As we sign off on yet another year and begin anew in 2015, the words of American singer and songwriter Nina Simone come to mind: “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me.” As one year closes and another begins, it’s the perfect time for us to reflect on what we want our new year to look like.
If you are like me, you have vices and bad habits that you may have carried over year over year that are ready to lay to rest once and for all. Whether it’s having bad eating habits (guilty!), hating your job, or tackling your finances, the advent of a new year is the perfect time to get rid of the old and start fresh. But before you start packing up the old habits and throwing them in the trash, it’s important to figure out how you are going to make your new positive habits stick. One great way of doing this is through meditation which will help give you the strength and inner drive to actually follow through on those resolutions. Here I will outline a few resolutions that can easily be helped along by meditation:
Resolution #1: To quit smoking or drinking
The next time you feel like reaching for a cigarette or a drink, try meditating instead. Unlike the artificial high of smoking and drinking, which often goes hand in hand with stress, meditation comes complete with its own natural high. It is also a great means of de-stressing that can be carried out anywhere. Want a cigarette at work? Take a few minutes at your desk to close your eyes instead. Craving a nice glass of wine when out with friends? Focus instead on the sights and sounds around you – the lighting, the quiet hum of conversation, the weight of your body on the seat, or the smells of the cuisine. If you need some help staying on track, joining a meditation class can help keep you accountable and away from temptation.
Resolution #2: To lose weight and be healthier overall
This is a pretty common New Year’s resolutions that many of us have made on more than one occasion (guilty again!). So how can meditation help when the gym membership, the crazy fad diets, and exercise videos, have failed? Every time a craving hits or the urge to procrastinate on exercising strikes, fuel yourself with willpower by meditating on what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it, and what you need to do to get there. Listen to your inner voice and use it to drive you. Yoga is also a great way to stay in fit and the perfect companion to meditation.
Resolution #3: To enjoy life more and be happier
The typical person in today’s society lives a pretty hectic life. We are constantly going from one thing to the next and barely have time during the day to sleep much less stop and actually enjoy what is going on around us. This can lead to stress, anger, depression, and more but luckily through meditation, you can find the joy in the little things and start focusing more on the now. Meditation increases prana, or life force energy, meaning that even 20 minutes a day of meditation can help boost inner levels of happiness significantly.
Resolution #4: To tackle debt and save more money
Although meditation certainly can’t make money grow on trees, it can help you save for your dream vacation or pay off bills by helping to raise your levels of awareness which in turn will help you better monitor your savings and spending habits. It’s also a great way to switch your focus from something not financially responsible back to what matters like paying off that pesky credit card bill. And best of all meditation is free!
Obviously there are many other resolutions made each and every New Year than just the ones listed here. If we can help you tackle your New Year’s resolutions or help you leave failed ones behind, let us know. We have some great books up for grabs on all things meditation as well as some great events that you can attend to learn more in person.
Best wishes and tidings for the New Year – Anna
Sachdev, Divya. “Have You Made These New Year Resolutions?” Have You Made These New Year Resolutions? Web. 31 Dec. 2014. <http://www.artofliving.org/meditation/meditation-for-you/new-year-resolutions>