Into the New Year with Intention (Not Resolution)

Dr. Cindy Haines Health Guide
  • Here it is again...a new year. A fresh start, the air ripe with possibilities.

    But haven't we been here before? I know I have. In fact, this is my 40th time coming into a new year, armed with resolutions. And my resolutions are probably pretty similar to yours: lose weight/keep it off, get more fit, eat better, meet my professional and personal goals.

    All great stuff. But not necessarily easy to accomplish and/or sustain.

    Sometimes you just need to turn things on their head...literally.


    This year, I happened on to a "yoga challenge" at a new yoga studio I was trying out to relieve boredom with my regular gym. Those practicing yoga every day in January would be entered into a raffle to win a free month of unlimited yoga classes. As someone who has never won a contest, ever, I felt like my odds of winning this would be pretty good. Who else would want to do yoga EVERY DAY?

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    And so, it was on. Then my first yoga class flipped my "resolute" way of thinking on its head. Resolutions are old hat, says this yoga instructor. What's happening now: setting intentions.


    If you have ever been to a yoga class, you know that the instructors often ask you to set an intention for your practice that day, possibly one that can carry you through the rest of your day as well. It could be a greater sense of peace, an enhancement of strength, more awareness of the present moment, etc. Taking it to a more global sense, this yogi spoke of how resolutions tend to have negative connotations - a resolve to an "all or nothing" way of thinking that is neither realistic nor kind to oneself.


    This global concept of intentions versus resolutions struck me. Could flipping the mindset of "all or nothing" actually help us reach and sustain our goals? For now, I am giving my all at winning that raffle, with the greater win (hopefully): greater sense of peace, enhancement of strength, and improved awareness of the present moment.


    For even more tips on how to get better health and need the health care system less, check out: The New Prescription: How to Get the Best Health Care in a Broken System by Dr. Cynthia D. Haines, M.D. (Dr. Cindy Haines) and Eric Metcalf, M.P.H.

Published On: January 24, 2012