A Guide to Setting Intentions

“You are what your deepest desire is.
As your desire is, so is your intention.
As your intention is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

The Upanishads

Yesterday, December 21st, was the Winter Solstice. As many of you may already know, the Winter Solstice acknowledges the shortest day of the year with the longest night and officially kicks off the winter season. The winter season represents the Yin qualities of slowness, reflection and receptivity…but it also marks the cyclical return to sunlight as the earth begins her tilt back toward the sun at the start of the Winter Solstice. This duality between dark and light makes me think of the themes of Rebirth and Renewal.

Another interesting fact to note is that the Winter Solstice coincides with the start of the Capricorn season in astrology (Capricorn season begins on Decmeber 22nd…and I just so happen to be a Capricorn, with my birthday being on January 5th). During this cycle, it’s an opportune time to realign with our goals and ideals as we look toward the new year ahead. Capricorn is an ambitious, yet grounded earth sign, and it reminds us that while it’s ok to have lofty goals and ambitions, we need to make sure they are rooted in reality.

Setting intentions at this time of year allows us to clarify them during Capricorn season and beyond. Through continued refinement of our goals, a willingness to understand that mistakes will be made and that we may need to change course along the way, intentions are like little stepping stones that lead us toward our highest potential. An intention is the starting point of a dream — it’s what makes the unconscious conscious. It is the creative power that fulfills our heart’s desires, be it career or relationships, money or material things, personal or spiritual. Think of an intention as an illuminating realization in action.

As we lead up to the new year, let’s drop resolutions (which are typically made from self-doubt and hate), and instead, let’s embrace intentions and solutions! Here’s your guide to setting out the right kind of energy.

REFLECTIVE JOURNALING

My yoga classes this month have been focusing on the theme of REFLECTION, and it is extremely important to take time for this in order to understand where you’ve been. Knowing and understanding the successes and challenges you’ve experienced can be so powerful in helping you set your intentions for this coming year. Journaling is a great way to do that, and this worksheet can help you with this process:

If you’re able to take the time to do this reflective journaling by December 23rd (which is when the New Moon phase is for December 2022), it’s an amazing opportunity to write and release before looking ahead to setting your intentions for the new year. However, do what you can, when you can…it’s all good, and the above will be beneficial for you no matter when you decide to do it.

STEPS TO SETTING MEANINGFUL INTENTIONS

Once you’ve completed your reflective journaling, it’s time to set those intentions! These are steps that can help you do that most effectively:

Here is a bit more detail on what each of the above steps entails:

1. REFLECT

First, it is important to reflect on the years before you. Take time to measure where you once were versus where you are now, reliving all the lessons and blessings you have encountered. It is a powerful time of honoring the past and thinking about growth and expansion. This is a time of deep gratitude, giving thanks for all that has gotten you to this point.

2. GET CLEAR

Next, think about new opportunities, lessons, people, and growth you want to attract. Get clear on what you truly need in your life. Think less about what you want, and focus on what is going to truly feed you. Think outside the box on this one, like asking for a different perspective over an outcome.

3. WATCH YOUR FOCUS

This year, instead of focusing on something that’s WRONG, focus on your PERSONAL ACTIONS. Approaching your desires and perspectives with self-love and compassion changes the frequency of your intentions you are setting out. It creates a more positive and loving effect which then, in turn, is what you are going to attract.

4. TUNE INTO YOUR ENERGY

Instead of making resolutions (which turns your focus on a problem), focus on solutions and intentions. How can what you do help yourself, the Universe, mankind, and loved ones?

When you focus on solutions through love and acknowledge the amount of virtue you possess, you are able to truly make an impact.

5. MAKE IT PRACTICAL

A common example of an intention is “I want to get in better shape”. Many people want it, but why? When people are putting a lot of energy into changing themselves because they don’t like what they look like, it is channeling a bunch of energy into negative self image and validating it. But if you approach this intention out of self love and compassion, then every action you take is validating your love for yourself. Move the way you WANT to, not because you HAVE to.

With any intention you set, give yourself a practical and loving way to manifest them.

6. FEED YOUR FAITH

Some things are out of your control, and it’s then when you need to leave it to your faith. When things aren’t working out or you don’t seem to be attracting what you’re setting out with your intentions, this is the time to take a step back and reflect. Have faith that everything is happening FOR you, not TO you, and ask for clarity. If you truly think your intentions are aligned with your highest good, then ask for the energy and will to continue down your path of discovery.


I hope this post helps you move forward in feeling confident that you can set intentions for yourself that will awaken your inner fire, manifesting all the things in life that will bring you towards your best self. My hope is that your 2022 has been enlightening, and that 2023 is the year when you start to see your dreams come true!

Namaste and Have a Sparkling Day!

Melanie

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