This year I decided not to make a New Year’s Resolution. Then I read Oliver Burkeman’s article and changed my mind. It was in The Guardian Weekend on 3 January.
Oliver’s excellent piece brought me to my senses. It convinced me it is better to make a late New Year’s Resolution than not to make one at all.
So what should I do it on? Something that would make me happier. Yes a little more happiness is just what I need. Fine but I need to be patient and give myself plenty of time to think it through. Why not make 1 February my stating date? That will give me plenty of time to think it through and come up with a really good plan of action.
My Better “Late Than Never” New Year’s Resolution
Oliver recommends meditation. He says it could make me happier. Just five minutes a day could make a real difference. It could make me more creative, less anxious, less racist although I don’t see myself as racist! It could even ease my arthritis although I don’t have arthritis! And he claims it could boost my learning ability and reduce cold symptoms.
I was hooked. Meditation it would be. It was the five minutes a day that did the trick. For you see I already meditate for 15 minutes on my Headspace course. Which is great and a good way of adding value to it would be to do an extra five minutes or so several times each day.
This could help me to crack the problem of becoming more mindful throughout the day. I manage it fine during the motivation itself but so far I have failed to extend it beyond that. So doing three or four five-minute sessions during the course of the day could make it happen for me.
Mediation really helps me to be a little bit happier
I use it to help me control my thoughts. Before I began to meditate I was not able to stop thinking. The constant flow of thoughts bothered me. I got no respite from them. They made me fearful and ill at ease with myself.
Now my daily meditation helps me to control my thoughts. While meditating I can now clear my mind and feel totally at ease with myself. It is an oases of peace for me. One I enjoy each time I meditate.
The challenge now is to extend the ability to control my thoughts to other times of the day. I know it is possible for me to do so when I put my mind to it. But of course I get so wrapped up in the events of the day that I forget to do it.
My New Year’s Resolution Goal and System
So my goal is to do five short spells of meditation each day. Each of these will take five minutes at most. And I will continue to do my regular twenty-minute meditation. The aim of the additional short sessions is to bring the peace of mind I get to other parts of the day.
If I am to achieve this goal I need to develop a very good system that will help me to do so. I know it would be a mistake just to say I will do it five times a day. Because with the best will in the world, and I have a lot of will power, it just will not happen.
I need to set specific times to do it. And these must be times I am most likely to do so. They should be the same times every day. And they should be linked to an event that I do naturally every day.
After a lot of thought I decided on the following times. One, first thing every morning when I wake up. Two, first thing after breakfast. Three, first thing after lunch. Four, first thing after my evening meal. Five, first thing after I get into bed at night.
I will keep a daily record of how well I do. And I will record how well I stick to each of the times. My aim is to see which ones work well for me and the ones I miss out on. When I find these I will work harder to keep them. And I will reward myself each time I manage to keep them from there on.