Every year we make a new resolution for ourselves. We say we’re going to go to the gym more, or live more environmentally friendly. But year after year, we all too often fall off the wagon.
So why is it so hard to keep resolutions?
And how can we adopt them into 2020 and beyond?
It’s not that we don’t want to be better people. It’s just that it’s often so dang hard to change our routines.
In the following guide you’ll find 7 Buddhist inspired New Year Resolutions, and mantras to help you integrated them into your life.
1) Towards Removing Frustration
According to Buddhism, frustration is an unhealthily attachment to people, things or outcomes we wish we could control but can not.
To help free yourself from this attachment, we recommend reciting the following mantra daily, “I will not set unreasonable expectations.”
2) Towards Removing Anger
Anger is an emotion innate to the human condition. We will feel angry sometimes, but we can learn how to express or even transform anger in ways that do not define us but rather assist us.
Towards changing the way we react to stressful situations, we recommend the mantra, “I can always choose how I respond to difficult situations”
3) Towards Removing Anxiety
Anxiety is best understood as a fear of the unknown. Anxiety has never been able to change one’s circumstance, only positive thoughts and actions can.
Towards removing a fear of the unknown, our recommended mantra is, “I have no reason to be anxious, everything always works out the way I want it to.”
4) Towards Being More Environmentally Mindful
Our planet is in need of our help more than ever before. While it’s true our individual impact may be small, our collective impact has the ability to make real change.
Buddhism has always advocated for the protection of the environment for one simple reason; compassion for others and for all living creatures.
Towards being more environmentally mindful, one of the most important things we can do is stop buying things that we do not need. This is also closely related to removing attachment and relieving suffering.
In this light, we recommend the mantra, “I already have everything I need to be happy.”
5) Towards Improving Physical Health
Many of us wish to work out more in order to attain a more desirable figure. In this sense, we are working out for others.
Instead, our primary motivation to work out should be to maintain good physical health. In this way, we are working out to love ourselves, and not seeking love from the external world.
We recommend the mantra, “I enjoy working out because it keeps my mind strong & clear.”
6) Towards Keeping In Touch
In our modern world many of us struggle to maintain healthy connections with friends and family. And this often leads to loneliness and depression.
To help keep you connected, we recommend actively sharing your fears, ambitions and that which your are grateful for with your loved ones. Our Everyday Enlightenment Journal presents a simple structure by which to do this.
Taking a verse from Chris McCandles, we recommend the mantra, “Happiness is only real when shared.”
7) Towards Being More Positive
To think bad thoughts is easy. If you leave your mind to itself it will spiral down into ever-increasing unhappiness. To think good thoughts however requires effort, discipline, & continual consciousness.
Towards maintaining a positive outlook, we recommend reciting this mantra daily, “Today I will make a conscious effort to replace negativity with positivity.”
Maintaining These Resolutions
All of the resolutions listed above require consistent effort. Reciting daily mantras help serve as an excellent strategy. Ultimately however, maintaining these resolutions require completely replacing old habits with new ones.
As humans, we are creatures of habit. We become addicted to certain routines and the emotions that come with them. It is therefor necessary to completely comprehend and acknowledge old habits in order to truly replace them. It’s easier said than done, but as the Buddha simply states, “Work hard to gain your own salvation.”
From all of us at Backpack Buddha in Nepal, Thailand, Guatemala and the USA, we hope 2020 will bring you the greatest inner peace, self love, discipline, and happiness on your path.