IstockphotoLooking around my L.A. studio at my students this week, I'm astounded by the voracity of everyone's massive New Year's to-do lists. I want to ask, "What happens if you don't get these things done?"
The fact is, we really have very little control over what gets done. We like to think we have more control than we do. We can work hard and show up consistently, but the outcome is usually beyond our jurisdiction. So instead let's focus on what we can control: not what we are doing, but how we are being.
If you're looking to add yoga to your New Year's list, bear in mind the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture that tells us to work without being attached to the fruits of our efforts. When it comes to your resolutions, that may translate to something like, "I will breathe fully in every pose I do." Or maybe, "I will keep my sense of humor in my yoga practice." My personal favorite? "I will move my mat over for someone who comes in late, as a good deed." These are positive things that are easy to accomplish. They are ways of being, not things to be done.
If you want to go a little deeper, I invite you to create what the yogis call a sankalpa. This is a resolve or intention that speaks to your heart's deepest longing. It's not something unattainable out in the world, but something you achieve deep inside yourself. Try something like, "I am at peace, no matter what goes on around me."
So before you add "Lose 10 lbs." or "Get in shape" to your list (just like last year), I challenge you to consider a resolution that starts on the inside.