You can’t escape New Year’s resolutions. Come the last days of December, as we leave 2019 behind, we all start making a few promises to ourselves. We all decide to start something new, maybe a healthier diet or a yearly gym membership. 2020 is the year we will get fit. Third time’s the charm.
Or not. A Statistic Brain research shows that 63% of all gym memberships go unused. 53 percent of people fail to commit to their New Year’s resolutions past 6 months. The numbers can get even more dismal, so I’ll stop here.
Are we doing this whole resolution thing the wrong way?
1. Overcoming Perfectionism
So we set our resolutions. A few days go by, and we’re already finding ourselves reasons to give them up. A stressful week and our routine habits are triggered in full force.
The problem with resolutions is that they make us obsessed with ideas of success and failure. It’s a frustrating paradox, but focusing on results makes us less likely to achieve them. Our focus should be on the process of self-improvement rather than the moment of its attainment. Are we really failures if we miss the odd gym session after a long day of work? No, that makes us human.
There is a better way to create positive, lasting change in your life: meditation. Meditation is easy to include in your daily routine and is easy to learn. Most importantly, it teaches you to accept, let go, and move forward. What are its other benefits?
2. Meditation Will Help You Achieve Other Resolutions
Our goals aren’t per se unachievable. You just need self-awareness: examine what sustains the habits you want to change. Can’t resist the temptation of that BUY NOW FLASH SALE newsletter? Instagram envy makes you feel blue? Meditation is a great way to become familiar with your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. You need to recognize your feelings to manage them to reach your resolutions. That’s why New Year meditation should be on top of your to-do list.
3. Meditation Teaches Patience
You want it all and you want it now. In a world that is getting faster, you feel a need to always move forward. Don’t stop, don’t reflect, or you’ll fall behind. Fast at any cost is the new mantra. Well, meditation teaches you to slow down your activities at a pace you can enjoy. Addictive inner pressure and chronic stress won’t help you with your self-improvement. Take a few minutes to meditate. Hold yourself with compassion as you try to change your life at a sustainable pace.
4. At the Heart of Every Goal Lies the Desire to Be Happy
Ancient wisdom – going back to Aristotle – enshrines happiness as the central purpose of human life. But how to find happiness? Is it graduating? Landing a dream job? Having a child? True happiness comes from the inside. You can’t rely only on external gratifications. Meditation can help you with that. A large corporation offered its employees meditation sessions of up to 60 minutes. Here’s what happened:
Results showed that this meditation practice produced increases over time in daily experiences of positive emotions, which, in turn, produced increases in a wide range of personal resources (e.g., increased mindfulness, purpose in life, social support, decreased illness symptoms). In turn, these increments in personal resources predicted increased life satisfaction and reduced depressive symptoms.
Ultimately, New Year’s Resolutions are about growth and improvement. Start the new year by practicing meditation. This way, you’ll be able to seek lasting transformation. Here’s some music to get you started.