Sankalpa Shakti - why resolutions don’t work and how to ensure yours does.

Take a moment to think, better yet - write this down

  • What is most important to you ? 

  • What are your non negotiables ?

  • What aspects of your life have you resolved to be the way that they are ?

Story medicine

It was about 3am and I was out in the city, polishing off a Falafel kebab after having spent the night kicking my heels up dancing with friends. 

The earlier surge of excitement and youthful 20-something energy had swiftly begun to wane and it was time to go home, yet there were no buses, taxis or trains. 

Stuck beneath the bright lights of the kebab shop, with drunkards staggering in, the fun of the night was beginning to be overshadowed by a feeling more akin to discomfort.

Fortunately, I knew without hesitation that there was someone that I could call. Someone who would awaken to answer the phone, jump in the car and drive our to get us without a second thought. In fact that awareness had been so assuredly programmed into my brain, it helped me to feel instinctually safe. I dialled the familiar numbers, 

“Hello” the sleepy voice questioned.

“Hey Dad, its me, I’m okay. Just wondering if you could come and get us. There’s no buses or trains.”

“Sure darl, where are you ? I’m on my way.”

We stayed where we were and waited in the full light of the back lit night. 

We waited in the full lit light of the resolution my father had made when his children became old enough to ’trip the night fantastic’.

The resolution he declared to us over and again.

“Wherever you are, whatever you are doing and at whatever time of night. Call me, I’ll answer and I’ll come get you, no question.”

Dads declaration wasn’t some flimsy wish, I was a firm statement built from a vast reservoir of feeling that he was committed to achieving, come hell or high water

In the ancient tradition of the Vedas, this powerful resolve is called a Sankalpa - the compound of two Sanskrit words -

San meaning “concept formed within the heart.”


Kalpa meaning “the rule to be observed before or above any other rule” 

Sankalpa therefore is the seed of your deepest intention. Surpassing the superficial (yet relevant) healing methodologies such as affirmation, positive psychology and self-talk, the Sankalpa resonates the undeniable truth of our deepest and most heart connected dream - it is the source driver from and towards ones individual dharma (purpose in life).

In regards to this story, Dad felt passionately connected to the deep knowing he had in his heart; having his children rely that they could depend on him, came first above all else. This was the core fuel, his ‘why’ and a part of my Dads Dharma - which manifested in many additional ways - to ensure that his children always felt safe.

I really didn’t understand it at the time, but this was one of the main reasons Dad gave up drinking alcohol - any alcohol, ever again. He never had a problem with it, rather in order to fulfill on his core intention of providing an extended safety net for his children, he knew that he needed to be ready to go and sober in the event that we were not.

“If you cling to a certain thought with dynamic will power, it finally assumes a tangible outward form”
— Paramahansa Yogananda

For anyone who has ever set and intention and failed, it is easy to know that the perpetuation of unsupportive habits is even harder to break when the light of an intention to undo them is made !

Herein lays the difference between the commonly made New years resolution (which it has been shown that only 2 from 10 people manage to uphold) and the deeply transformative power of Sankalpa.

Sankalpa is a message of truth delivered straight from the soul and once known, is known with certainty regardless of the natural fluctuations of human mind.

“Once you make a decision, the whole universe conspires to make it happen’
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

In fact the ancient teaching of the Yogas revered the capacity of the mind as limitless, as being able to shape the content and quality of human experience, and thus viewed it as having the potentiality of being the architect of ones life !

How then can we truly activate our will and determination - our Sankalpa Shakti - to know that come hell or high water, the outcome will be perceived, believed and achieved ?

There are many processes that can lead us to discovering our Sankalpa and (within the context of this Yoga themed article) a most profound journey is to simply be in the regular practices of Yoga; refining the skills to listen to and feel the breath as it reveals it’s process through the body, during asana, Satsang or meditation. In time, sensitivity will heighten, tools for paying attention will be garnered and the voice within the heart will arise, beyond doubt. 

If you are however, like my Dad and have no idea about the term ‘Hatha Yoga’, be encouraged to know that each and every persons reason for being is unique, sacred and yearns to be revealed within the life we are given.

Therefore take a moment to think, better yet - write this down

  • What is most important to you ? 

  • What are your non negotiables ?

  • What aspects of your life have you resolved to be the way that they are and does this feel in alignment with your hearts truth ?

With great love,




A Sankalpa is an intention, declared in positive and present language that is repeatable. For example: “I am at ease and good feelings surround me.” Sankalpa is born from the deep realisation (as described in the article above) of desiring to live ones unique life-purpose whole heartedly.

The power of intention is that it invites you to embody the outcome, as a way of ‘being’ and sets a course for fulfilment. Sankalpa is the seed intention crafted at the beginning of the Embody Happy coaching program and revisited behind the privacy of your own eyes, every Yoga practice. Plant medicine is a wonderful ally for the journey and when used in this way can assist in rewiring positive patterning over time.

If I can be of service in helping you fulfill your life-purpose, or at least co-create some clarity around the next steps, please reach out.