what it is, read this post to help you get started.
The idea of intent isn’t limited to meditation or a yoga space. We are trying to show that it’s a principal that can be applied to your every day life to make your life more fulfilling and help you achieve the things your soul most desires. We want to show you and the world how to do that and prove that intents aren’t something you state and then leave for the ether. The Year of Intent is going to help people create real change in their lives and the world by encouraging them to complete their heart projects. So we are inviting you to be part of that movement by adding your intent and going on this journey with us.
Okay, sounds good, but it also sounds like a lot of work. What’s in it for me besides some feel good stuff?
We’re glad you asked. There are actually quite a few incentives for you to participate in Year of Intent. Let’s start with a basic few.
- Quantifiable support: Intent.com is an active and growing community. Its members are also very active. As you update your intent you’ll have the community behind you – and the numbers are right there for you to show investors, publishers, agents, etc. So if you’re writing a book, as Mallika is doing, as you update your intent your support will grow. Chapter by chapter and and by the end of the manuscript you can go to publishers and say “I’ve been tracking my progress on Intent.com and I already have X amount of people in seeing this become a reality.” (Our newsletter mailing list alone has 30K, so that X can be quite impressive). For those pursuing creative intents having a measurable audience is a definite help when it comes to finding partners and companies to help distribute or officially launch your work and Intent.com can be the place where you grow that invested audience.
- Collaborations: MeLissa and Megan will be monitoring the community and the intents daily. As you update your intents they will recommend users who are working on similar projects. So if you update your intent to say that you have hit a snag, there could very well be another member of the community who is working on something similar or has expertise in the field that you need and you can be connected. Not only does it foster the supportive vibe we want in the community but it also enhances your personal projects and could create lasting partnerships.
- Accountability and inspiration: Everyone knows that a little pressure can be invaluable when you’re trying to reach a goal. Setting your Intent.com and creating an audience creates an accountability to keep up with your intent, whether its creative or personal (or both). We also encourage you to support others’ intents to make them accountable, and to draw inspiration from those around you also pursuing their goals.
I still don’t get what you mean by “update my intent.” Don’t I just make it and affirm it when it’s done?
Year of Intent is about big goals, even if they are personal in nature. We want you to create an intent that is going to take work to complete. We’ve created worksheets and other tools to help you break your “big” intent down into smaller milestone goals. As you reach a milestone, you’ll update your intent with your progress. With the hot link and YouTube features you can actually show that progress as well to those who have supported you and also to show new members of the community or to your intent what you’ve been up to. By creating smaller goals to achieve it not only makes you accountable (see above!) but it helps make reaching your big intent more manageable, and you get encouragement along the way to help push you forward!
This is all happening on Intent.com. What about the blog though?
The blog is going to be Intent headquarters from here on out. We’ll still have great inspirational articles but they are going to be catered to supporting you and reaching your intents. There will be tips on setting your intents, how to keep the motivation going, useful habits for getting yourself out of a rut, etc. We will also increase the “From Intent.com” posts. Right now those happen once a week but we’ll start posting more frequently about inspiring intents that we see that we think the community should know about or that we thought are particularly inspiring.
Most excitingly though, we’ll be using the blog to help showcase updated intents and reward supporters with exclusive content from the intents they support. For example, Mallika is writing her book Living With Intent. One of her smaller goals is to finish a certain amount of chapters by the end of the first quarter. When she reaches that goal we will post a preview or sneak peak of what she’s been working on so you can actually see the work you’re supporting! So you’ll see it here on Intent Blog before it’s officially published anywhere else! This will happen with projects and intents all across the website. As more people sign up and start posting their intents we’ll post info about submitting to the blog as a featured Year of Intent participant. (Featured users will also go in our Intent newsletter as well. Add that to the incentives pile).
As Intent reaches out to more partners to help support the project – both companies that support healthy and wellness lifestyles as well as non-profit organizations we hope to spotlight – there will also be blogs about their intents, causes and goals for the year. They will sponsor content that helps inspire you in your pursuits and also give context to the work they are doing themselves to help make the world a better place.
This sounds great, but I’m not planning to write a book or start any massive projects in 2014. Why should I use Intent.com?
