The etymology of the word, Resolution comes from the Latin word resolutionem, meaning the process of reducing things into simpler forms. When we think of the way we in which we use the word today, there is a significantly different meaning, especially when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. We promise to make changes; lose weight, stop smoking, exercise, be better person and so on. There would be nothing wrong with wanting to be a healthier, better person, but we humans complicate everything. The way in which we primarily complicate this is by attaching a sense of self to everything we do, meaning part of our identity or thoughts about who were are, are intrinsically tied to what we do or do not accomplish. So, when it comes to resolutions I am either going to be a success or a failure. If I succeed, then I have made myself feel better through some external process of comparing a deficient perception of myself to the new and improved me. If I fail, then I am no good, and this could reinforce that same deficiency.

So, how do we counter this? The answer may be in the original meaning of word, resolution; Reduce and simplify, more specifically simplify our thinking and reduce our attachment to thoughts, feelings and emotions. In other words, BE the change you want to see happen rather than seek/strive for it. Make change part of who you are, rather than something that needs to be attained. Connect change to your values rather than to your goals. And most importantly, leave judgement(good or bad) out of the matter entirely.

So instead of saying I need/want/have to/must lose weight/stop smoking/be a better person; say I value losing weight. I value being healthy. I value this body which is only a temporary expression of an infinite, conscious being.
As Henry David Thoreau famously said; Simplify, Simplify Simplify.


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