Have New Year Resolutions? 4 Easiest Ways To Make Them Stick
With the horrendous year that 2020 was, behind us, some of us are still processing the intensity of it. While we are nothing but looking forward to the next year, with renewed hope; a promise to be better and do better; and to be kinder to one another, some of us are ready to give our resolutions one more shot this year. Who knows? We may end up actually keeping them, having learned the importance of taking care of ourselves, the very hard way this year!
Struggling to kick the cigarette butt for good? Or planning to hit the gym this year with ambitious BMI goals? Or maybe this year you have decided to spend quality time in engaging in self-love, by prioritizing your mental health. Whatever it is you have decided to accomplish this year, can be done with amazing results by using these 4 simple tips.
1. Take small vows-doable and easy to begin with
So you have taken up a resolution for a year. It is likely that you may give up a resolution that you have taken for a year. But, it is far more practical and easy to keep a resolution for a week or a month or a fortnight. Once you do it for three weeks, science suggests, it becomes your habit. Then it becomes easier to build the following steps and keep up your practice for the next month and the following one, and eventually a year.
Whatever it is you want to achieve. tie it in time-bound commitment. “A vow should be time-bound,” says spiritual master, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, “Consider the time and place for vows or commitments to be taken.” He shares the example of someone trying to quit the cigarette. “Suppose someone has a habit of smoking cigarettes and says, “I will quit smoking,” but cannot do it. You know why? It is because the commitment is not time-bound. You can take a vow for three months or 90 days. Don’t take a vow to start something new or get rid of a bad habit for a lifetime; it is likely you will break it immediately.” If you happen to break it in between, don’t worry. Just begin again. Slowly increase the duration until it becomes your nature.
2. Dealing with low prana
Low prana or life force can make you lethargic and becomes one of the most common reasons for not seeing through a commitment you have made…to yourself. If you are a person who is accountable for critical deadlines at work, you cannot let lethargy come in the way of pushing through the works. In such a situation, any tool that helps you uplift your prana will give you enough energy to get all your work done and then some. For that, one of the most powerful and time-tested ways to raise prana are deep breathing techniques like Sudarshan Kriya Yoga, pranayamas, and meditation. These practices, in just a few minutes, can infuse your body-mind complex with enormous energy to last you through an entire day of commitments. When you are full of enthusiasm and energy, you are more likely to keep your resolutions as you will have the energy to fulfill them.
3. Make detoxes a part of your life
Whether it is about going to the gym or going for the dance lessons or perhaps learning music, you have probably quit mid-way or missed a few lessons just because you ‘did not feel like it’. The diagnosis is lethargy. But here’s the surprise- this lethargy is not due to any external reasons but due to the accumulation of slimy toxins in the body called aama that slows down your metabolism. A slower metabolism makes digestion sluggish leading to further aama accumulation in the system.
One of Ayurveda’s most blessed offerings for detoxification, which is key to improving metabolism is abhyanga or massage with body oils made from herbal essences and natural actives that specifically aid stronger metabolism. A warm bath with these body oils can improve the workings of the digestive system and speed up metabolism. Shankara’s Soothing Body Oil is formulated to balance your Doshas. It works on your body when it is undergoing fatigue, stress, anxiety, and lack of proper rest. It is most calming due to the presence of essential oils of sesame, Jojoba, squalane, hazelnut, aloe vera, borage, castor oil and evening primrose, clary sage, cardamom, and chamomile. A full body massage with these oils helps penetrate deeper into the body tissues, increase blood circulation, and removes the toxins.
4. Love, greed or fear- which one will you pick?
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar provides a very practical tool to begin a new practice and stay on course. You can use the trick to get rid of a habit that is holding you back or is hurting your mental and physical health. The trick is- application of love, fear, or greed. “There are three things to start a good habit: greed, fear, or love. First, if someone says they will give you a million dollars for not missing your practice, will you do it? You would say “I will do for five more days, just to be safe.” If you have promised your loved one you will not smoke, you will keep the promise, right? If your doctor says you will die if you don't do it, then also you will do it out of fear.”