For starters, the word “Year” in New Year, subconsciously (and wrongfully) suggests a timeframe we are bound with. Hence, we covertly hint to ourselves that whatever we aim to achieve is only bound by a year and not a lifetime.
The linguistics of it can provide the weakly resolute mind a stage trick – a back door out. Personally, I think that talking about ‘New life resolution’ rather than ‘New Year’s resolution’ might avoid this problem…but breaks from tradition and common forms of speech (can’t have everything can’t you?).
Secondly, the type of resolutions we often make are more about sorting out lifestyle habits that swayed out of line –smoking, drinking, excessive eating and accumulating clutter – rather than life changing ones.
They are reactive rather than proactive.
I would like to drop a few suggestions about some proactive ‘New Life resolutions’ you might take for 2010….and hopefully, all the years to follow.
Business & money:
Start up that project or business venture you have been secretly aiming at or saving money for. Now is the right time…it always is.
Sometimes we keep on deferring things because we say to ourselves that this is not the right time. We keep on thinking that something else must happen before, some sign that shows us that the time is right and the moment is ripe.
Of course this is not so. It’s a trick of our subconscious.
The first step is the hardest but once you do it you’re already half way through.
Go make that long due check up at the clinic, that blood test, stress test or whatever you have been putting off.
Be proactive towards your health and not reactive. OK, exercising and eating a healthy diet is definitely a proactive thing to do also. But we must follow them with the objective of starting a life changing habit and not just for the short term such as losing that extra pound gained during the holidays.
Mend those broken relationships and family ties. Make up again with loved ones. Go talk to that relative or friend you haven’t been keeping in touch with due to some past argument or quarrel.
Put your pride and hurt behind. Be the first one to take the step and break the ice. Sometimes it is the only thing that is needed. The other person could be secretly wanting to make up but didn’t find the courage to take the first step.
Plan at least one meaningful act of kindness. I’m sure that we all do random acts of kindness throughout the year. Be that helping a friend in need, lending an ear to a troubled co-worker or giving some money out for charity.
Yet planning an act of kindness is like putting more intention and deliberation into it. In the planning comes the preparation and the in the preparation we are setting our heart to be more proactive and open up to love and meaningful coexistence with others.
Simplify your lifestyle. In our hectic environments we chase all sorts of things and struggle to fit all our plans and goals in our daily routines.
It’s a constant balancing act trying to accommodate more and more into our agendas. Our lifestyle becomes increasingly more complex and strenuous at times.
We all want the best for us and our loved ones but sometimes things get out of hand and we lose perspective of our true goals. This causes stress and anxiety.
A good resolution would be to look for a way to do less instead of doing more. This takes us to the next point.
Focus on what’s relevant.
It’s a good thing to strive towards a more productive life filled with more rewards and excitement.
The problem is that we often pick up goals along the way which are not necessarily relevant to our true purpose. This can effectively be counter-productive.
What should be relevant after all is having meaningful goals. Goals which are authentically ours and not imposed on us by social pressure or peer consensus.
All the rest can be cleared off to make way to do what we really are enthusiastic about.
This is the real meaning of doing more with less.
Last but not least are spiritual matters – that corner of our lives we often leave empty.
Try out some practice which combines together mind, body and soul.
Examples are Yoga, Tai Chi or meditation.
Meditation has been a life changing practice for me and I intend to catch on with Tai Chi as my next goal.