A fresh new week, a fresh New Year, and with it comes fresh New Year’s resolutions.
Did you commit to any?
If you did, will you keep them?
Or, will you start the year out strong and then by spring revert to old familiar habits and routines?
I know how it goes.
I’ve made a few resolutions in my life; some I’ve kept and still maintain today, yet many I didn’t keep.
I’d always start the new year feeling energized by my resolutions, yet by mid spring, I’d begin floundering, forgetting, and failing to uphold my promises to myself.
Yet, isn’t that what a New Year’s resolution is anyway, a promise that we make to ourselves to:
…lose weight, get in shape, eat better, stop smoking, drink less, travel more, meditate every day, get out of debt, write a book, find more intimacy, launch a new business or career, or enroll in school, and so on?
As I’ve contemplated my own inability to uphold many of my resolutions, here’s what I discovered:
One, I wasn’t clear about what I really wanted to commit to.
Two, I didn’t believe I was worthy of the commitment.
Three, I didn’t anticipate the obstacles to maintaining my commitment.
Perhaps the most important motivation to keeping a resolution is being super clear about your “why.”
As you craft your resolutions for the New Year, ask yourself, “Why am I really making this resolution?”
Is it truly for you? Or, is it for someone else, or some societal expectation that you believe you have to meet?
Take losing weight for example.
Let’s say my New Year’s resolution is to lose weight.
However, if I look deeper at my “why” for losing weight, I discover that what I really want is to be loved unconditionally, feel good in my clothes, and run a marathon.
Therefore, instead of pursuing what I really want, I start some dumb weight loss program (Yeah, I think diets are dumb.) thinking that by losing weight, I’ll get what I want.
Only after several months, I end up feeling deprived, unmotivated, starved, and no more loved than I did when I started the dumb diet.
Therefore, before setting your New Year’s resolutions, spend time getting super clear about what you really want to change, do more of, or resolve in the New Year.
Keeping resolutions depends on believing that we’re worthy of the resolution.
It’s going to be tough to commit to getting in shape, taking care of your body, and living a healthy lifestyle, if you don’t feel worthy or believe your body’s worthy.
So often, we create New Year’s resolutions from a place of lack and unworthiness instead of from a place of worth and abundance.
We resolve to want what we don’t have and do what we believe we can’t do.
This usually sets us up for struggle and disappointment because we mistakenly think our resolutions will make us feel worthy and good enough.
The yoga tradition goes beyond our ego driven resolutions through the practice of sankalpa, which means resolve.
A sankalpa practice believes that by getting clear and focusing our mind, connecting with our deepest soulful desires, and drawing from our soul’s energy, we will have all we need to fulfill our life’s purpose.
So when creating your New Year’s resolutions, dig deeper into what you really want and realize that you were born worthy and already have all you need to manifest your most desired resolutions.
No matter how clear, worthy, and committed you are to fulfilling your New Year’s resolutions, obstacles will arise.
Knowing how to maneuver and flow with obstacles is a key to maintaining your commitments.
When I resolved to live of yoga lifestyle, I was clear about why and believed that I was totally worthy.
Nonetheless, when I encountered back issues six months into my yoga practice, my resolution was thrown off course.
It would have been so easy to talk myself out of my new practice for a variety of reasons and excuses.
The success of my yoga resolution depended on what I made the back pain mean and what I didn’t make it mean.
In other words, we often we make obstacles mean that we’re not good enough or not cut out for the resolution.
We think negative thoughts, such as “I can’t lose the weight I want, so why keep trying” when we could say, “Looks like my body wants to make losing the last 25lbs fun!”
In my situation, instead of making my back pain mean something negative, I reframed it as a signal to slow down and listen to my body, not thrown in the towel and quit doing yoga.
Thus, I created a temporary yoga practice that eased my pain and nurtured my body while my back healed.
I did not cave on my resolution; I simply revised it.
So when you hit bumps in the road of your resolutions, realize that obstacles are normal, nothing more, and nothing less.
“I can create a life I love by taking responsibility for my desires and then committing to
working through my self-imposed obstacles to attain them.”
Commitment 1, 2, 3
Creating New Year’s resolutions can be an inspiring and energizing way to ring in a fresh near year of opportunities and possibilities.
Just make sure that…
One, you’re clear about what you really want.
Two, you believe 100% that you were born worthy and have all you need to manifest your deepest desires.
Three, you realize that obstacles are normal and you can maneuver them.
Sending you inspiration for the freshest New Year ever!