Resolve – settle or find a solution; decide firmly on a new course of action
Revolution – to overthrow a social order in favor of a new system (Google.com)
Could ‘New Year Resolutions’ be overthrown? What if they were erased from our culture? How would we react? What would we talk about? Would we still have a purpose? We seem to want to solve and re-solve things for ourselves, equating a new year with an amped up willpower to change. Making resolutions has become an important ritual.
Many scholars and sages have written and discussed the importance of having a purpose, committing to something that creates positivity in life every day, beyond fleeting ideas only at the beginning of the year.
With many scientific and soulful studies of ‘self,’ there is momentum of a ‘revolution of the resolution,’ helping us dig deeper to support our health journey.
Here are some healthy perspectives to support you in your purpose – all year:
Gratitude. Take 5- 10 minutes to write down what you are grateful for. Research has proven that a simple ‘Gratitude List’ has high impact on our ability to be kind and realistic with ourselves and others. We are hardwired to change ourselves and be better. Your ‘Gratitude List’ can keep you grounded in what is positive and what is purposeful in your life. For more on the science of gratitude, read this article. And because we live life through our mobile apps, try this Gratitude Journal 365
If/Then. Write down your ideas, intentions, goals, plan of action for the year (yes, more documentation). Take the time to sit down with no other agenda except to grab a pen, paper or iPad and document what you are interested in for better health and wellbeing in your life.
Then dig deeper and document when and where you are going to carry out these intentions with an If/Then statement. For example, ‘If my alarm wakes me 30 minutes earlier three days a week, then I will take 20 minutes to participate in my home yoga practice.’
To help you problem-solve when challenges arise, take your documentation one step further, anticipating the barriers keeping you from implementing your intentions. For example, ‘If I feel too tired when my alarm goes off, then I will get up and take 10 minutes for my home yoga practice, fixing my favorite cup of coffee soon afterwards.’
According to psychologist Peter M. Gollwitzer, this ‘implementation intention’ of creating an ‘If/Then’ statement will help you implement your goals. “The forming of the plan is conscious,” Gollwitzer explains. “The execution is unconscious.”
For more details on this research, visit the article on Forbes.com.
Silence. One of the most powerful tools you have within yourself is the ability to be quiet, inhale and exhale and observe the present moment as you breathe. Your yoga practice, a winter walk or sitting for 5 minutes with your phone and computer silenced will offer you time to center yourself.
In his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra describes it as the ability to, ‘Slip into the gap…that silent space between thoughts.’
Even with a plan of action for health intentions and predicting barriers that may arise, Chopra reminds us to set intentions yet, ‘Relinquish attachment to the outcome, giving up rigid attachment to a specific result and living in the wisdom of uncertainty….Enjoy every moment in the journey of life….’
Your quiet time will give you respite from the static of life so you can practice focusing your attention in the present moment and trusting the development of your intentions.
Everything takes practice. Donna Farhi reminds us in her book, ‘Bringing Yoga to Life’ that your yoga practice is a parallel to life, ‘When we begin Yoga Practice, we are signing up for a lifelong apprenticeship with our Self and to the Self. And as in any apprenticeship, many skills can be learned only over a long period of time. There are no shortcuts and no crash courses, and there is no replacement for the satisfaction and richness that follow in the wake of such wholehearted commitment.’
In the spirit of the new year, may you offer yourself the opportunities for health and wellbeing: with gratitude, a written plan, openness to all possibilities and a commitment to a life-long apprenticeship of learning.
Let your new year resolutions be revolutionized.