It is widely known that the third Monday in January has been dubbed the ‘Blue Monday’. The reason for this was possibly due to having over-indulged ourselves from Christmas and New Year’s, after which, we are then in a period of some remorse, regrets or guilt about our intemperance and indulgence. Thus, that is why the majority have a New Year resolution.
Every New Year brings a sense of renewal which elicit change. I want to share some of my New Year’s resolutions to give you some ideas for yours.
- Start an exercise regime that you love. If you decide to take up exercise for New Year resolution, make sure it is for the right reason and that you are passionate about it. If you take up exercise to lose weight, for example, your resolution will be short-lived because it is a chore. If you start exercise such as Yoga, Tai Chi, or Pilates because you are passionate about your flexibility, wellness and healthy body balance then your goal will be long-lived. If you love the exercise that you started, your resolution will be long-lived.
“I reconnected to kickboxing which was a part of my Muay Thai roots, and I’m so happy that I’m still doing it a year later!”
- Practice mindful acts. When you apply mindfulness to your behaviours, feelings, thoughts and actions, you will become more self-aware. Mindfulness is about making conscious of what you’re doing, thinking and feeling. It is about recognising and making your autonomous processes conscious. In the awareness, you will come to know yourself more intimately, which is a beautiful feeling.
- Have a compassionate mind. To have compassion and concern for your mind, you need to be mindful of your thoughts. As you are mindful of your thinking style, pattern and cognition, you will have concern and compassion for the way you think. We all have a different way to process things around us. To know how you think, you need to observe what think and see the pattern of the thoughts.
For example, when someone asked me to do something, I had previously thought it was a form of command because my experiences with authority have been negative.
Having a compassionate mind means having the ability to observe when the thought arises, and notice whether it was based on past experiences or the present situation. Then, you can notice your reaction and have compassion for the part that fear authority or authoritative figure.
- Be grateful every day. If your New Year’s resolution is to be grateful. You will need to be appreciative of yourself and have compassion for mistakes that you make in the process of re-learning a new behaviour. Being grateful is having a deep sense of gratitude and thankfulness for something or someone, that include yourself too. Expressing gratefulness to yourself is a part of Self-care and Self-love. An expression of gratefulness to yourself might include feeling a heart-warming, deep sense of gratitude and love. It is a thankful experience of kindness that comes with warmth, and unconditional acceptance. Gratefulness is a constant state of being, it is achievable through having a compassionate mind.
“An example of being grateful, for me, include feeling appreciative of my abilities and limitations..”
- Be thankful every day. Make being thankful every day a part of your New Year’s resolution. Even if it is difficult, being thankful gives us a positive feeling. Being thankful is an act of gratification for oneself and others. It is a relief of an appreciation expressed verbally, non-verbally or behaviourally. Being thankful for me include being appreciative of the universe for its guidance and protection.
“I am thankful to the universe for providing me with all my basic needs and psychological needs for growth, for Self-fulfilment and satisfaction.”
- Make time to be with yourself in your inner world for peace of mind. It is a great place to be. Your inner world should be your sacred sanctuary. Being in your mind does not have to be unpleasant or stressful. Being in your inner world through meditation will help you connect with all aspects of your beingness. If you struggle to be within your inner world, this New Year’s resolution is ideal for you.
In order to be connected to your inner world and find your inner sacred sanctuary, you got to want to know more about yourself.
You will need to be interested and curious about finding a way to have inner peace.
But, most importantly, you got to face the fears, chaos and shadows in the dark recesses of the mind to see the radiant light beyond it.
- Be positive and optimistic. Having positivity and optimism is achievable for everyone. It is about being conscious of your thoughts and reframing the negativity with positive statements. If you are automatically negative in your thinking style, you will need to be mindful and consciously changes your thoughts immediately. Our thoughts and behaviours are habitual through conditioning and experiences relating to others. When you catch your negative thoughts, challenge them and counteract them immediately with positive thoughts.
“I regularly catch my negative criticism when I trip up on something.”
Then, I would remind myself that I am fallible and will make mistakes. I can learn from this. I would reassure myself o my abilities to learn and grow. I would encourage myself not to be fearful of the experience or event because next time, I would and can do things differently. I would praise myself for the kind words and then the feeling of love and appreciation comes with the positive inner dialogues.
- Be kind and loving. To be kind and loving to another, you must first have kindness and love for yourself. If you find yourself being kind to everyone, without having loving feelings for yourself, you will become a victim of the persecutors or the predators.
These acts of loving-kindness to others are false and unobtainable. It implies that you are kind and loving for sure, but you act and behave kindly and lovingly to others for the reciprocal acts. You cannot make anyone love you. But, we all do and try, and mostly in vain. This is because we have not learned to be kind and love ourselves first. It can take a long time to have Self-love, but we can begin with having kindness for ourselves.
“I say kind words to myself when I want to create positive feelings. I remind myself that I am loved, by my-Self.
Acts of kindness for myself include looking after my physical and mental states, ensuring that I am nourished and replenished, ensuring that I have fun and play. I make time for joy and happiness. I appreciate the beauty around me, where ever I am.
- Learn something new about yourself every day. If you are on a soul searching or Self-discovery journey, this New Year’s resolution might be relevant to you. You will never stop learning until the day you die. We all learn new things every day of our existence.
Learning something new about yourself should be something that you like and find interesting. If you don’t like what you’re learning about yourself, then, you are not yet ready for this wondrous journey because you will learn some things that you might not like.
Self-discovery is about finding out and learning everything about yourself. The more you know about yourself, the more Self-aware you will become. Today, I learned that I love my jobs, I like the varieties in my dual roles. They are opposing roles but has their own rewards. I am neither/or but both/and. For tomorrow, I am certain that I will learn something else new.
- Do some thing differently. This New Year’s resolution was a real challenge for me. This is about doing something different in the mundane of life, but it does not have to be a chore or a grind. Generally, we, humans are a creature of habit. Who does not like to have a routine, a schedule or plan or a diary filled with events? To do something differently is about stepping out of our comfort zone, stepping into the unfamiliar. This resolution focuses on changing and change of unhelpful habit patterns. Your habit patterns are not a problem until they are no longer helpful or useful. Our habits serve a purpose to our autonomous processes. If they are still helpful, then there is no issue.
However, if you want growth and development, you do need to be flexible in your approach and processes. Being flexible and adaptable is a positive approach to dealing with the daily challenges of existence.
If you are rigid and inflexible to change, you can become easily stressed, quick to anger or easily anxious about something or someone. Doing things differently does not have to be something big to start off with. I started with small changes such as taking stairs instead of lifts or starting to eat more vegetables and eventually to bigger changes such as changing the way I think or judge others in passing.
- Make time to do nothing. This was my favourite New Year’s resolution. I had a real challenge with doing nothing. I am an active person, and I am mostly fidgety which is a habit of restless legs syndrome.
“As a child, doing nothing equates to laziness. I was discouraged from sitting still or being relaxed.”
I was often criticised for not doing something. Doing nothing was unfamiliar to me, especially in the state of relaxation. I noticed that I wanted to do something to help me relax. This mindset took some time to break down because of years of unhelpful conditioning.
I don’t yet know what this year’s New Year’s resolution will be for me, but I know that it will be something that I look forward to challenging myself. I see these resolutions as a goal to attain in the year, but it should also be something that you regularly keep in place year on year.
Have fun creating your New Year’s resolution!