A Mindful Resolution
I discovered that making overly specific resolutions with uncompromising regulations has proven to be nothing but a set up for failure over the years. Many times I attempted to meet the more popular New Year’s benchmarks. Ones like upping my exercise game each week, giving up alcohol on weeknights, spending less and saving more, and finding more time for family. All which left me anxiety ridden, and feeling like a failure by February. One year a mere attempt at generating a healthy meal five times a week (without visiting my beloved ‘seamless web’), lead me down a road of Chinese-food, binging shame. So why draw such hard lines? Why set myself up for failure when I know these resolutions and promises are unattainable? The fact of the matter is that only about 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions!
With such low success rates, I pondered what 2017 pledge could really be made to encourage promising, and attainable improvement? What resolution will propel me to continue to better myself, in fact, throughout the year, and not only force me to lie through a forced grin by springtime again? After realizing that no one specific declaration would, I concluded, only a Mindful Resolution would suffice. But, what is a Mindful Resolution you ask? Well, this is something that each individual has to modify for herself, but I can tell you what I believe to be the core concepts of what this term means.
The following is not only based on my own beliefs. It is also based on information gathered from existing techniques to lower levels of anxiety and depression, and encourage healthier living. To many of you out there, it may simply resonate as a familiar way of maintaining inner peace….
· Live intentionally, and with awareness in the present moment: Be present in your own life, and accept mistakes as part of your course.
· Do not judge or reject your moments: notice consequences, but let go of evaluating, avoiding, suppressing or blocking the present moment.
· Do not hold on to each moment: Attend the experience of each new moment, instead of clinging to the past or yearning for the future.
· Be genuine and skillful in what you need from others: Get others to take your opinions seriously, say ‘no’ to unwanted invitations and requests.
· Build relationships and end destructive ones: Be confident in ending hopeless relationships. Strengthen current and new ones.
· Walk the middle path: Balance acceptance, and change in life.
· Forgive yourself: Decrease unwanted emotions, decrease emotional vulnerability; decrease emotional suffering.
· Live with gratitude in your heart.
Like any change, this too, takes practice. It requires patience, forgiveness, and self care. Do not try to recreate yourself over night, and know that you will experience occasional setbacks. Forgive yourself for the little mistakes, and choose to learn from them instead of beating yourself up. We are all human. There is no such thing as ‘perfect.’ With that being said, I know there is always room to improve, and I do believe that with embracing practices like these, and focusing on a Mindful Resolution, we can all have the promise of more fulfilling and happier years to come.