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Resolution Recharge

Susan Wiley, MD, shares thoughts on how mindfulness can help you get back on track

How mindfulness can help you get back on track

By now, many of us can’t remember our New Year’s resolutions. Whatever we vowed to accomplish – lose weight, eat right, exercise regularly, pay more attention to ourselves and the people we love – no doubt we’re already back to life as usual.

My resolutions do not change much year after year. I just recommit to the same things I have given up on in previous years. But why?

I realize that part of the problem is built into the very making of the resolution itself. I get really serious about my intention. Then, when I slip and revert to my old habits, I am so disappointed and angry that I just give up.

Try this: Remind yourself what resolutions you made in January. Decide which ones really were good ideas and recommit yourself to them. This time, see your resolutions not as something to accomplish, but rather something to practice.

Expect yourself to slip. That’s what happens when you try to learn something new. Offer yourself encouragement as you would to a child learning a new skill. Be patient. See yourself moving toward your goals in many steps, some successful, others not. Stay committed to the practice of your resolutions, but know that to achieve them you will need to balance your efforts with knowing how and when to yield to other inclinations.

Maybe next year, when you make your resolutions again, you will see your commitments as part of a continuous practice.

Susan Wiley, MD, Psychiatrist and Co-Founder, Lehigh Valley Health Network Center for Mindfulness


LVHN Center for Mindfulness

Mindfulness can be practiced through meditation or simply practicing paying attention, moment by moment with curiosity.

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