“What’s the world’s greatest lie?”
“It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lost control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”
— The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
There is a subset of humans who hate New Year’s resolutions and those who make them; those individuals tend to be people who love to “hate everything” in a very unironic way. They hate uncreative latte art, they hate creative latte art; they hate imposters, they hate people who are too happy because they seem “untrustworthy”; they hate unbridled joy, they hate morning people, they hate those who aren’t morning people. Basically, their opinion do not matter. The argument they use for why “they hate New Year’s resolutions” is because “you shouldn’t have to wait until the new year to change” and that “people make these resolutions, stick to it for 3 weeks and back to their old habits” et cetera, et cetera.
I like New Year’s resolutions and I understand some of the psychology why they are so popular. Humans are creatures of habit, we tend to live monotonous lives. We are akin to worker ants, following our brethren in a straight line, losing our marbles if a rock is in the way of our trajectory, until we figure out we can walk around it, then we continue with the motions. We tend to lack momentous moments (slight redundancy but I want to be emphatic), so when something out of the norm occurs, we categorize those occurrences as significant of a change. The shift from one year to another is pretty darn significant; we tend to reflect about how our year went, where did we go awry, where did we excel, and how we can be better. Enter resolutions.
I practice yoga, I don’t call myself a yogi because it sounds extremely pretentious, like I brew kombucha tea, eat vegan, open up my chakras. There is a word that my studio loves to use, the word “mindfulness”. Whenever we are setting our intentions for the practice, what we hope to attain from the session, they discuss the need to be mindful with our steps, our thoughts, or words, how we treat others. It’s a really awesome mental practice and I find that my yoga experience becomes more amplified when I think about my intention I set for myself; I push myself a bit harder, I stop and know my limits without ego. I’m more mindful about my moves, who I’m dedicating my practice to, when I need to rest, when I’m cheating myself.
I haven’t formally written down any resolutions this year; I’ve been engrossed with certain life events. I decided that I was going to write down my resolutions by the end of January; writing down goals has been a hobby of mine and I find that I attain and maintain them when there is some tangible evidence of who I planned on being. On New Year’s Eve, I went to an intention setting yoga practice and we discussed the importance of making sure your actions align with the intentions you feel that are most important. I (personally) am going to stop calling them resolutions and I’m going to reclaim the word “intentions” for my life (and so I can call myself a yogi with all the airs, all the squash, all the Trader Joe’s cookie butter).
My New Year’s Intentions is to be more mindful.
…more mindful of what I eat and my exercise, so I can lose the weight I want, be in a good health status.
…more mindful of me time, so I can learn the balance between giving the world what it needs and keeping what I need.
…more mindful of my knowledge base, so I will study more, to make sure that I truly am an adroit professional.
…more mindful of what hurts me, I will not engage in behaviors that are emotionally mutilating, I will walk away from those that remind me of the parts of myself that I hate.
…more mindful of my money, I will be more fiscally responsible, I will create a savings account, I will practice good money practices.
…more mindful of my spirituality, I will go to church more, I will praise God more.
…more mindful of how I speak to myself, I will speak to myself with compassion, with love, because I have intrinsic worth and I am worthy of me talking to myself like I am worthy.
…more mindful of my friends, I will not inundate them with my own personal struggles, I will be more self-aware, less self-centered.
…more mindful of my creativity, I will journal, I will blog, I will dance, I will write, I will draw, I will create, I will tap into the parts of me that thrive on self-expression
…more mindful of my time, I will decrease my procrastination, I will spend time more wisely.
…more mindful of my cultural competency, I will read more books, I will watch more movies, I will engage in more conversations with other people.
…more mindful of my reactions, I cannot control external events, I can only control myself.
…more mindful of my healing, because I am worthy of the chance to be better.
…more mindful of my needs, I will decrease how self-centered I am but I will be unabashedly selfish.
…more mindful of my greatness, I will be unapologetic about my flaws. I will love me.
If you claim that you have intentions and you find yourself committing actions that are not aligned with your declared intentions, that means you have an internal competition. The intention that will prosper is the one that you feed into. I must know who I currently am so I can become the best version of me. I hope that you, too, have thought about your intentions of the year.