Happy New Year! I find this time of year to be filled with so much hope, optimism, and openness to what the new year has to offer. It is a time of reflection, celebration, and looking ahead; a time of letting go of the past and moving forward. It is also a time of setting resolutions – goals, hopes, and dreams for the future. The process of setting resolutions gives us an opportunity to pause and truly reflect on the life we have been living; to examine what works for us and what doesn’t in all aspects of our life – career, relationships, self-care, personal growth. And, as the year turns, we are reminded that we have a choice; we have the choice to continue living as we have been, or to step into something different, perhaps to step into something greater than ourselves. We have the strength to change what isn’t working, stay disciplined with what is, and cultivate more of what invigorates us. If we approach the process of setting resolutions with mindfulness and non-attachment, it can truly become a beautiful practice that challenges us to step into our light and become the best version of our Self.
The yoga tradition, as outlined in the Vedas, describes four basic desires – Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. Dharma is our unique purpose in this worldly life; it is often equated to our career, however can be fulfilled in any number of ways including becoming a nurturing parent or volunteering for an organization that you are passionate about. Artha is the means to perform our Dharma; for example, we need a car to drive to work and we need the means to purchase food to sustain our bodies as we perform our work. Kama is the desire for pleasure and enjoyment. Moksha is spiritual liberation and self-realization. These four desires are inter-connected and all are important in creating a well-balanced life. When creating resolutions, I suggest starting by creating four columns on a sheet of paper, and heading each column with each of these four desires – Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. Then, begin by listing your goals for each category.
Translating Resolutions into Intentions
In yoga, we talk a lot about setting intentions. Intention setting is similar to resolutions, but with a slight shift in approach. Setting resolutions typically goes something like this:
Putting it all together
So, you’ve made your four columns - Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha – and, listed your resolutions under each column. Next, translate those resolutions into intentions – positive, affirmative statements. Write these intentions on an index card and place it somewhere that you will read it daily. Recall your intentions as you go about your daily actions. Then simply let life unfold, without judgement and without attachment. Allow yourself to remain open to the infinite possibilities that the new year holds for you.
May your new year be filled with so much peace and joy, love and light; may your innermost desires be fulfilled. Namaste!