New Day’s Resolutions

Sri Ganesha

ॐ श्रीमन्महागणाधिपतये नम:
om śrīman mahāgaṇādhipataye namaḥ

New Year’s Resolutions can be slippery things.  In the light of Yoga, we propose not New Year’s Resolutions, rather, New Day’s Resolutions.  The difference?  Putting the goal more in the present rather than more in the future.

Instead of “I shall lose 108 pounds in 2013”, let it be: “I will walk 5 miles today and eat 1 less handful of food than I usually do today”.  Instead of “I shall master the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga in 2013”, let it be: “I will work on Prasarita Padottanasana B and C today, I will increase my time in Sirshasana by 10 seconds, and my time in Navasana by 5 seconds today”.  Instead of “I shall quit smoking in the year 2013”, let it be: “I shall smoke one less cigarette today”.

The smaller, more achievable goals are like low hanging (albeit modest in size) mangoes that you can just walk up to the tree, pluck and enjoy.  The bigger goals are like the massive mangoes higher up on the tree and beyond reach (remember: the mangoes always appear juicier on the higher branch, and bigger is not always better!).  It takes more effort and time (unless you have an obedient mango retrieving monkey); the time it would take you to obtain said fruit, you could have plucked and enjoyed a dozen or more of the ones within reach.  Not to mention, most of the time, the birds will beat you to it.  As they say, a small mango in hand is worth more than ten thousand in the tree (I might be paraphrasing).

More pertinently, when you make your goals less grandiose and more humble, you set yourself up for a greater chance of success.  Most New Year’s Resolutions read like recipes for failure.  Be nice to yourself; don’t set yourself up for failure!  The difference between something you might be able to do in two months, versus something you know you can do today is mammoth.

You don’t want the thought of a long journey to paralyze you; you want to take the first step, no matter how small.  Do not underestimate the small stuff!  Every small accomplishment will strengthen your willpower; every failure will weaken it.  Many small steps will take you a lot further than the giant leap that never was.

The future is a fuzzy fish; the present is a sweet mango firmly within your grasp.  Do not indulge in idle talk about eating future fish – it will never satiate you.  Instead, savor the fruit you have in hand now!

Things get done when you do them, not talk about them.  Make a do-able resolution, and proceed to do it today, lest you die tomorrow!

May Lord Ganesh remove all your obstacles now!

वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्यकोटिसमप्रभ ।
निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा ।।

vakratuṇḍa mahākāya sūrya koṭi samaprabha
nirvighnam kuru me deva sarva kāryeṣu sarvadā