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Resolution vs. Resolute

Happy New Year! Happy New Decade actually!

Every year we decide to make resolutions. The same thing happens year after year...we make them, we blow them off going back to our original habits by January 13th, then we feel bad and get all judge-y at ourselves for lack of will power. Here's a thought, don't do that. Especially the feeling bad/self-judging part.  Generally speaking, resolutions are ego based.  Meaning they are based on the idea that we are somehow deficient; i.e. "I'm fat, I need to lose weight, that's a bummer, I'm having chips". Or that we can facilitate change by acquiring material things "I will make more money this year, buy a boat and be happy". What happens if you don't buy that boat? No happiness? We often set ourselves up for failure with resolutions.

How about an alternative?  Instead of making resolutions, why not choose to be "resolute" about something? Make a list of things you want to change and pick one thing. Just one thing and then focus the entirety of your attention on the completion of that single task. Your ability to remain resolute may fluctuate, because distractions happen. Just like in meditation when you bring attention back to the breath, you can bring your focus back to the one thing. In time, a new habit will form (or change will occur) and you can move on to another "one thing". Positive reinforcement!

I liken this to Yoda's philosophy spoken in The Empire Strikes Back, "No. Try not. Do or do not, there is no try." To me, trying is kind of like a resolution, a little wishy washy and non-committal. Doing or not doing is resolute and a choice. Even if you choose to "not" you are still making the choice. So says Yoda.

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