For The New Year, Don’t Resolve – Reframe – Part III
In Part III of this article, we will discuss how to reframe New Year’s resolutions regarding making major life changes, getting out of debt, and being more organized.
Reframe caring more about others: The first person you need to be nice to is yourself. It’s impossible to feel compassion for others if you’re beating yourself up. Begin each morning with a Buddhist Metta meditation, even if for five minutes. Buddhism is a philosophy, not a religion, so you can practice it regardless of your religious beliefs. Close your eyes and repeat: “May I be safe, May I be happy, May I be healthy, May I live my life with ease.” If you start with five minutes of this every day, then allow yourself to consider extending to ten, twenty, thirty as the year goes by. If you miss a day, don’t mentally flog yourself. Instead, repeat the phrases when you can, for example when standing in line to buy groceries. Or if you’re in a waiting room, instead of picking up a toxic magazine, close your eyes and repeat the phrases. Without trying, you will find yourself being nicer to strangers, caring more about others around you, and feeling a deep well of compassion growing within you.
Reframe pursuing a new hobby: You’ve always wanted to learn an instrument, a foreign language, how to bird watch, how to sew, how to breed a certain type of dog but you’ve felt that you’re too old or it’s too late. It’s never too late! I started yoga at age 47 and piano lesions at age 58. You can do anything you want to do. Reframe your new hobby as play, not work. Understand what is stopping you. If it’s too hard to learn a language on Rosetta Stone alone, clean out a bedroom and find a person to rent it to with discounted rent on the condition that they speak to you only in the language you want to learn. Join a group of people learning that language. The vast majority of human beings are programmed to help. With a little digging you can find someone who wants to share. If you can’t afford piano lessons, there are retirement homes filled with retired music teachers who would love to spend time with you.
Reframe spend more time with your family or friends: Facing the fact that life is messy, all-consuming and unpredictable is a good start to organizing your social calendar. The best way to spend more time with people you care about is to make them a priority by putting them on your calendar. Sex, dinners, exercise—all things that can be scheduled. It’s come to that!
Reframe getting more out of life: If your life has dried up and you feel stuck in a rut, begin by reframing life is an adventure and not an arduous task that needs to be attended to. Reframe your life by caring and loving yourself in these positive ways, and you’ll have no need for New Year’s resolutions in the future. Life will begin to unfold to you in ways that you never dreamed possible.