Intent.com and Year of Intent is going to be useful for everyone. Even if you aren’t taking on a big creative or professional project, we encourage you to set some sort of goal for yourself in the coming year and set that intent. It can be something personal like wanting to get healthier or overcome an obstacle you see in your life. Those are just as important and valuable to our mission. Setting intents is about growing as a person and that means something different for every individual. Let’s say you have the following intent: “I intend to become a more open person in 2014.” Fantastic. How are you going to get there? Are you going to try and be more social? Are you going to join a new book club? Perhaps you’ll try meeting friends on MeetUps.com or go on more dates. Maybe you’ll offer forgiveness or an apology to someone you’ve been holding a grudge against for years. These are your smaller goals towards meeting your overall intent and the things that the community wants to support you in doing.
Support. This entire project will only work with support. Whether you have a project or not you can still support others who are blazing that trail (and who knows? Maybe it will inspire you to start your project). Add a supportive comment. Link them to a resource you think might help with their Intent. Share the intent with others. We believe that by joining the community and getting active you open yourself up and become a more conscious, mindful person.
More questions, comments, concerns?
Tell us in the comments below! Or email email@example.com and we’ll be glad to advise the best we can!
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Help us make 2014 a great your for Intent, for you, and this wonderful community.
As the New Year arrives, many of us are apt to pronounce our New Year’s resolutions, be they in the privacy of our minds or promulgated near and far.
Mallika Chopra’s December 11 post, Set Intents Not Resolutions For 2014, got me thinking. She set a clear distinction between intents and resolutions.
I took a look at the definitions of intent and resolution. An intent is the thing that you plan to do or achieve, an aim or purpose. I love that an intent is also the state of mind with which an act is done. A resolution is the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.; the act of resolving something.
This distinction makes me recognize the subtleties of the comparison. An intent sets the stage for choices and decisions related to a plan or purpose, while a resolution is more associated with the end result, a goal. And with a resolution, you are “finding an answer or solution,” which involves a process of searching for a resolution. With an intent, you already have identified what it is you want to PUT INTO ACTION.
Today I had an epiphany about how to activate my intentions so that they can flourish, rather than announce resolutions that remain unfulfilled. Like any new behavior or habit, it takes dedication to implement new intents and goals. And starting with a state of mind of positivity and purpose can go a long way towards the blossoming of intentions into what you want in your life. That’s all well and good, but HOW do I actually make my intents HAPPEN?
Now take a leap with me. One way to accomplish the activation of your intents is to “attach” them to something you already do regularly. This enhances success. For example, I have an intent to do the daily exercises prescribed by the PT I have been seeing for a torn meniscus in my knee. Not easy to incorporate this new routine into my daily schedule. So, I “attached” the new series of exercises to my existing morning yoga ritual. That way, what I intend to do actually happens. But, I took it a step further. I found that I was bored doing the exercises and rushing through them. Calling a friend during the process was not conducive to counting the repetitions. And lo and behold, it occurred to me to express gratitude at each rep. Gratitude for what? For each cell in my body involved in each movement. For my knees. For the fact that I could count. For the PT. For taking deep breaths. And between each repetition, I thought of something I was grateful for, taking up the 3 or 5 second “hold” between each repetition of the exercise. I felt so accomplished. I completed the routine, fulfilled my intent and felt really grateful for lots of things!
In short, adding a practice of gratitude as you embark on activating intentions just may make the process more, well — intentional, as in done in a way that is planned or intended.
Cheers to 2014, the year of fulfilled intentions for which to be grateful!
We can all fall victim to the negative sometimes or end up in funks that last weeks or months because we don’t feel satisfied with where we are in our lives. It’s a natural rhythm, but how can we pull ourselves out? What can we do to remember the positive things – no matter how small – to remind us to be grateful for the advantages and blessings we already have?
You create a Jar of Awesome.
The idea has been floating around Pinterest for a few years now, but as Intent is heading into a major make over in 2014 we wanted to share this idea with our audience. Get yourself an empty mason jar, bottle, or small box – any empty container you choose. Decorate it with paints or glitter or markers – write positive sayings on it, quotes that lift you up, paint it a ridiculously bright color – whatever you choose. We’ve included a gallery of some of the favorites we found on Pinterest that you can use for inspiration.
Once your jar is decorated to your liking, find a visible place for it and keep it near a small notepad or stack of sticky notes. Starting on January 1st, every time something positive, inspiring or awesome happens to you write it down on one of those sheets of paper. Write down the date if that helps, or not (it’s really all up to you) and put it in the jar. Make the commitment to yourself to try and stick at least one piece of paper in the jar a day. Encourage your friends to also make jars. Then on December 31st of next year throw a get together so you can read through all the great things that happened to you over the past year.
