How to create a sankalpa: Power of intentional goal-setting

Dubai - Accessing ancient oriental wisdom for practical modern living

By Anjaan

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Woman hands holding clear white notebook, golden sparkles, new year, flat lay.
Woman hands holding clear white notebook, golden sparkles, new year, flat lay.

Published: Thu 9 Dec 2021, 9:07 PM

It’s less than 20 days to 2022 and as you ease into a new year, you will think of goal-setting, conscious intentions as a theme for your coming year.

The first step of change in Yogic Philosophy is Sankalpa. It translates to conscious intention creation. It can be understood as a promise that has been made in the core of your being — in the place of your deepest truth.

While it can be fun to live without direction in the short-term, in the long-term, we are wired to need a purpose and direction.

Seven reasons for Sankalpa — intentional goal-setting:

1. To make sure you are the one choosing the direction of your life, not others, not fate, not the media, not indoctrination

2. To ensure you get what you really want from life

3. To motivate and inspire you to keep moving forward

4. To save time and resources

5. To give direction to your life

6. To reduce stress and enable relaxation

7. To give a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment.

It is easy to let others set our direction for us. You might have started a job because family or friends pointed you in that direction and now you follow the orders of your bosses. You do things because popular culture or social media tells you it’s cool. The fact is that if you do not set your own goals then you will easily follow a path set by others.

This leads to stress, unhappiness and a lack of fulfilment. You have a greater chance of happiness and fulfilment following your own path.

Create a sankalpa

As practitioners of Yoga, we create life goals which are aligned with our Sankalpas (your deepest longings). We do this by establishing an intimacy with our own inner essence — the quiet voice of our inner guide that speaks in terms of truth, love, silence, awareness, kindness, and bliss. If you do not have goals that suit your deepest longings, it is easy to become side-tracked by others.

To connect to your deepest intention, simply turn your awareness inward. Meditate on the quiet centre of your being and ask that silence to reveal Sankalpas that will guide you to real completion. In this way, you can charge your individual goals with the will of the universe.

The purpose of Sankalpa

Conscious goals serve as the destination for what we really want out of life. For some people, goals are measured in money or material goods, while for others goals are measured in time or freedom. How is it for you?

While goals certainly give our lives direction, they also provide the motivation to get us through difficult times and choices. For example, doing a part-time hustle while working a full-time job may be difficult in the short-term, but in the long run it will allow you to pursue the professional goals you desire and this makes it worthwhile.

Become efficient with Sankalpa

Intentional goals can also help save time. When your to-do list becomes too long and your calendar is full, you can simply compare your goals to the list. What items help you achieve your Sankalpa? What items are necessary to your goal? Scratch off the rest as unimportant.

You can also use your intentional goals to make your life choices. Should you take that new position at work? Should you marry a certain person? Should you move to a certain city? Having a clear Sankalpa gives you a measurable sense of accomplishment. Every goal you achieve, in fact every step you take towards that goal, can give you a boost of energy to keep going. Each success powers you towards the next level.

Start with change in the present

Sankalpa works because it makes us focus on one particular future state and transforms our decision-making in each present moment to bring about that desired state. The key is to be focussed on the present. Because there are too many distractions today, a useful Sankalpa for 2022 may be as simple (not easy) as learning how to stay focused. This begins in the present moment.

I wish you transformation of your mind, changing your habits, and settling into a new routine. Set your Sankalpa — let go of the past, focus on what you can do in the present, and surrender to whatever the future holds.

Connect with Anjaan across social media @MeditateWithAnjaan

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