How to Have a Happier New Year

January 9, 2017
Photo: Jen Brown

Happy new year, and happier new you, if you’ve made any resolutions to make what’s wonderful (meaning you) even better. I’ve made a few, with a twist: no absolutes. Check out my list:

  • I’m reducing my sugar intake.
  • I’m aiming to meditate every day for about ten minutes.
  • I’m going for two chapters a week until my book, The Yoga Tools, is completed (due date is March 1, and I’m on track).

See the lack of absolutes here? Some might say there’s not a lot of resolve in these resolutions. What I see is the middle path. In Yoga and in Buddhism, the goal is achievability and sustainability through moderation. Yes, there is the Yoga Tool of Sutra 1.14, which states:

Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break and in all earnestness.

That Sutra, one of the most important in Yoga, says practice, not perfection. In past years I’ve watched my new year’s resolutions wilt before February because I said “no more sugar, meditation every day for at least fifteen minutes, I’m writing a chapter a day!” (I’ve got a taskmaster in my head.)

This year, set yourself up for success by aiming for the middle path. Choose your goals. Use these 6 steps for maintaining a daily practice. If you meet an absolute on the road, kill it by using some gentler wording. And have a happier new year.

(PS: I’m also celebrating my happy new website! Many thanks to Taylor Berman of Code Love Creative for creating this virtual Yoga studio. If you like the new look, let me know by leaving a comment.)

 

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