Happiness guru Gretchen Rubin, the best-selling author of Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Life and The Happiness Project, wrote a timely piece about helping to keep to your new year’s resolutions through a one-word theme. Specifically, “choose one word, or a short phrase, to sum up what we want to focus on for the new year.” Her word for 2017 is repurpose. Mine? It’s rituals.
Many people set (new) goals during the new year, and it’s said a majority of them also never truly achieve them. That’s in part because there’s more to simply setting a goal— we also have to set ourselves up for success in achieving this goal, whether it’s ensuring that our goals are SMART or that they’re in line with our values. This one-word theme of rituals is my way of setting myself up for success.
Rituals are about my way of life, whereas words like commitment and discipline can have a black and white view of whether I’ve failed to meet expectations. So here’s my way of integrating a new routine in my daily life:
- I will spend at least 15 minutes meditating daily by reciting the mantras I’ve accumulated or watching youtube videos or taking a kundalini yoga class at the gym.
- I will set a calendar reminder to log my weight every week.
These goals don’t have anything to do with being a shero… or do they?
What I’m asking of myself at this time is to become more aware and be in the present. I want to ground myself with a solid foundation where other goals and desires can fall into place. By not living in the moment, I’d be living like a chicken with its head cut off. I can’t be a shero if I’m not living intentionally — am I right?
Why 15 minutes? I figure, if I can take time to brush my teeth for a few minutes each day, I can certainly wake up 15 minutes earlier or sleep 15 minutes later (if I happen to sleep in) to fit in this new ritual. Plus, I want to start with something small. For someone who only started paying attention to my own health, I’m fine with taking baby steps.
A tiny change today brings a dramatically different tomorrow.
— Richard Bach
Cheers to a new year!