to set yourself up for healthy habits that you can grow and sustain
Happy January to you all!
How is the first month of 2018 shaping up for you?
Did you make New Year’s Resolutions? Have you stuck to them? Or have you found that your genuine, considered and focussed plans for a healthier, cleaner, more productive ‘new you’ have already fallen by the wayside?
If you haven’t faltered and you are still going strong and sticking determinedly to your goals, then I send my heart-felt congratulations to you. Keep going! You’re doing great!
However, if you have stumbled, lost your way or even deliberately thrown in the towel under the indefinable pressure of the long, dark month of January, then I urge you not to lose heart –
Here are 3 ways to keep the faith and your healthier, happier, habits for 2015 alive!
You can re-set or ‘re-frame’ your New Year’s resolutions simply by looking at them in a different way.
(1) Be REALISTIC about the size and feasibility
Take a look at how ‘New Year’s resolutions are defined; if you look up the term ‘New Year’s Resolution’ in the dictionary – or online – you will undoubtedly see a variation of this;
“ A firm decision made on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day to do, or refrain from doing, something over the course of the coming year.”
That’s quite a tall order, isn’t it? Committing to ‘do or refrain from doing’ something over the course of a whole year?
So, on December 31st we traditionally make decisions on how we are going to live our lives, for the rest of the year, without any knowledge of what the coming months have in store for us?
(2) Rather than deny – focus on the “feel-good” factor
The concept of New Year’s resolutions are invariably tied up with a plan to deny ourselves something, (chocolate, wine, coffee) or to force ourselves to do something (daily 30 minute yoga practice, meditating instead of watching Netflix) which instantly bind us to either ‘Ego-led’ behavioural patterns when we achieve another day of sticking to our resolution, or the plummeting feeling of disappointment if we trip up on our pre-defined path of resolve.
Instead – focus on the good feelings that these new year’s resolutions are going to bring!
(3) Create a SANKALPA – a heart-felt – feel good intention
Yogapedia.com brilliantly describe a Sankalpa like this….
“Unlike a goal, which is a personal need to accomplish something, the concept of sankalpa turns inward to connect with the heart’s highest intention. A goal can be thought of as an individual’s will, while the sankalpa is the universal will. A sankalpa is a positive declaration or affirmation, such as “peace is my true nature,” rather than the ego-driven “I want peace in my life.”
Doesn’t that sound more realistic, achievable and authentic?
The beauty of setting a daily Sankalpa is that you are not binding yourself to a year of commitment, of ego-led piety or dissolute failure, but instead you are making a daily intention.
- Today I will be kind to myself and everyone I meet
- Today I will get outside and walk in nature
- Today I will be mindful of the fuel I put in my body
- Today I will nourish my body with exercise
- Today I will begin to read that lovely book I have been meaning to start!
You can re-set and re-frame your Sankalpa every day, according to your life, your commitments and your ‘inner voice’ that lets you really know how much you can manage in one day.
Yogic philosophy is very much grounded in living in the present moment. So why should we bind ourselves to rigid, external instructions of how to live each day throughout an entire year!
Remember the old saying of ‘Take Each Day As it Comes’ and if today didn’t go as planned, or was disappointing or frustrating in some way, don’t worry; we have another day tomorrow to set our very best intentions all over again.
Live ‘in the moment’ and be the most authentic, inspired, creative and optimistic version of yourself TODAY!