I like New Years resolutions. I say that now because I've finally discovered the right kind to make. I used to be like everyone else, "I'm going to do yoga two times a week, run four, and lift weights two!," or, "No more desserts!" But these are all wrong. Resolutions should be about an idea, something that you want to work to integrate into your life. Not something that's a final and drastic change.
For example, at the year's close last year I was reading a lot about ancient Chinese medicine and the idea of yin and yang. I became obsessed with the concept of balance (still am) and decided to make 2012 a year dedicated to bringing more of it into my life. This didn't require an immediate overhaul. It was something gradual that I did here and there, and for the first time, I'm happy to say that I stuck with it.
As balance is something that spans across all of life's aspects, it's tough to say that I'm now a completely balanced person as we head into 2013. What I can say is that after a year of thinking about it, I now understand at least what it is. Balance isn't about always feeling the same way or preserving some state of being. It's about having an equilibrium of opposites: busy/relaxed, happy/sad, etc. etc. You have to sometimes accept the way something is in that moment. It might be crazy busy, but remember that it will pass and there will come a time when you're completely relaxed and life is slow again. You also have to recognize what you need. If in fact it has been a crazy week and a group of your friends are all going out, but you feel like you need to slow down for a minute to get your things in order, then do that! If there's too much yang, do what you can to add some yin. It takes listening to yourself and breaking away from outside pressures to understand and give yourself what it is you need for balance.
My attention to balance will only be brought forward through this year's resolutions. Below I've listed out what I'll be in search of in 2013. You will see that one is a quest for more personal reflection. You cannot have balance without it. And so now I'm thinking of balance in a new way, self understanding and remaining tuned in.
My New Years Resolutions - 2013
Kindness & Compassion
The goal of this years quest for more kindness and compassion is to become less self-oriented. It's about connecting to others and becoming an expression of kindness - adding light rather than darkness to this world. I want to lead a selfless and community-oriented life in what little ways I can. To do so, there will be two main ways in which I think about it:
1. Judgement - How often I find myself judging others. I want to work toward positive thoughts, coming from a place of love rather than judgement. Who cares what someone's wearing or what photos they instagramed, everyone's a person, and I want to be more accepting.
2. Sacrifice - Giving up my own needs for others more often. Volunteering my time, giving donations, and sharing what I have despite what it means I might have to go without.
I want to focus more on personal reflection in 2013 as a way to work on myself. I think it's important to never stop improving, and I hope to become more mindful, purposeful, happy and healthy through increased personal reflection. This will populate into many areas, but two main ways in which I plan to find more personal reflection are:
1. Tarot - Whether it is "real" or not, tarot is a great way to take a step back and reflect on your life. I want to get a tarot journal to record all of my readings. I also want to begin pulling a card a day, and reflecting on its significance in the journal. If I miss a day, it's ok, but I'd like to try to do it as often as possible!
2. Yoga - I plan to amp up my yoga in 2013 and really dive in! It's always been a great way for me to take a step back and understand myself and all that's going on around me. I have a pretty steady weekly practice, but I'd like to try for even more. I feel like I'm on a tipping point where all I need is to do yoga more often. To kick things off I will do yoga for at least 30 minutes every day in January, and then take it from there. There's nothing like a good cleansing challenge to start off the New Year.
As something fun, I got a jar to house all of my favorite memories from 2013. When great things happen, things that I never want to forget, I plan to write them down on a little piece of paper with the date. Later when I get the chance, I'll stick them into the jar so that I can have fun reading them all next New Years day.
Well, that's all. Now lets see if I can do it!