Here we are. The year 2020.
When I was a little girl, my mother always said how time flies by. I didn’t know what she meant until I got older and more things started to fill my day. It’s always gravely apparent that my perception of time is directly correlated to how full my calendar is. The more things to do, the faster time moves. The more space I have, the slower time goes. On days where I have no agenda, one day may feel like a week. It’s so luxurious. Of course we can’t live our lives on no agenda, so naturally time will feel like it moves. But really it’s just us. We move and time does it’s thing—no matter where you are or who you are, we all work on the same clock.
However, when I say “clock,” I’m not referring to digital or analog. But rather the broader understanding that we all experience the rise and fall of the sun and the rotation around the sun, which scientists have found takes about 365 days. This 365 days was then deemed “a year.” Then everything else got divided up equally to make the system we now know as time. But really it’s all arbitrary. Just another system put into place to help us study and try to understand the world. The only thing actually TRUE, meaning we could define it without the help of science, is that we each experience the rise and fall of the sun, over and over again.
If we didn’t have the knowing that a year is 365.256 days, we would have no countdown to tell us to reset our lives. The idea of “resolution” might even be obsolete. We would have to start tapping into our inner awareness more to know when we’re so off course that we need a reset, which is what the root of the word “resolution” originally implies—to untie, simplify, or set free. This first definition of the word showed up in the 14th century and it wasn’t until 1543 that the idea of earth rotating around the sun was even theorized, far after the word was put into vocabulary. It wasn’t until the 17th century that it took on the holiday tradition of pledging to better oneself—stemmed from religious promises to gods and deities. So what DID folks do before they knew it took 365 to go around the sun?
Well I don’t know for certain, but if I had to guess, they were probably using a higher power to help them course correct, which eventually lead to the additional definition of “pledge,” in reference to religious devotion. But the thing to point out here is that it wasn’t once a year they reset, it was a regular practice. So consider, if there was no reminder to create a resolution and course correct, when would you do it?
The way I see it now, we create resolutions out of a sense of urgency. We go so long making choices that go against our inner desires that it becomes an urgent matter at the beginning of each year to make a change. Then we over correct and set lofty New Year goals that are far away from where we are. Imagine pledging to attend five yoga classes a week when you currently do one—it’s a far away goal that will bind you up trying to achieve it. But what if we “resolve” every week and put more emphasis on the 7 days in a week, than the 365 days in a year. This would give us a more frequent reset, which keeps us more on track over a longer period of time. AND, it allows for the improvements you want to see in your life.
So consider these tips as you begin to shift your mindset:
First, choose a goal, resolution, or intention that is just a little bit better than what you already do. So if you go to yoga once a week, maybe it’s 6x a month, not 20x a month. If you make it 7x, it’s a bonus. By committing to the small shifts, you are more likely to find your improvements achievable, which over time, makes for huge transformation.
Second, commit to re-evaluation. In a self-evaluation, you have to be brutally honest with yourself. If you’re not meeting your goal or making shifts towards what you want, scale it back or ask for help, no matter how small or imposing it may seem.
Third, forecast your obstacles. Achievements, 9.99 times out of 10, are not a straight-up arrow. You will fail. You will have scheduling issues. You will have a tiny person around your leg as you are trying to get out the door. You will sleep in. You will eat bad. You will over-commit. You will get sick. You will want to hit the snooze button. You’ll say the thing you didn’t mean to say. You will spend money that you wish you had saved. You will simply not want to do what you set out to do. When this happens, what is your course of action? Many quit. But what will you do?
Through ongoing resolving, you’ll never need to make a resolution again because you’re taking care of what matters along the way.
Cheers to a fabulous new year,
Justina and the Ignite Team