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Four factors for New Year Resolution

One may think “What’s the big deal, it’s new year again, all are taking one, let me to find a resolution”. Sorry to say it’s just a momentary excitement scenario!



If you really want to change something, then a resolution can become a serious affair without being time bound.


Accordingly, the following factors can stabilize your resolve.

  1. Sankalpa/Resolve

  2. Abhāyasa/Practice

  3. Tapas/Intense perseverance

  4. Vairāgya/Detachment

Let us understand them in detail.


Sankalpa/Resolve

A sankalpa/resolve is just not a desire to achieve. It’s a commitment to self. For example, for a yoga practitioner, commitment can be as simple as fine tuning an aasana or immersing yourself deeper into your sadhana, or regular commitment towards the practice or learning something new.


That said commitment is just a baby step towards your resolution. The difficult part comes up when you start working towards it. That’s when the second factor comes into picture.


Abhāyasa/Practice

Abhāyasa is beautifully explained in the Yogasutras as something that you work on as regularly and consistently as possible. Patanjali quotes,


स तु दीर्घकाल नैरन्तर्य सत्कारा असेवितो दृढभूमिः


sa tu dīrghakāla nairantarya satkāra-ādara-āsevito dr̥ḍhabhūmiḥ || 1.14 ||


meaning, practice becomes firmly grounded when done for a long time, without break and with deep devotion.


Having said that, sometimes even after continuous and constant Abhāyasa, practically at one point of time hindrances come in the way of any dedicated practitioner. And these obstacles can simply convert into reasons. Reasons as silly as “Its very cold today” or “Its about to rain so better I skip my yoga classes” or simply like “I am not in mood for my sessions”. This attitude could snowball soon and lead to inconsistency. To stop this happening, a ‘come what may attitude’ or strong will power becomes a necessity. Here is where the third factor finds it place.


Tapas/Intense perseverance

Will power to go on and on without finding any reason to stop, except when you are physically sick, should be consciously developed as a part of your Abhāyasa. Even when sick, a strong zeal to get back on track will help you heal sooner.


Again, a game changer attitude would be saying that, “Am consistent in my practices, am obedient, honest and hardworking too, yet I am not even close to what I am looking for”. It’s a common disappointment that frequently sets in. Here is when the fourth factor gets its prominence.


Vairāgya/Detachment

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna


कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन


karmaṇy-evādhikāras te mā phaleṣhu kadāchana ||2.47||


Meaning: You only have a right to action (karma) and not to the fruits of your karma(Karmaphala). Do not become a person who constantly meditates upon (gets attached to) the results of one’s karma.

This attitude of Vairāgya/Detachment will make one’s mind much calmer while working on the resolve.


Practice bonded with a strong will power should be constant no matter the result to achieve your resolve. This will help you reduce your expectation anxiety and will make your practice much calmer and healthier. Now go on and make one, live one!

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