Resolutions Resolved

Its that obligatory time of year again to announce some lofty goal that only ends up fizzling out by the end of January. They sound great, the idea is sexy, but the reality is often unrealistic. As humans it’s our nature to want our dreamy aspirations to fulfill high expectations quickly and easily, otherwise there’s no incentive to do it. Our appetite is ravenous and therefore we tend to bite off more than we can chew and our gluttenous ‘want it all and want it now’ attitude often backfires because those huge dreams suddenly seem overwhelming, intimidating and impossible.

Perhaps the expression about having ‘blinders on’ may have a positive side in these scenarios because rather than trying to take it all in, we can focus on whats right in front of us and right around the corner. Thats quite a mouthful. Once upon a meander, I traveled through Spain and ended up in Barcelona taking an English teaching course, afterwhich I immediately started looking for work. I was told by my teachers that it would be hard to find work at that time of the year and most of the students seemed to accept this. I decided to put my blinders on as if I was only looking down at my foot taking the next step forward. I found my first teaching job 4 days later, and then I picked up a few other classes throughout the city that next week.

A few months ago I watched the movie ‘Touching the Void’, a very moving documentary about survival in brutal conditions during an extreme hiking expedition. What still sticks with me is the survival mode or ‘goal’ of simply getting to the next rock within 20 minutes. Thats all he focused on. Thats all he needed to focus on.

By the inch, success is a cinch. By the yard, it’s hard. My yoga practice constantly reminds me about patience and persistence. The real meaning and magic happens when you give life to your resolution, when you are genuine with your choice, when you decide on the course of action, and apply determination and dedication on an ongoing basis.

So perhaps goals should be something that keeps us focused and grounded instead of being some flighty free radicals (which we all know are bad for us). Even moreso, perhaps the focus should be not on the end goal as much as the journey towards it. It means accepting that success is a process that takes courage, guts, and intestinal fortitude to dive into that process each day, one step at a time. For this New Year, the greatest resolution is to be willing to give up who you are in order to become all that you can be.