Share Pin Email
feature image
Live Free

A Different Kind of New Year’s Resolution

When you prioritize a mindset of appreciation and compassion toward yourself, the changes you seek may surface in surprising ways.

1 150
Author Image
Meditation Advisor
SHARE:

The other day I met with a meditation student who was lamenting the various things he had not been able to accomplish in 2014. “Well, next year I guess I can get more done,” he said. “2015 is the year to fix myself up.” How many of us hold this notion of improving ourselves by getting things done in the coming year? Thinking that contentment comes from fixing ourselves, rather than getting to know ourselves better or loving ourselves as we are?

According to recent research, the top resolutions of 2014 were to lose weight and get organized. These aims are both directed toward a “better” self. Exercise and a healthy diet can lead to a trimmer body. Cleaning up our inbox and organizing our schedule can help us be more productive and efficient. These are all good things to do, but they seem to be chasing after treatment of symptoms, rather than looking at the underlying disease preventing fulfillment. Maybe, instead of trying to fix ourselves, we should take on a resolution of self love and learn to embrace who we are at this very moment.

Would you rather lose weight or be in love with your own body? Would you rather be better organized or be kind to yourself? Instead of getting nit-picky about what may be wrong with us and doing things to correct our supposed faults, I’d like to recommend we take a more holistic approach to the New Year. Instead of reinventing or rejiggering who we could be, let’s learn to love ourselves more right now.

From a traditional Buddhist point of view this concept is known as “maitri,” which can be translated as “loving-kindness.” Maitri comes from the Sanskrit word “mitra,” or “friend.” Instead of trying to change ourselves, we can practice self-compassion and learn to befriend ourselves. If you are constantly at war with yourself, how do you think you can relate peacefully with other people? In contemplating the year ahead, you have the option to think less about whether you will look good in a bathing suit and more about offering yourself a gentle and loving presence, more about being a good friend to yourself. That is maitri.

I don’t want to denigrate healthy aspirations like weight loss. Far from it. But I want us to be able to love more fully in the coming year, without falling into rigid expectations of how we need to look or act. For example, making an aspiration to be healthy in the coming year is a lot kinder than saying, “I need to lose 10 pounds.” As you begin to explore potential resolutions for the coming year, note when you are lost in the details of what may be “wrong” with you and try to take a more expansive view.

Imagine you are sitting in a balcony watching a play called The Berating. Onstage is also you, a version of you going on a judgmental rant against yourself. What character would you want to see rush into this play to save the day? Kindness? Gentleness? Patience? Whatever quality you think might be helpful in countering the way you generally beat yourself up might be the resolution you’ve actually been looking for. Drop the judgment and cultivate the quality that encourages you to love yourself more.

At the very least, you can insert that quality into how you approach your resolution. If you say you want to quit smoking, commit to being kind to yourself while quitting smoking. That way, when you’re completely tempted to smoke a few days in, you won’t berate yourself for your desire. You’ll remember that you want to be kind to yourself in this process, and take a few deep breaths, go for a walk, or have a cup of tea. Simple acts of loving-kindness during this process go a long way.

There is a fine line between discipline and kindness that has to be walked in setting an intention for change. I think many of us fall on the side of beating ourselves up, so I emphasize maitri. But it might be worth noting that there is kindness and then there is laziness. Perhaps you set an intention to take care of your body by getting to yoga regularly. But it’s cold this season and your bed is really cozy. You might think, “Well, Lodro said I should be kind to myself so I’ll sleep in.” I think in your heart of hearts you know that a true kindness to yourself is exerting yourself just a little bit beyond your comfort level and applying the discipline to get to that class.

As you begin contemplating 2015, please be kind to yourself. Don’t try to fix yourself or “get better” in the coming year. Instead, get to know yourself better. Make a healthier aspiration that involves loving-kindness and befriending yourself. In that way, you can make this the year you learn to be content, exactly as you are.

By

SHARE:

Comments (1)

An Expert Guide to Crow Pose

Download Sonima’s comprehensive guide to this exciting “reach” posture and enjoy the benefits of expert instruction at home!

