The old adage, New Year’s Resolutions - the sooner you make them, the sooner you can break them. Is it reality or just an excuse not to change or give ourselves the opportunity for growth?
It is thought that the Babylonians were the first people to make New Year's resolutions, about 4,000 years ago. They were also the first to hold recorded celebrations in honor of the new year—though for them the year began not in January but in mid-March, when the crops were planted. This is significant for a few reasons. One, we need to acknowledge that huge movement, like a very intense exercise regiment, is not necessarily the most advantageous thing to take up right after an overindulgent holiday season and smack in the middle of cold dark winter. Something like yoga or snowshoeing on the other hand, is an easy and enjoyable exercise for our bodies at this time of year. Two, Spring is really the season for growth and change while Winter is the season for quite, sleep and introspection. Being in touch with the interconnectedness of the seasons is highly advantageous both for physical and mental-emotional clarity as well as for diet and healthy eating.
Ringing in the New Year with intention and goal setting is however, a beautiful ritual and a way to honor yourself. It helps us to live the life we would like to live, even with any struggles that may be present, there are ways to be happier and more fulfilled. Using the time in these first few weeks of the New Year to sit down and take stock of what is and is not working for us, can assist in finding the balance that we seek.
Regardless of what resolution you commit to, the goal is to improve life in the coming year. Resolutions can come in many forms. Some people make a promise to change a bad habit, such as quitting smoking or eating less junk food. However, only 8 percent of people actually keep their New Year's resolutions, according to one commonly cited statistic. There are many reasons people can't stick to their resolutions, from setting too many of them to getting derailed by small failures. Therein lies the rub; setting clearly intentioned goals in which we set ourselves up for success. I like to think of making positive changes as a spiral staircase, we may go up five steps, look out at the view, then have to go back down to steps for whatever reason but then we realize we like the view better somewhere else so we set our sight on that step.
A few tips to consider as you are intention/goal setting: (write them down - you are more likely to do something if it’s been written.)
1 - Consider why you are resolving to do this thing.
2 - Where does it come from within you? Or are you doing this thing because someone else is doing it? Are they motivating you, making you a better person or is the comparison causing you to feel poorly about yourself?
3 - Does it serve a greater purpose in you or is it something you think you should do?
Be sure that the intentions you set are strictly for you and in doing them, they support the life you want to live. Here are a few ideas to make your New Year happy, healthy and full of heart.
Eat more whole foods, less packaged.
Eat and drink with intention and breath.
Eat and drink out of glass, not plastic.
Use less, buy less = less garbage.
Support local a business when you do make a purchase.
Take five minutes every day to check in with your body - breathe, feel, smile, cry, acknowledge.
Move - dance, stretch, walk, hike, skate, swim, bike, or whatever tickles your fancy.
Get to bed by 11 every night.
Light a candle.
Take a bath.
Ask for help.
Surround yourself with only positive people.
Read a book.
Donate anything you haven’t used in the past year.
Try something new.
Make your health a priority.
Wishing you abundance, opportunity, adventure and balance in 2018.