Ah that time is here again. The time to put pen to paper and write down whatever seemingly bad habit or behaviour we want to give up for 2018. Yup, it’s time to make our resolutions for 2018, but are they a good or bad habit to keep up?
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good list. But what doesn’t resonate about resolutions is that they can feel quite punitive; like there’s something to resolve. Like we have done something wrong and have been put on the naughty step to give ourselves a good talking to. Let’s be honest, most of us give ourselves enough of a hard time already without rehashing all the bloopers from the previous year. We can make mistakes, take responsibility, learn from it and move on at the time it happens. To resolve gives us the idea that things are still not as they should be and we need a solution.
A re-solution. When really the word comes from a different slant altogether.
The word originally comes from the Latin resolutionem which is ‘the process of reducing things into simpler forms’. Now I much prefer this angle. The process of reducing things into simpler forms. I could definitely do with some of that in my life. Imagine things being simpler- relationships, career progression, direction, communication. All the big plans we have for our lives. Really it’s about breaking things down into manageable bite sized palatable pieces, simplifying the process and moving forward. Beautiful. This I can aspire to. A simpler way of life.
It can also mean to ‘loosen’ and I think in today’s society that is definitely something we can embrace. To ‘loosen up’, to let go a little, to create a little more happiness and fun, to live a more joyful life. We are pretty uptight these days and it’s not really our fault. We are ‘on’ 24/7, we have deadlines that literally follow us around all day. Gone is the home as a sanctuary; we’re even on call on holidays. No wonder we get stressed and forget why we’re working so hard in the first place.
For most people it’s simply to lead a happy life. A life filled with purpose and meaning. A life where we have the opportunity to shine our brightest and to encourage others to do the same. Where we feel connected and fulfilled, confident and assured. A life where we contribute to those around us and our communities. Where we can be true to ourselves and manifest or create a way of living that allows us to be as we are supposed to be. A life lived with courage and conviction, where we invite others to do the same. So let’s loosen up and allow ourselves to define what happiness is to us and start moving in that direction.
I am in favour of New Year’s resolutions but let’s change the perspective of the word. Instead of it being punitive and punishing, let’s make it about freedom and embracing the fluidity of life. Embracing the opportunity to change and grow.
We can start by asking one simple question: ‘What made me happy in the last year?’ Make the list of the answers and do more of that. Easy.
Lee Tracey is a qualified Jivamukti yoga teacher who has travelled from Costa Rica to New York, Berlin, and Paris studying and teaching yoga. Her goal is to bring yoga to people that are interested in self-expansion and growth. For more information visit leetraceylife.com