As we journey to the end of 2013, the word intention is a hot button; a hot button that often goes lukewarm in the first 30 days. But it doesn’t have to. In setting intentions, first there needs to be an awakening – accepting yourself as you are presently and knowing what it is you want to achieve. Then you can keep the fire lit by transforming the habits that might hold us back; free up time and energy to manifest those dreams. If the word habit has a negative connotation, consider that your current ones need some reworking. Yes, habits can be destructive, but they can also provide reinforcement for our intentions. Though it takes some dedicated rewiring to keep the positive circuit flowing, good habits are more powerful than bad ones. If you are ready to ignite the flame and reflect on a few of your mental habits, ask yourself the following questions (written answers are best):
Are you ok with changing your routine? And if so, how often do you do so?
Do you believe you have choices for healthier options? Are you willing to explore them?
How often are you engaged in your thoughts of the past and enslaved with judgement?
When are you preoccupied with thoughts of the future that strengthen the worry loop?
Do you feel guilty when your healthy habits pull you away from other’s needs?
What are your attachments? What are your aversions? And how do they each influence habitual behavior?
What/who empowers you?
And finally, have you surrounded yourself with a whole team of defenders? Denial, victim, cynicism, sarcasm, being highly critical, rigidity, withdrawal, being too nice, endless rationalizing, and self-deprecation just to name a few.
In the end, we have a conscious choice to repeatedly grab on to something to maintain a relationship with it or release. Sometimes life brings pain. There is no way around it. We forget to remember or just get lazy. But if our good habits are more clever than the bad ones, they provide the transformative fire we need to get through the cold spells.
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson