With the New Year most of us make Resolutions. Often they don't get accomplished. In yoga, we would call a resolution an Intent. Immediately there feels like a connection with the mind when we call it an Intent. It's been found that there are 2 times when we can effortlessly allow our Intent to affect our minds, for we need the help of the mind to accomplish things: as we fall asleep, or are awaking, there is a 'gap' where we are not consciously alert, nor are we unconscious (sleeping).......this is the time, the gap between sleep & wakefulness, where we can 'implant' our intent. Even more penetrating is to do this in Yoga Nidra (deep relaxation where the body sleeps & mind moves through stages of alertness & deeper states). We do this at the start of the technique as we are starting to move into relaxation, & at the end, when the mind is very receptive. It's best to use a CD for this: available from myself within New Zealand: firstname.lastname@example.org
So we have an intent, maybe an easy one like doing more exercise (we'll use walking here). But, we just can't seem to do it!! Here's a hint: decide when you will have completed your exercise, eg friday by 4pm I'll have done a 20 minute walk. You don't have to imagine it, intellectualise it, just keep this it mind. You'll end up doing it, by friday at 4pm, you will have done your walk. Without any arguments within the mind!! This is my annual 'doing taxes' method, and it's never, ever failed me. I use it for grocery shopping, housework, office work, lots of things that I'm not enthusiastic about. .
There are 2 yoga principles which work well with this. Abhyasa which means 'constant practice'. In other words it's someting that we do over & over. It becomes a habit. When we do someting over & over, we create a neural pathway in the brain which gets stronger each time that we do the habit. So our habit gets easier to do. The other principle is called vairagya. Often people call vairagya 'detachment' but....this creates difficult ideas of non-caring within our mind. It actually has 2 levels, one of which is highly developed spirituality, but, at the level that we are using it, vairagya means discernment, and it is the means for overcoming our likes & dislikes. After all, if we need to do a technique for our 'walk' (or whatever the Intent is), there is an element of dislike operating. Vairagya also has a lot to do with common sense.
We need two other aspects as well for our Intent, for our dreams, goals, & all those Secrets we try to manifest: consciousness (mind) & energy (action).The 2 combined create a 3rd aspect: the outcome!!
All those books which followed The Secret, revealing the 'secret element' missing from the book for manifestation, maybe didn't know to just use yoga principles!!
If we just have 1 of these 2 principles, nothing manifests properly, for, consciousness without energy (doing) produces just dreams & wishes.And energy without consciousness creates a scattering of energy, or, what we do is scattered, & doesn't have 'somewhere to go'. So, we need to apply our minds & work out just what we are going to be doing to achieve our resolutions.