It feels natural, at the turning of the year, to review the old year and anticipate the new one. We see what we’d like to do better and how to have more of the life we want.
However, I’ve come to the conclusion that New Year’s resolutions are well-meaning but ineffective, for several reasons:
- How many people do you actually know who not only remember at year’s end what their resolutions for that year were but can actually say they kept them? (Actually, I am one. See my recent post on meditation.)
- Resolutions are vague and grandiose without planning, commitment, and follow-through. They don’t take into account bad days, bad memories, changing your mind, new information, major life changes, or the lack of motivation that drudgery brings.
- They presume your idea won’t change all year long. As if we were static beings from one year to the next except for this one thing we want to change!
If you’ve set resolutions before and failed to keep them, why not try something else?
- Make sure your resolution is something in your control. Unfortunately, world peace takes a lot of cooperation! But you could resolve to take a class on conflict resolution, or practice a peaceful meditation technique, or volunteer with a peace organization.
- Chunk it down. Fifteen minutes a day of practice on a musical instrument will make a huge difference at the end of a year. Or make it for a shorter period of time. And…just because it is a new year doesn’t mean resolutions have to be for the whole year! Some things just don’t take that long. You could learn to salsa and be ready to go clubbing in way less than a year, I imagine.
- Make it fun. If you don’t look forward to it, what’s going to keep you motivated?
That said, my mind has been full of things I’d like to do in 2013:
- get good enough on the pennywhistle to join a jam session without embarrassing myself
- learn to balance for 10 seconds in handstand away from the wall
- get massage or acupuncture frequently
- build a steady clientele for my massage practice and earn a certain amount
- solve car problem (repair old car or get a newer one)
- read more
- write down creative ideas
- take tango lessons
- join a regular group meditation
- listen to Brane Power CDs every day for a month
- do the candida diet for the month of January
- be awake and present as much as possible
It’s nice to have these noted and public. At the end of 2013, we’ll see which I actually did! I am curious too!