Post originally written for YYoga blog – http://www.yyoga.ca/blog/bring-yoga-to-your-resolutions/
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali presents the practice of Svadhyaya, or self-study, as a primary component of the yoga practice. This practice of deepening self-awareness can be a valuable tool in the process of setting – and keeping – New Year’s Resolutions.
Here is one framework for setting New Year’s Resolutions with awareness and intention:
Write down every resolution that crosses your mind. Ideas you don’t write down may linger in the back of your mind and eventually steal your focus.
From your list, pick one resolution that most aligns with the direction you want to move in the New Year. Change is hard to make, and the more changes you try to make, the less likely you are to follow through with any of them.
Remember the 5 W’s (and 1 H) from high school English? Use them to generate questions that will help cultivate awareness around your patterns, habits and current situation, and then determine the steps you need to take to implement this shift in your life.
Questions you might ask yourself include:
Who will be your support in making this change?
Who might make this resolution more challenging?
What intentions does this resolution reflect?
What will be your obstacles?
Where do you see yourself after making this resolution?
Where will you turn for support?
When will you make time for this commitment?
When will you reassess your progress with this resolution?
Why are you making this change?
Why haven’t you done this in the past?
How will you stay accountable?
How do you define success with this resolution?
Get Realistic – Again
After working through the 5 W’s (and 1 H), does your chosen resolution feel realistic or do you need to explore other possibilities?
Sometimes meaningful change “just happens,” but often it requires effort and a change in approach. By bringing more self awareness into the pursuit of change, I believe we can profoundly and positively affect our ability to make meaningful changes happen in our lives.