Just Say NO To Setting a New Year Resolution!

What are your New Year resolutions?

I don’t make resolutions anymore.
They’re so HARSH, so final, so UNFORGIVING, so dehumanizing.

Let’s think about this.
How many times in the past did you RESOLVE to lose weight? run farther? be patient? read 10 books a day? Not yell at your kids or your spouse?

For me, it’s been countless.
And within weeks, if not days, of setting those intentions,
I felt like a failure.

I persisted in setting them. But honestly?
I cannot think of a single year when I kept a single resolution ALL THE WAY THROUGH TO YEAR’S END.

Maybe you’re better disciplined than I and this hasn’t been an issue for you.

But for me, I beat myself up so many times over my New Year’s resolutions that
they became pointless.

See what I said about that on Facebook.

I believe in change and growth and transformation
so I needed to find a way that would allow me to grow without failure
being a punishment.

FAILURE is means to growth.
We all need to CELEBRATE our failures rather than hide them or hide from them.

So?

The power of intention.
Each time I step on my yoga mat, each time I teach a yoga class,
I set an intention for myself and I invite my students to do the same.

And one especially frustrating mid-year when I had abandoned my resolutions
yet again, my heart’s voice said, “Why not set an intention for the rest of the year?”

And I distilled all my efforts into one intention that year.
It started out as “listen” and the original intention was to listen to myself,
to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.

It evolved over the 6 months from the time I set the intention until the year’s end
into “listen—to all that I can—my sons, my husband, the wind, my students, my heart,
my parents, to what people are saying, to what they are NOT saying.
Listen without anticipating. Listen without thinking I already know the answer.”

That’s the thing I love about intentions—they EVOLVE instead of
remaining immutable and rigid which is how I experience RESOLUTIONS.

Even the word feels rigid and unmovable.

Now, not only do I set intentions for the year,
I also set intentions for my day.

These intentions act as an anchor for me.
My intentions allow me to feel safe and, therefore,
braver.

When I behave in a human manner (!?),
I have something tethering me to what I WANT to do.
My intentions allow me to step out farther and farther
into how I WANT to behave and when I lose the way
or get distracted or relapse,
my intentions are ever-present and guide me so that I may
BEGIN AGAIN.

My intentions help me forgive myself, accept myself,
celebrate my efforts independent of their “success.”

It all counts.
Every step, every mis-step, every distraction, every failure
helps me move “in the direction of”
as my Teacher Judith Hanson Lasater says.

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian approach to health and wellbeing,
tells us to do it all with joy.

My intentions permit me to do that.

And so I rephrase my question from this:
“What is your New Year Resolution for 2016?”

to, “What are your INTENTIONS for 2016?”

And since I have found great power in ONE,
I now ask,
“What is your intention for 2016?”

Many Blessings!