Get the Guide

Load More

Find us on Instagram

@LIVESONIMA
  • Who doesn't love a quiz? Take our personality test to better understand the desires, fears, and tendencies that affect your relationships and personal growth. See link in bio. #personalitytypes #enneagram #quiz #knowyourself #liveauthentically
  • Most people know the benefits of meditation include enhanced focus, concentration, and heightened self awareness. But there are two lesser-known ways that meditation can help you work smarter.

One is an improved relationship with time. When the mind is more present and focused, you have an enhanced understanding and comprehension of a given topic or task. When that becomes a regular part of your working style, it profoundly impacts your ability to learn and work at a high level.

Secondly, your self-esteem improves. Meditation improves your priorities deep down inside, in turn making you more productive. It gives you this feeling of “Yes, I’m a good human", and that lifts your self-esteem up. Confidence comes from the satisfaction in giving or doing something for others. The more you do for others, the better your relationships will be, professional and otherwise.

How does meditation help you work smarter? 
#meditation #meditate #mindfulness #work
  • Happy New Year! 
All of us at Sonima are wishing you the most wonderful year. 🎊 
Let’s make 2020 a year filled with great compassion, awareness, and health through our practices of yoga, meditation, fitness and conscious eating. 🙏🏽💖
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#newyear2020 #newyear2020🎉 #firstdayoftheyear #firstdayoftheyear2020 #healthandwellness #lifeisbeautiful #choosehappiness #attitudequotes #attitudeofgratitude #yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #mindbodysoul #wednesdaywisdom #liveyourbestlife
  • It’s the last day of the year! ✨
Take some time to reflect and use this 10-minute guided meditation to help you generate a commitment for the year ahead. 
This meditation shows you how to live according to your deepest desires and create an intention, not from the mind’s force, judgment, or expectation, but rather from the depths of your own heart. ✨

Click on our bio link to listen and experience a deeper vision of your future! 🔮
.
.
.
.
.
.
#newyear2020 #newyearseve #newyearsresolution 
#newyeargoals #tuesdaymotivation #meditationchallenge #selflessservice #mindfulnessquotes 
#yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #brainhealth #mindbodyconnection #introspection #meditatedaily #meditationinspiration #lastdayoftheyear
  • Taco lettuce wraps are the perfect way to lighten up taco night! 
This delicious recipe is vegan and “no-cook”, so it’s ready in minutes. 
These taco lettuce wraps are also loaded with fiber and antioxidants. They are great to help with detoxification and resetting your diet after the rich and indulgent holidays! 🌮 
Find all the ingredients with the full recipe in our Clean-Eating column, with best-selling cookbook author, culinary nutritionist, and wellness expert Amie Valpone @amievalpone - Simply click on our bio link! 🔗
.
.
.
.
.
.

#mondaymotivation 
#veganrecipes #vegantacos #lettucewraps #lettucetacos #amievalpone #cleaneatingrecipe #cleandiet #detoxdiet #eatingclean #thehealthyapple #resetyourbody #antiinflammatorydiet #flightinflammationwithfood #eatingcleanrecipes #vegetarianrecipes #veganfoodlovers #veganfood #vegetarianmeals #healthyrecipes #mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #balancediet #mindbodyconnection #mondayinspiration
  • In Ayurveda, there are three main ways to strengthen the immune system for optimal health: .
* Lifestyle Choices .
* Herbal Remedies .
* Food / Diet 🌿

Read the article linked in our bio and try these natural, time-tested methods for maintaining good health all year long. ❄️ .
.
.
.
.
.
.

#ayurveda #ayurvedalifestyle #ayurvedafood #ayurvedicmedicine #ayurvediccooking #ayurvedalife #ayurvedaeveryday #ayurvedayoga #yogalifestyle #yogaliving #yogicdiet #yogadiet #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife 
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #balancediet #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #brainhealth #mindbodyconnection
Receive fresh content delivered to your inbox every week!