Power of Intention
Theresa Polley
December 27, 2021
January 10, 2022
Self Care

Maybe you’ve been here before: you set a resolution for the new year, stick with it for a few days or weeks, and by the time spring rolls around you have already “failed” at keeping your resolution.

Why does this happen? When setting resolutions, it’s natural to fixate on something we consider problematic or negative about ourselves. We want to eat less of something (sugar, carbs, meat, etc.), do more of something (exercise, sleep, socialize), be more or less of something (more outgoing, less negative, the list can go on).

The main message we're sending ourselves - who we are isn’t enough. I don't know about you, but I don't want to start my new year, by telling myself I'm not enough. I'd prefer a message of "You've got this!"

When our resolutions fall by the wayside, which research has proven that they do, we’re left feeling a little bit like we failed…and that we’re still, somehow, not good enough, in spire of all of our efforts.

Intention setting, on the other hand, is different. In the practice of yoga, we set an intention at the start of class. Sometimes this is guided by the instructor, but we are always free to choose one thing to focus on to help keep us present in the moment. In a yoga class, that can be anything from letting go of self judgement to cultivating gratitude to sending energy to a specific person in our life. At the retreat, we encourage our guests to set an intention for their retreat, based on the belief that an intention creates a deeper retreat experience.

Whatever your intention is for the new year, consider it less about making yourself "better" and more about living in a way that feels better to you.

For the new year, an intention can be both specific and global. You can set an intention, for example, to practice non-attachment. Meaning each day, you make a conscious effort to let go of attachment to the small incidents that crop up throughout the day and cause frustration. This intention can also allow you to make a conscious effort each day to let go of a past struggle or challenge that may be holding you back.

I believe in setting an intention every morning - at the same time that I make my gratitude list. An intention allows me to be more mindful about my time and energy each day. It's true that my days don't always go according to my plan. When I take time to set a daily intention, I'm better able to respond to what comes up and act accordingly.

What will your intention be?

  • Practice self love
  • Embrace mindfulness
  • Spread kindness
  • Nurture peace
  • Cultivate gratitude
  • Dream big
  • Deepen relationships
  • Find balance with self-care
  • Focus on productivity
  • Seek out stillness
  • Encourage others

At Retreat in the Pines, we live the practice of setting intentions rather than setting New Year’s resolutions. Each retreat begins with an intention setting ritual for our staff. Our Retreat Leaders have a heart to help you cultivate a sense of contentment and living better, rather than thinking you need to be better. Take a look at our upcoming retreats. We welcome you to our community.

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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