Forget about those New Year’s resolutions in which you decide on the first day of January how you will be conducting your life in September, some nine months later. Here’s why: any resolution that involves you making decisions about long-range upcoming behavior reinforces the self-defeating notion of living in the future rather than in the present moment. In fact, you can go about resolving until the cows come home, and you still have to live your life just like everyone else on this planet—ONE DAY AT A TIME. The important questions to be asking yourself are “How am I going to use my present moments this year?” and “Will I waste them in reviewing to myself how I used to behave, or how I would like to behave in the future, rather than resolving to live each day to the fullest?”
What you can do is set up day-to-day goals for yourself, and then resolve to begin living with present moment awareness for the rest of your life. For example, instead of deciding you are going to give up sugar for a year, resolve to go one day without eating sugar. Anyone can do virtually anything if it is for only one day. When you go for one whole day without eating sugar (or any other new behavior), you are a totally different person at the end of that day. Learn to let that totally different person decide on the second day whether he or she wants to do it again on this new day, rather than letting the same old person decide that it is only going to be difficult in a couple of days anyhow, “so what’s the use.” Always let the new you make the decision, and then you’ll be living your present moments.
You know how easy it is to give up on a resolution, and you may have attributed this to some character flaw or personality weakness. Not so! You give up on your resolutions because your mind resists the notion of trying to live your life in long stretches, when it is patently impossible to do so. It is simply a matter of asking yourself at the beginning of the day, “How do I want to conduct my life today?” Then very directly begin to carry out your goals for the day. When you get good at living your present moments one day at a time, you’ll see yourself changing right before your own surprised eyes. Remember, anyone can do anything for just one day, so tune out the sentences that keep you locked into your old self-defeating ways and begin to enjoy each day of your bright new year.