The jar also works for mid-year or quarter-year slumps. Whenever you start to feel taken over by the negative, open the jar and read through the great things that have happened to buoy yourself back up. This is a great DIY craft to do with your family or with a group of friends at your New Years party. At the end of the year it’s a really fun way to share your memories and to reflect on everything you’ve accomplished over the year (It’s way more than you think it is). The potential to make 2014 awesome is up to you, and creating this jar is just one tool to help you get there.
What would you put on your Jar of Awesome? If you’ve made one show us your pictures in the comments below!
So there are just a few days left of this year! What are you intending to manifest for this coming year? Do you have any unfulfilled goal from this year that you wish to accomplish next year? There is no better way to manifest your desires than to release your intentions out into the universe and allow it to unfold on its own accord! The best moment to plant seeds of your intentions in your consciousness is during your meditation. In meditation, you connect with deeper levels of your awareness, making a better foundation to manifest your deepest desires. I recommend bringing your awareness on your heart and set the intention that feels just right at that moment. Then release it and don’t worry about when and how it will manifest…just know that if it is meant to be it will. Just have full faith on the energy of your heart. The power of love is magical enough to create many miracles!
Here are 24 intentions that you may use for a better and happier new year. Try working with 2 every month and see where it leads to. Don’t attempt to use one for each hour of the day… this is too much. Just take it slow and steady.
- Expressing love more often.
- Understanding that forgiveness is an everyday ritual.
- Witnessing the temple in your physical body and taking care of it.
- Practicing compassion towards all.
- Spending time in nature.
- Creating thoughts that lead to optimism and courage.
- Building an attitude of gratitude.
- Meditate everyday even for a few minutes.
- Being bold without being a bully.
- Treating work as a way to serve others.
- Respectfully parting from those who discourage and lower your self esteem.
- Stop blaming destiny and start working on manifesting your own goals.
- Staying present.
- Staying in touch with old friends.
- Taking a break from work to relax.
- Eating healthier.
- Reading books and articles to expand awareness.
- Staying offline often to connect with the people in your life.
- Fall in love.
- Letting go off regrets.
- Release the need to treat yourself so seriously.
- Being kind, but not weak.
- Complimenting others more often.
- Breaking the norms.
As December draws to a close people begin looking towards the year ahead and making their resolutions. At Intent, we encourage people to think a little deeper, to set their goals based on the desires of their soul. As you are creating your list of intents for 2014 there are several things to consider. Often times people set goals that are unrealistic and when they realize that they won’t be able to reach that expectation they give up entirely. Don’t let that happen to you,especially if you are setting intents related to your health and fitness. Create goals that challenge you, but that you know you can reach so that it motivates you to keep going.
To help you start off 2014 in a healthier way, and maintain that change throughout the year, we talked to our friends at Sports Club/LA on how to set Intents that are realistic for your personality and lifestyle to help you create permanent change. Follow these tips when making your 2014 New Year Intent lists.
- Avoid Specific Numbers and Go for Overall Change – The most popular “resolution” on lists this year will be “Lose x amount of pounds.” Stop right there. There have been several studies that show your weight number does not necessarily correlate to your overall health, so don’t put that pressure on yourself. If you start playing a numbers game then you already set yourself up for unnecessary pressure. Instead create an intent similar to “I intend to create a healthier lifestyle for myself.” It’s more general, but it leads to more lasting change. It means not only are you going to work out, but take into account your nutrition and spiritual health as well. When you begin to think broader about your overall health, you don’t tie yourself to a treadmill trying to sweat it out into a new pair of jeans. You begin making small changes in several aspects of your life to make you a happier person in general. Challenge yourself to think deeper, not heavier.
- Choose Smarter Nutrition Over Fad Diets – Your eating habits can account for up to 80% of your overall weight loss, so beginning to change your nutrition needs to be taken seriously. If you start automatically on January 1 (or tomorrow) on a fad diet that cuts out all of the foods that you’ve been used to eating, you won’t last very long. Instead it is about baby steps and making small, gradual changes so that you build making healthy choices into your routine instead of something you torture yourself to do for a few weeks – because then the results will be temporary as well. Look at improving your nutrition for good as your gateway to a healthier you! “What we choose to put in our mouth is the most intimate experience we’ll have, therefore it’s important that food be looked at with the intent of supporting and nourishing the body,” says Sports Club/LA nutritionist Karen Sherwood. “Foods that the body recognizes, i.e. fresh vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats, and some grains should round out a person’s diet in moderate portion sizes. Weight loss is then just side effect of a truly nourished body. “
- Plan Challenging Routines that Don’t Ever Extend Yourself – The likelihood of you being able to go from couch to a 7-days a week work out regimen and sustain it is very unlikely. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Instead set a more realistic goal of 2-3 days a week to begin. This way if something comes up and you can’t make it one day you are still getting in a regular routine. Or start a regular class to get your feet wet – some place that will hold you accountable without overwhelming your schedule. As Karen also explains, creating a life change is about baby steps. “To make a complete life-change, taking baby steps and “leaning” into a new way of being is key. This enables us to pave a new foundation and build from there. It must begin with nutrition, and include an active life-style with focus on self care, rest, and stress management. When all of these wheels are working in harmony, the body and its relationship to food and the outside world begins to make sustainable change.”
