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  • Layla Auer

Positive Intentions Rather Than New Year’s Resolutions to Lead to a Healthy Balance

Updated: Mar 3

The Festive Period is a Time of Extremes


January is the time when many of us swing from one extreme to the other, creating opportunities for inner conflict and grounds rife for self-flagellation and punishment. December is associated with Christmas parties, excessive behaviours, indulgence and lots of socialising. Then, on New Year’s Day, we outline everything we will abstain from as well as a long list of things we will start doing. Although there are many benefits to making changes to our lifestyles, New Year’s resolutions also open up space for failure and a confirmation of your insecurities.


As New Year approached, my list of resolutions was getting longer and longer. It included things such as:

  • Exercise more

  • No caffeine

  • No gluten

  • 100% plant-based diet

  • More meditation

  • More self-care

  • No white rice, no white flour, no white anything

  • No refined sugar

  • Daily yoga

The list went on and on and on.

 

Now all of these resolutions would be very beneficial to my physical and emotional well-being, if they did not carve a space for negative self-talk to settle in. As New Year’s Eve approached, I really tapped in to how my body felt when I thought about the long list of resolutions I’d created. Through meditating and observing how thinking about the resolutions felt in my body, it became very obvious that there was something not sitting right. My jaw tightened, my stomach clenched and I could feel the adrenaline in my body increase. All of these sensations are indicators of stressors, stressors that alert me that something is not quite right.

 

Winter can be quite a harsh time of year for some: there is a lack of light, the weather is conducive to hibernation, people’s immunity is often more compromised, Christmas and all that it entails can be hugely triggering and the light at the end of the tunnel seems far away. Rather than listen to what our bodies need, which tends to be much more rest, relaxation and reflection than parties, Prosecco and pushing ourselves, we tend to do the opposite. We go against ourselves and then wonder why we are poorly, tired and burnt out. New Year’s resolutions are one more way of adding to the harshness, at least from my own experience, which is why I decided on the 1st January that my only resolution was to not have any resolutions.

Is this a cop out? Is this a sign of weakness? Is this a sign of a lack of self-care and love? If you change the idea of resolutions into intentions and making positive commitments to yourself, then you can positively harness the transformative energy of the New Year and create the space for flourishing, empowerment and kindness to self.

 
New Year’s Resolutions Versus Positive Intentions

Resolutions can provide the space for negative chatter: I failed, I can’t do this, I’m useless, I can’t quit, I have no self-control, I’m fat, I’m unhealthy, etc., etc. Not adhering to, or struggling to implement your resolutions, enables those with low self-esteem to feel worse, overwhelmed and confirm how weak you are. Intentions carry a very different energy, laying fertile ground for seeds to grow, for healthy self-talk and a useful framework for you to evolve, blossom and step into your power.


The power of intention is based on the concept that we are all conscious creators of our own reality, therefore our thoughts impact our health and our daily lives. Think positively and positive things will happen, and the inverse is also true. If this all sounds a bit woo woo, there is a vast body of research based on rigorous scientific experiments that confirms this. Just think of the placebo effect during clinical trials where people often heal as well as or better than those given medication. The crux of the research on the power of intention is that we can manifest our own reality and harness the energy of intention to transform our lives for the better.


What Does a Positive Intention Look Like?

Instead of creating a litany of sticks to beat you with at the start of the New Year, positive intentions are kinder and can be way more effective.


This is what a list of positive intentions could look like:



Be kinder to yourself – this means thinking about the decisions you make and asking the question: Is this decision going to make me feel good about myself? So if you decided that you want to cut out or reduce your alcohol consumption, observe how your body feels when you think about drinking alcohol. If you experience stress, your body is likely telling you that drinking alcohol today will not make you feel good. So, be kind to yourself and drink something non-alcoholic or focus on something that will reduce the stress in your body. Switch alcohol for a walk in the woods or put some tunes on and dance your socks off in the kitchen.


Be patient with yourself – this means understanding that you are fallible and complex and that sometimes you may get it wrong. If you are kinder to yourself and patient, you are more likely to be in a place of empowerment therefore way more likely to make good decisions that positively impact your health and wellbeing. So, if you decide to have an alcoholic drink, don’t beat yourself up. Recognise that you are only human and commit to yourself that the next time you will dig deeper and be kind to yourself and not drink.


Be grateful – this means tapping into the transformative power of gratitude. At the end of each day, write down at least 5 things that you are grateful for about yourself. This can be really hard at first, especially if you are so used to the program in your brain that repeatedly tells you how useless you are. If you struggle to come up with 5 per day, write the same one 5 times. Some examples are:


  • I am grateful that today I decided to be kind to myself and choose not to drink alcohol.

  • I am grateful to myself for recognising that sometimes I make mistakes but that I forgive myself for this and move on.

  • I am grateful to myself for choosing to eat less sugar today.

  • I am grateful to myself for doing five minutes of exercise before work.

  • I am grateful to myself for downloading a meditation app and starting the journey of living a mindful life.


Positive intentions open up a creative and positive space, a space where you feel the benefits of making good decisions and want to experience more of it rather than providing a set of obstacles that could lead to confirmation of self-doubt and failure.

 

How can Systematic Kinesiology help?


Life can be a real struggle and getting some support is a sign of strength, demonstrating that you are open to exploring how to live a more balanced life. Systematic Kinesiology focuses on the interrelationship between thoughts and emotions and how they impact you physically. You are what you think, so to speak. Life’s challenges and experiences can get stuck in your body, leading to negative self-esteem, physical illness and disease. Through gentle muscle testing, we can explore which emotions are holding you back from being able to embrace life to its fullest. Kinesiology offers an abundance of techniques to release these emotions from your body and to re-program the negative self-beliefs that do not serve you. Through each treatment, we co-create a manageable self-care routine that enables you to take control of your life, your thoughts and ultimately to take your power back. To know more about how Systematic Kinesiology can help you read my blog HERE.




If you are interested in how Systematic Kinesiology can help you, drop me an email HERE or book a free discovery call below






Notes

1. See, for example, Lynne McTaggart’s research in her books The Intention Experiment (2008), and The Power of Eight (2017).

2. See, for example, Dr. Joe Dispenza’s Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: how to lose your mind and create a new one (2012).

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