How to Make a Mindful Resolution

Hard-knuckling it through our New Year’s goals can strain even the best intentions. Here’s a mindful strategy for less stress and more success in keeping your resolutions.

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“Making a resolution” hassuch a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? It feels powerful to think we can simply resolve to rid ourselves of some bad habit, irritating character flaw, or maybe even a pound or two, and—poof!—it’s done. “I hereby give up designating Oreos and Snickers as a food group”—just saying the words can have a “job accomplished” quality. And it’s true: Awareness of where we are stuck in a habit or a blind spot is the first step to meaningful change.

But then what? For some, the quagmire drags us down as we find that resolving to do anything takes guts, energy, and determination. It takes grit. Even worse, it may require going gently or slowing things down. And it takes courage to let yourself see how you resist or run from things that make you uncomfortable. True resolve means feeling restless and uneasy and bringing effort and energy anyway.

Let’s back up for a moment: What is a resolution? Ultimately, it’s how we try to give ourselves a helping hand, by either undertaking or refraining from undertaking a particular action. For instance, if being impulsive gets you into trouble, you might resolve to take a breath before you…

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