Setting Your Best New Year's Resolutions - > The Power of Intentions

New Year's resolutions get all the hype this time of year, but we'd argue that now—specifically tomorrow, December 29—is actually the best time to set your intentions for the coming year. Why? Because today marks the last new moon of 2016, making it a particularly ripe moment for manifesting our desires.

An intention is an altogether different animal than a resolution; rather than springing from the ego, it's born from the stillness of our being—a true intention is an echo of the heart itself. The new moon is said to be the most powerful time to set new intentions, especially since this week's also comes right after the winter solstice. Elephant Journal points to the idea that the increased gravitational pull naturally makes us feel both stable and grounded, which, in turn, allows us to dive deeper into our own inner life.

I can't say I disagree. Lately, I've been feeling pulled inward  more than usual, itching to work out the answers to some of my life's bigger questions. Whether the moon is responsible for this inner wrestling or not, the new year feels like as good a time as any to get clear on my desires. (FYI, clarity is perhaps the most important step here—set out an unclear intention, and you can expect muddied results.)

So how do we set intentions that stick? A few months ago, I earmarked this bit of wisdom from Deepak Chopra. You can bet I'll be putting these five steps into action on this evening.

1) Slip into the gap: He's referring to the state of pure consciousness we experience through meditation. Need some help? Our New Year's Eve morning meditation can provide some gentle guidance.

2) Release your intention: Chopra suggests freeing your specific intention in the quiet moments just after mediation. 

3) Remain centered in a state of restful awareness: Tune into what Chopra calls your "higher self" so that you don't fall victim to doubt.

4) Detach from the outcome: Let go of all expectations of how your intention "should" be fulfilled. 

5) Let the universe handle the details: You're no longer in the driver's seat. Be open to however the universe manifests your intention without trying to manage the details.

The final step, of course, is to receive with joy! 

Marianne Hayes is thrilled to join the breathe bar team as a guest contributor. She's a longtime freelance writer with a passion for spiritual growth and inner life.

Sylvia Maldonado