I haven’t made a resolution in years. As I grew older, I came to realise that resolutions tend to set me up for failure. Let’s say I’d like to lose 10 pounds. Even if I’d ate my five a day, worked out three times a week and regularly hit the pavements in my trainers for the next 365 days to come, I could easily fail. Losing 9 pounds by the end of December meant I’d still fail my resolution.
A resolution, i.e. the firm decision to do or not do something, is goal oriented. Unless the ultimate goal is reached, the mission has failed.
Apart from not liking to set myself up for failure, there’s more reason to give resolutions the boot: they are just another excuse for navel-gazing and self-loathing, for obsessing about flaws that are a luxury privilege of the Western world.
Intentions, however, focus on the journey. To live healthier. Maybe move a little more. Maybe obsess a little less.
2016 has been a tough one. Brexit, Syria, Trump, the list goes on.
Time to set intentions that are worth sticking to. For a happier 2017 for all of us:
- Be kind: drop the self-loathing. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Hold open doors, help the person with the pram out of the bus, share what you’ve got. Yes, I’m taking about money – donate what you can and when you can. Being born on the wrong side of the world can mean you don’t even have the money to secure clean water for your children. Even small amounts can make a difference.
- Be informed: choose what you read carefully. Stay away from forums that promote posts that are most popular but neither necessarily true or representative (yes, that’s you Facebook!). Don’t became the victim of fear mongering and populism.
- Be compassionate: there’s a simple way to practice compassion. Try to see the person opposite you as if they were your sister or brother. It’s hard to feel annoyed with your siblings (unless they “borrow” your clothes and never return them, but that’s a different story).
- Be brave: stand up for what you believe and for those who can’t speak up. If you silently accept it, you are a part of it.
- Practice yoga: because it never hurts to move pain free and grow old gracefully.
Happy New Year!