Here at the tail-end of the Western calendar year, countless numbers of people with good intentions make New Year’s Resolutions, and countless numbers of us fail to keep them, usually after day 1, New Year’s Day.
So today, several days before THE DAY, I want to share with you one very powerful technique that will keep you on the road to RH (Resolution Heaven).
But first, a little history that most of us probably share.
Day 1, New Year’s Day. Sometimes, RF (Resolution Failure) happens on the day itself, by about 3 in the afternoon, when your energy is down and your ability to focus is lower than my cat, Dotty’s interest in having her own gym membership.
Just one teensy little puff at the – you guessed it – tail-end of a phenomenally draining day laden with so much portent, intent, and latent anxiety.
Week 1. Sometimes, it happens within a few days or a week – you begin with all kinds of jittery, energetic motivation for your resolutions, but you can’t keep it up because these new activities, these new approaches to old problems bear little, or worse, no resemblance to anything you’ve experienced before.
You don’t even have habit to fall back on. How could you when you haven’t been doing this new thing for even as long as Dory’s short-term memory.
So you fall back, all right, on old habits, old, bad, comforting habits … aaahhh … just the one slice of vintage Cracker Barrel, darling; a single, weeny cube of caramello (attached to the rest of the Family Block); it’s about to rain – we’ll walk tomorrow, Scarlett.
Perhaps you join the gym and attend several sessions in succession (try saying that when you’re full of muesli and soy milk), and by Thursday you’re buggered and you’ve gained weight (it’s the pesky muscles that weigh more than fat, apparently – I didn’t stick around long enough for the trainer to explain 20 years ago).
You get the picture, don’t you, grasshopper. After a while, maybe a week or two, or even a month for the holdouts, the energy and focus dissipate and drain away. The hour is lost, or rather, that day, THE DAY on which we were going to change forever, is lost – again, for another year at least and, miserably, we return to our usual form, with regret and a truckload of disappointment.
We’ve managed to snatch cheesy, chocolaty, sedentary RF defeat from the well-toned, perfectly-aligned jaws of RH victory.
However. (There’s always a however).
The solution to all this clutter and chaos of perceived failure, is The Mindful Zone.
How? In The Mindful Zone, New Year’s Day, THE DAY, doesn’t matter, because every day is THE DAY, every moment is THE MOMENT.
Too often, we place incredible pressure on ourselves to begin anew at a special time, and too often this is an imposition from without rather than from within. It may work for some of us, but for most of us, its meaning is superficial, and therefore, short-lived.
You can change at any moment by deliberately changing your thoughts and actions, your habits and routines, by being mindful of the moments that make up your life, and by making a commitment to those moments. It’s simple, but it isn’t easy.
And it’s flexible as well – every moment is a new moment, ready and willing to help us here and now. Forget about New Year’s Day, begin now, get ahead of everyone and you’ll be developing a new habit by the time THE DAY dawns.
Try this if you want to make walking (or running) a more frequent part of your healthy life: when you wake up in the morning (shiftworkers adjust accordingly), enjoy those moments of returning to this level of consciousness by taking a deep breath and stretching your entire body and, as you do so, slowly rise to a sitting position – you’re up.
Commit yourself to do this every day for just one week, because once you’re up, you’re up for anything, including walking, running, meditating, writing, reading, cooking, anything as you breathe in and breathe out in The Mindful Zone.
After just one week, take a moment to commit to another week, and find yourself in the orbit of Resolution Heaven.
Remember, Grasshopper – any day can be THE DAY: the day of the week on which
- you were born
- you discovered the brilliance of Anne Tyler’s novels
- you took a perfect photo of a rain droplet (this morning, actually)
- you knew you could do without red meat until the 12th of forever
- the sun rises and sets
- you declutter your life, discover your truth, and create your legacy as The Memoir Detective
The Mindful Zone is the only place to Be