ask-yogi-rooftop2It’s resolution time, that time of year when we set often unattainable goals for ourselves, resulting in frustrating broken resolutions before the warmth of spring.  Most of the time, we don’t whisper these resolutions, but we shout them from the rooftops, creating a cacophony of broken promises to ourselves, and leaving a din of frustrating echoes that haunt us through the year.  This year, throw out the traditional resolutions of fad diets and binge exercise and come at things from a different perspective.  It’s okay to set goals, but also promise a few important things to yourself.  Be reasonable.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and real change is gradual.  You can, however, make small resolutions with big results.


Resolve to be happy. Take the time to breathe, to relax, and to find something, anything, that truly makes you smile.  Savor those moments and let them carry you through the not-so-happy moments.  Listen to music.  Smell the flowers.  Just breathe.

Resolve to be healthy. Forget fad diets, exercise programs that do not suit your lifestyle, and instead, make an effort to slowly change the way you eat, exercise and live.  If you want to become a vegetarian, don’t do the cold-turkey no-more-meat-for-me thing (no pun intended) but instead, start cutting meat out of one meal a day, then two, and slowly change the way you eat.  Instead of running out and joining the gym, think more about doing one active thing every day, and gradually change the way you move.  Try gentle things first, like walking, or yoga (shameless plug).  Eat well, breathe well, and sleep well.  Take care of yourself.

Resolve to be friendly. Practice random acts of kindness.  If you don’t believe me, just try it.  Do something nice for someone who you don’t even know, just to do it.  Take the grocery cart back for an elderly person at the market, and watch the appreciation you receive.  Smile at total strangers and say hello.  When you are friendly just for the sake of being friendly, it will make you happier.

Resolve to be honest. Truth, or satya, is the most precious gift we can give to ourselves.  When we are true and honest with ourselves, the world becomes clearer and we can live to our highest potential.  Without truth, we will not realize our highest potential.  “To thine own self be true” is still good advice.

Resolve to be forgiving. As important as truth, forgiveness, especially for ourselves, is essential for happiness.  Be good to yourself.  Get a massage.  Go for a walk.  Take time.  Forgive others, but most importantly, forgive yourself.

This year, I have a long list of resolutions myself, mostly revolving around that marathon I’ve signed up to run, but I am coming at it from this yogic perspective.  I will be happy, healthy, friendly, honest and forgiving, to myself and to others, and in doing so, I will be everything that I can be.

Namaste.  Happy New Year!

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