Mindfulness for Happier New Year's Resolutions
Updated: Mar 18, 2021
Because none of us needs even one more thing to feel badly about as 2020 comes to a close, I offer a few ways to make more mindful resolutions.
Pause in silence for a short bit and inquire about the nature of a “resolution”, what does it mean to be resolute?
You’ll find the definition includes being determined and unwavering. Life has a way of tossing pebbles or even boulders our way. We waver and slip from the path towards our original intention. This is how it goes, for everyone.
Why are you choosing to change what has likely become a habit you don’t like? Sit for a while in the words and feelings around this. Make it more about the benefits you see for yourself than complaining about your poor habits thus far! What is there to be gained that really excites you, draws you in?
Have you read a little about what it takes to change a habit? Understand the brain wiring that creates the patterns we repeat mindlessly?
You may come to these answers slowly. The benefit is as much in the inquiry as it could be in the answers.
More hints to success: make the goals small, incremental if possible, and while committing 100% to the goal, also commit 100% to compassion and forgiveness for the days when complying with the resolution lacks luster, energy and result!
It is important to commit to doing your best in meeting well thought-out goals. It is wise to make space for what actually arises as we are tossed about by old habits, thought patterns, and the presence of COVID in all of our lives.
Be realistic and kind with yourself (and of course, with others). There is a balance in managing the challenges of creating new, perhaps healthier habits for the new year, or just a “new day” in any month and being willing to start over.
I encourage us all to simply “begin again”. Put down the story about why we didn’t succeed today, our flawed characters, or the nature of events that impacted our course forward. Employ a skillful meditation technique. When you notice you are off course, take a breath, or several, and come back to your commitment. Rest in the merit of your goal, re-set your intention and know that whatever tomorrow brings – you will do your best when it arrives!
I hope this approach helps you find a kinder, more approachable way to begin the new year.
Stay well and stay tuned!