New Year’s Resolutions. They’re kind of like that old saying about opinions your mother or grandparents used to say. “Everyone’s got em’, but not all of them are good.” When you woke up the next morning after celebrating the clock striking midnight, did you set a New Year’s Resolution? Was it something like “do more yoga” or “get in shape”? Or maybe it was “eat better,” “sleep more,” “lose weight”?
Health, wellness, and lifestyle-themed resolutions get set every year. At the beginning of a year, we love the idea of getting to change areas of our lives in which we’re not satisfied, where we’ve been needing motivation. We create a list of what we want to change, share them with everyone, join a gym, purchase a new cookbook, vow to set our alarms a little later. January starts off strong. February starts to lag a little bit. By March, the cook book has collected dust and you forgot what the inside of the gym looks like. Does this sound familiar?
New Year’s resolutions typically lack two things: a plan with set goals, and they lack truth. We set grandiose and vague resolutions that end up getting lost in the shuffle because we aren’t sure how to hold ourselves accountable. We simply fall back into the routine we established the previous year and are unhappy. But we’re tired of being unhappy. How can we create a resolution that will stick? We start with truth.
In Sanskrit, the word ‘satya‘ means truth. Specifically, it means the truth that exists separately from our egos. If we could remove our own judgments, preconceived ideas and expectations, satya is what’s left. The inner truth that exists in all of us, that coincides with the desire to remove harm from ourselves and others. So what does this have to do with your New Year’s Resolution?
If you step back and take a look at the resolution you set, was it honest? Was it realistic? Was there a clear, defined goal that you would like to accomplish? Simply saying “get fit” or “eat better” will leave you not knowing how to reach the goal, not to mention if or when you complete it. Instead of setting vague goals, set goals that clearly state what you desire and then you can begin to figure out how to get there. By saying “I want to run a marathon in October,” you’ve set a clear goal. You have provided a specific ‘what’ and ‘when’. Now you can begin to set out a plan and a routine to work on.
Where does truth come into the picture? No matter how clearly we define our goals, if they are not realistic, we won’t reach them. We will feel defeated and be unkind to ourselves, focusing on the “failed” attempt. The practice of satya can allow us to let go of our ego, to honestly see where we are and where we can go. Rather than setting the bar sky high and missing, we set the bar at a realistic level that can be reached, but still allows us to challenge ourselves. Connecting with this truth and honesty will allow the ego to be quieted, and in turn, accomplish those goals that we felt were unattainable.
For example, Ego says, “I want to become a size 0 and have the most fantastic vacation of my life this year.”
Satya says, “I will find a happy balance where I’m fit, energetic, and feel beautiful. I will set aside money and time to travel to Rome.”
Ego says, “I’m going to write a book and become a published author.”
Satya says, “I will write at least 5 pages everyday until I have finished a manuscript.”
Ego says, “I will master all the inversions I see on Instagram until I can balance upside down on my elbows (!).”
Satya says, “I will come to the mat ready to work every day on getting upside down.”
We all have the power inside of us. It’s time to be honest, and own it.
What does your Truth tell you about what’s in store for 2015? Please share!
Related: The 8 Limbed Path in Your Daily Life
Photo: Alex via Flickr