New Year's Resolutions Reloaded
Updated: Dec 28, 2022
Have you thought about what you would like to improve in the new year? Are you unsatisfied with your body (like most people!) and would like to recommit to a fitness program for the hundredth time? Perhaps find a new diet to finally lose that pandemic weight, or drink less alcohol, or even something that has nothing to do with looking good- learning to budget your finances instead of seeing most of your paycheck get invested in your collection of designer shoes? There is absolutely nothing wrong with creating new goals for a new year, but why do most New Year's resolutions fail a few weeks into the new year? There's a missing component to most resolutions and it's called discipline. Without learning the skill of discipline, you might as well forget investing the time to write any New Year's resolutions. Discipline is not glamorous, it's actually quite unromantic and borders on being boring and definitely predictable. It requires that we invest everyday practicing whatever we want to become. It requires a specific plan and it requires a commitment to that plan. It means stating specifically what kind of fitness you are willing to commit to at least three times a week, it means limiting alcohol to under 3 glasses a week, every week… forever, it means to restrict a diet in a specific way for your unique metabolism every day... forever… there are no shortcuts and no quick fixes that stand the test of time. Success requires work, dedication, commitment and discipline.
My form of discipline is a daily Kundalini practice that strengthens my resilience. For sure, it's a process and after years of investing in a daily practice, I still cannot behave perfectly like a Buddha in a lot of circumstances. However, I do feel a subtle change in how I respond to the world around me. My daily practice was inspired out of desperation to relieve pain and it's not unusual that the desire to alleviate pain can be the best elixir for discipline and change, for when we are in pain, our egos are faced with no choice but to go forward and find the discipline to do what it takes to feel better.
However, even if you aren't motivated by pain, take a moment to rethink your desire for making resolutions and instead invest in the art of creating an intention. If we make intentions instead of resolutions, the success rate of change has a better chance. It might be a subtler change, but slow and steady wins the race.
The difference between resolution and intention is that a resolution suggests that something is wrong with you that you are trying to correct with control. An intention is not necessarily a specific goal, it can be, but it's more open ended. For example, an intention might be to encourage more patience towards yourself, it might be more tolerance of the people around you, it can be the intention of being more aware of your breath or taking 5 minutes everyday to tune into how you are feeling shortly after waking. These simple intentions will go a long way to remodel the way that you think and might even lead long term to drinking less alcohol or losing weight as a side effect of feeling less stressed out or letting go of trying to control outcomes.
I have a few New Year's Intentions, and most will continue from last year as I have not yet realised my goals. Intention 1: paying full attention to the moment. This is probably a life goal for me that always seems to slip away as soon as I take sight of my iPhone. My second intention for 2023 is to make space for alternative viewpoints. This is a recurring intention of mine that has released a lot small minded thinking, but it's still an intention I always must remind myself of. The third recurring intention is patience to trust in the universe and to let go of trying to control outcomes. The new fourth intention is to cultivate love in my energy, to respond to situations as love and not to become small minded and stingy with this potent and inspiring force.
How can you remodel some of your resolutions to become intentions and how can you support yourself with discipline to realise your goals?
If you are looking for more discipline, then join The Sanctuary with online daily practices that will train your nervous system and prepare yourself to be more resilient in stressful situations.
If you would like to learn more about the energy body chakra system and you love the personal contact in live studio classes, be sure to check out Chakra Flow Yoga at Yoga Nation in Seefeld starting in January 2023.