The dark winter months are upon us, and although we tend to be at our busiest this time of year with all that comes from the holiday season - these longer, colder, darker nights are meant to be a time for reflection - a time for invertness and stillness. Good luck with that! For much of us, we will struggle to get a minute, let alone anything over that for some 'me' time to reflect and be still. (However, with some mindfulness and discipline, all is possible.)
The Romans were the first responsible for shaping our solar calendar before we switched to the Georgian calendar we use today. January gets its name from the Roman king/god, Janus. Janus is depicted as having two faces, one which looks back at the past, and one that looks ahead to the future. The romans believed January, particularly the first of the month, was a time for contemplation of past behaviours and events and making resolutions for change and progression for the year to come. Thus the new year resolution was born!
Many of us make resolutions as the clock ticks 12, but how many of those resolutions do we actually keep? With all the hype and let down, we start to think - what's the point? I will fail again this year anyway! And while, yes, statistics are high regarding how many of these goals are set and never followed through, I am a firm believer that new years resolutions are an excellent practice.
Setting goals for yourself, creating vision boards and setting intentions are powerful tools to attract and attain the things you want in life. However, it does require some work. It is like sowing seeds, and we all know that you can not just sow a seed and expect a harvest without tending and watering the seedling. The same goes for our resolutions. If we just announce our intention after a few glasses of champagne new years eve, and forget to tend to that intention right away following your headache ridden new year day, there is a slim chance of survival.
Here are some tips for sticking to your resolution this year:
1. Meditate on what your true intention is. Sit quietly somewhere, away from any distractions, and begin to slow the mind so you can see things more clearly. Bringing the awareness to the breath is a simple meditation technique to use. Just simply observe the breath as it comes in and out of the nose, feel how it fills the belly, expands the ribs and lifts the chest, and sense the muscles contract as the breath is expelled from the lungs.
2. Be sure the resolution is realistic. " I want to loose 20 lbs in 2 weeks" is not realistic.
3. Get organised. Plan ways you are going make this work, look and ask for support.
4. Create a vision board, write your resolution or mantras down on paper and stick them to places you will look everyday (the fridge, your bathroom mirror, at your desk) to keep reminding you of your intention.
5. Don't give up too quickly. Even if you fall off track - hey, your only human! It's totally ok, you can always start again tomorrow. Go easy on yourself.
6. Celebrate your efforts. Treat yourself along the way. Pleasure and reward are great incentives to keep you motivated.
Regardless if your able to sit in mediation for some time, or just reflect whilst sitting on the loo, January is a time for looking back at the year and planning for a better future to come.
What ever your resolution is this year, I wish you the best of luck and I hope your seed grows into a splendid harvest. May your year be a very happy, peaceful and loving one.