I generally do not believe in New Year’s resolutions because for the most part, the vast majority of people who tend to set them will fail. Why do I say that? Don’t I just sound like an asshole for saying something so cynical? Well, yes and no, but what I’m saying is rooted in data. Depending on the data source you want to use, anywhere from 70 to 80 percent of people will give up on their New Year’s resolutions by February. They’ll have a “clean eating” January, forgo carbs, or hit the gym regularly every week of January, feel some level of self satisfaction, and then stop. Then, they will spend the rest of the year complaining that they do not have time to do things like go to the gym, work out, meal plan, etc. The stream of excuses and blaming never stops for most people.
When I joined my new company in September, I found out that one of my employment perks was free access to Headspace, a popular meditation app. I decided to download it and give it a try. I’d previously tried live sessions of meditation via Meetups I’d attended, but they didn’t really work for me. The group meditation intimidated me. I had weird visualizations around the time I tried this when my brother passed away. Meditation freaked me out. The idea of focusing on one’s breath seemed boring, difficult, and terrifying all at once. My mind wonders a lot, and as anyone who has ever lived with me can attest to, I have a very hard time sitting still and just doing one thing (Chris loves to say I love to “fuff” – is that even a word…?!). I also am a little bit overly obsessed with productivity and efficiency. If I spend time meditating, that feels like… I’ve wasted time. Or, so I previously thought.
I used the app on and off since October, but I finally started being regular about it mid-December, and I realized it actually did have a bit of a calming effect on me. It’s certainly challenging to clear one’s mind, and it’s an ongoing struggle, but what, in life, is worth having without a challenge? Since then, I’ve spent about 10-15 per day meditating. Sometimes, it’s in the morning after my workout. Most of the time recently, it’s been shortly after dinner or before bed. But that quiet time has actually helped me feel a bit more calm and grounded in the total calamity of U.S. political bullshit, this worldwide pandemic, and some personal challenges I’ve been facing.
So I guess you could say that this isn’t really a New Year’s resolution since I started being regular about it in December, but just a goal for myself to meditate every day. It may initially feel like it’s not doing anything, but afterwards, I always feel a little better and less tense. Meditation requires extreme dedication and focus, and… unless you are willing to commit to that, this probably will not be for you.