Its that time of year again when we are inundated by health and wellness experts imploring us to do this, that or the other thing in the name of bettering our life, health and prospects. The plethora of messages is often unyielding and feeds on our worst fears and anxieties. Plus the sheer volume of often contradictory and extreme information from exercise programs, diet books and internet experts is enough to make you throw up your hands and scream,  “Stop with the bullshit! I’m done with it.”

 Its understandable that New Year’s resolutions are getting a bad rap lately and people are choosing not to engage. But I don’t think we need to throw them away completely. Instead, we can reframe the idea starting with clarifying what kind of life we want to be living. Resolutions do not need to be a laundry list of imperatives. Instead, they can be a series of guideposts to help us stay on the path we are travelling or redirect us to a path that better suits us.

One criticism of resolutions is that we make the same resolutions year after year. But if we are continuing to strive towards being the person and living the life that we really want, it makes sense that our resolutions remain consistent. Specific landmarks may be tweaked, renewed or abandoned. The method and means my change, but the essence of the goal remains the same.

I want to live my life with compassion. I want to feel that I am making a meaningful contribution to my family and my community. I want to have the energy and peace of mind to enjoy my work, my responsibilities and my leisure time. I want to be strong and healthy so I can continue to do the things I love to do with spontaneous zest and pleasure.

To live this life, I know I need to stay centered, grounded and positive.  I need to be strong and healthy in body, mind and spirit. I need to eat well and sleep well and feed my soul.

For the sake of creating guideposts to keep me on my path I have resolved to do three things:

  1. Meditate daily or at least sit quietly for 5 or 10 minutes at the beginning and end of my day to focus my thoughts and cultivate compassion.
  2.  Continue to do strength training three times per week and walk or run wherever and whenever possible.
  3. Eliminate junk: junk food, junk media, consumer junk, other people’s junk.

When I break it down like this it doesn’t feel like such a tall order. I believe in self-compassion, but I also believe in discipline. We sell ourselves short if we don’t expect it.

I resolve to be resolute – not unyielding or stubborn, but steadfast, persistent, courageous.

May the New Year bring us good health and much happiness.