Look over your list of 2014 intents and check them with these tips. If your current intents feel too numbers based or too specific, take a minute to think deeper – why are you setting that intent? Why is that something you desire? When you can answer those questions, that is your true intent and focusing on that more encompassing goal will be more fulfilling than checking off a simple box. Setting an overall intent can allow you to make smaller goals, to create a plan of baby steps to reach it. Realize that creating true change in your life takes time and don’t rush it – allow yourself the patience to get there at the pace that is right for you.
Have you started your 2014 Intent list? We’d love to hear them so share in the comments below!
Every December, like millions of others, I set new years resolutions.
Lose 15 pounds. Keep in touch with friends. Exercise 5 times a week. Start yoga. Write a book.
Jan 2nd or 3rd I usually make it to a yoga class, cramming the studio with the other newbies who have made a similar commitments. I visit the gym, having to wait for the elliptical machine, in our normally not so crowded gym. I shop at the local farmers market, inspired by the freshness of the fruits and vegetables and think how could I shop anywhere else? I call a friend, feeling so happy to reconnect. I commit to writing and am excited by the possibilities!
But, by week 3, perhaps by early February, my gym visits are down to 2, my excuses for missing the yoga class seem totally justified, and I realize the book project may just have to wait a few more months. Alas, new years resolutions end up making me feel a bit more guilty about all the things I didn’t do, but wanted to, by mid February.
This is why I believe people should make intents, not resolutions. I do believe there is a difference between intents and goals/resolutions.
Intents come from our soul – they are who and what we aspire for in our life. Intentions reflect ones purpose, what gives us meaning or significance. Intentions come from a place of mindfulness, of knowing what will give us happiness and peace.
So, an intent may be to lead a healthier, more energetic life. To do that, we may set goals to exercise or eat better. The intent may be to feel more connected, and one way to do that may be to reconnect with friends. While it may be a technicality, I think when we thing about our intents, instead of just the goals, we will be more conscious and committed to taking action.
And to achieve our intentions, we need to set up an ecosystem to achieve them – giving ourselves time to be thoughtful and know what we want, creating networks of support from others, recognizing that we need to forgive ourselves for faltering, and taking deliberate action. When we set an intent, we naturally pay attention to the situations, people and circumstances that help realize them. In my own life, I have seen that sometimes the way I realize my intent manifests in a way that I never could have imagined.
So, for 2014 (and beyond), I’d like to invite you to set your intents now! Spend the next week thinking about what you want in your life – what will make you feel emotionally, physically, spiritually connected next year. Share your intents on www.intent.com and lets support one another.
I’d also like to shout out to Sports Club/LA who has been supporting this idea of intent! As a sports club, I love the fact that they are sending this message of deeper fulfillment to their members. Check out the photos featuring Intention on their elevator doors and they have inspiring quotes on intention inside. Truly an honor to work with a group that is leading the way!
Dear wonderful Intent community,
Time really flies. We are already at the last day of 30 Days of Intentions! How has your journey been? If you have any special experiences you want to share with us, let’s hear it in the comments below. Even if you may have missed a few days, be proud of the fact that at least once you took the time in your day to articulate your own intention and share it with the rest of the world. Better do it once than never do it at all, right? 🙂
Though the 30 Days of Intentions challenge is officially over, all of us at the Intent Team hope that you will still continue to make the time during the day–even if it is just for thirty seconds–to center yourself and align your mind, body and spirit with a new intention that will keep you grounded for the rest of the day.
So big high-fives to each and every single one of you! Keep those daily intentions rolling, and invite your family and friends and nearby strangers to join in, too. Hope all of you keep up your intention momentum and continue to do positive things for the world wherever you may be, even if it is something as simple and wonderful as listening to your own breath for one quiet moment.