I have stopped making New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I stopped years ago. Instead, each New Year’s eve, I sit back and think about some of the things I have accomplished throughout the year. Not things I vowed to do on January 1, but things I actually did.
For me, this is much more satisfying. I have gone back to playing classical guitar, after a 20-year lapse. I learned how to use WordPress, and updated my website. I am now in the third (and final) draft of my novel. (More about that in another blog.) I started a Yogalates class at Yoga Space.
I’m not against setting goals, mind you. This is exactly how I accomplished what I did. But not artificial obligatory New Year’s day goals. Rather, spontaneous ones that happen when one is actually ready to embark on that particular journey.
There is a saying in yoga, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” I don’t know where this saying came from, but for me it means that once I make up my mind to do something that is important to me, like pick up my guitar once again, I can make it happen. You can too. I wasn’t ready to play my guitar on January 1. It wasn’t even in my mind.
There is another yoga concept that sums up this practice: Sankalpa. According to Wikapedia, it means “conception or idea or notion formed in the heart or mind, solemn vow or determination to perform, desire, definite intention, volition or will. In practical terms, the word, Sankalpa, means the one-pointed resolve to do or achieve; and both psychologically and philosophically, it is the first practical step by which the sensitivity and potentiality of the mind is increased; it is known as the capacity to harness the will-power and the tool to focus and harmonize the complex body-mind apparatus.”
So throw away all your New Year’s day resolutions, live in the present moment, enjoy life, and when there is something that you want to change, and you want it bad enough, that is when you make your resolve; that is when you make it your Sankalpa. And that is when it happens. Not on January 1.