Well it’s been a week since we welcomed in a new year, and for most of us the past week has seen our resolutions fall from the heights of inspiration to the middle ground of hesitation to the depths of procrastination. And it’s the same thing every year.
We could get depressed about it, or block it all out until those final moments of 2016 when it is time to count down the end of another year. But, the truth is that although we perhaps we don’t use the best technique in our resolution-making, we do really have heartfelt intentions to make positive changes for a positive new year. So, what can we do to break the resolution-procrastination-frustration cycle?
A few days ago, in our yoga teacher training online journal program, a wise teacher trainee shared an idea that was so helpful, and so timely that I thought I might pass it along. She said, extremes are easy, aim for balance. And this really struck me as the key issue in our New Year resolutions. We get so excited at the prospect of resolution-making, that we take it to extremes and aim to change everything, all at once. Barring a radical change in our circumstances (hello Powerball!) we really can’t change everything, all at once. I mean, who’s got the time let alone the energy? So, it seems like a better aim to try to make just one or two small changes, reasonable changes that we can stick with and follow through on.
One of my favourite teachers of Ayurveda talks about this regularly as a strategy for successful lifestyle change – to make one small, conscious change, let that new habit take hold, and then other habits will follow organically.
So, this is the guidance I will be following this year. I invite you to join me. Rather than aiming to hit the gym 7 days a week, or meditate an hour every morning, or practice 90 minutes every day, how about adding something reasonable, achievable, and something that you can honestly see yourself doing not just on January 5, but on December 5th as well.
And keep this mantra in mind: Extremes are easy. Aim for balance.