The focus of the closing session at most retreats that I’ve attended is how to bring what we have learned and discussed into everyday life. This is often the challenge – not the lack of brilliance or discovery in these sessions but rather the discipline to put the lessons into practice.
Each year, I try to come up with a meaningful resolution for the new year. But long ago, I realized that I cannot change my life in one day and have it really stick. Starting with last year, I do one small thing a month. Last year, I resolved to write one meaningful post each month (and I was basically successful although I was a bit late some months!).
In 2020, I resolve to create a habit each month based on what I have learned during my personal retreats, accepting that although I am made of stardust (as we all are) I am terribly imperfect and will more than likely fail repeatedly before I am truly successful. And success will look very different than the vision in my head before I begin, but it’s all part of the learning process.
This is roughly how I want to tackle the 12 habits:
January: Meditate for 5 minutes in the morning and in the evening (this one is easy as I’m pretty close to this timeframe already… but I need to start slow here!)
February: Yoga for 10 minutes in the morning and in the evening (so important when I’m not running, so achy all over… I probably spend 5 or so minutes doing this already, but I’m going to actually time myself starting in February… yikes!)
March: Add 5 minutes of meditation mid-day and 5 minutes of yoga mid-day (now it’s getting serious)
April: Learn the Hanuman Chalisa (finally)… It has been years since I’ve been chanting right along to this one and I’m about 3/4 of the way there but this year is the year!
May: Go back to being mostly vegan, having a kid has made this difficult as I don’t like to force her to follow my eating habits.. but I want to make more of a commitment this year
June: Celibacy… this is not hard for me as I love being alone and haven’t met the right guy yet! Knowing me, this will probably be the entire year actually… So I guess this just means I get a break from forming habits in June! (still, it counts!)
July: Increase my water intake. I’m so bad at this.. July seems like a perfect month to add this one in!
August: Catch up on all my doctor’s visits. I’m a little behind and since I work in healthcare, I don’t like our healthcare system and try to avoid doctor visits. But during the slow summer months, I’m going to catch up.
September: Pick up my paintbrushes again! I’ve taken a long break but I really miss having a creative outlet…
October: Speaking of creative outlet… I haven’t played guitar in months and when the weather starts changing, I will need some quality indoor activities
November: Less TV… boy is this one hard with a kiddo in the house. We used to play games, now she wants to watch TV all the time. I don’t watch a lot but would like to cut us both back.
December: Vacation as discipline! I have fallen off the vacation wagon big time. Mainly because I’m a freelancer and need to work even while on vacation (not so fun), but this is the year that I start to get back into the vacation swing of things.
Here’s the best part… my plan is to journal the experience so that I know what works and what doesn’t and can keep better track of where everything is falling apart. If you’d like to join me, please share your own list… maybe we can all learn from each other!
Have a wonderful holiday… and best wishes for an amazing new year.
Om Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.