He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.
My free three-week pass at the mega studio elapsed on Monday. I took 25 classes in 20 days. A limited-time offer is a great motivator, isn’t it? Perhaps resolutions serve the same purpose. Here, the impetus is not a deadline but a vow, to oneself.
I rarely make resolutions. If I do, they’re vague (read more novels; don’t lose temper; organize computer files; practice balancing in handstand) and too numerous for effective full frontal attack.
Perhaps I’ll try a new tactic this year. Ever since I read Gretchen Rubin’s post “Quiz: Are You a Moderator or an Abstainer?” on her blog, The Happiness Project, I’ve been aware that I’m the latter. For me, it’s easier to make or break habits by all-or-nothing resolutions.
To me, “daily” or “never” is simpler than “occasionally.” If not daily, a set schedule (every Tuesday and Thursday, for example) also works. Bright-line rules simplify my life by omitting unnecessary decisions. (Snap decisions are not my forte.) Doing a home yoga practice daily makes sense to me. It’s like brushing my teeth. I just get up and do it.
I was reminded again of the moderation-versus-abstention distinction in Rubin’s December post on resisting holiday temptations. While I typically avoid sugary, store-bought sweets, I received some chocolate truffles and amaretto cookies, plus a box of Ferrero Rocher candies, from students in my new yoga class.
Being a freelancer sans office, I had nowhere to leave them for others’ taking, so they somehow got opened and eaten by my boyfriend and me. Now, they’re not poison and we’re both lean (he didn’t give it a second thought). But I wish I’d had an abstainer rule about involuntarily acquired sweets: then I’d immediately have found a way to re-gift or donate them.
That said, here are my all-or-nothing resolutions for 2010:
- Vary my daily yoga practice: My daily practice is already a given, but I tend to repeat sequences and poses. Now I’ll create a series of practice themes (such revolved standing poses, deep backbending, or long Yin stretches) and cycle through them.
- Go to bed by 11pm daily: This one will be a doozy. But I suspect that sleeping earlier could be my ticket to a happier life (I kid you not). I’m too-often emailing, working, and especially blogging close to midnight. Now I’ll wrap it up by 10:30pm. Let me repeat. Drop everything. At 10:30pm.
- Call or email my parents daily: Have you ever stopped and counted the number of years your parents have left? And that’s if all goes well. I live 2,700 miles from my hometown and fly back only once a year. I skipped my 2009 trip and haven’t seen my folks since late 2008. Irregular calls (my current m.o.) tend to fall to the wayside. Perhaps I’m trying to learn from my kitty’s death last year. Jot a sentence; chat about home. Sure, I’m busy, but what’s five or ten minutes?
- No high-sugar, high-fat, white-flour sweets: Nowadays there are healthy (healthier, anyway) baked goods so why do I need actual junk food? Substitutes/exceptions: (1) extra-dark chocolate; (2) my own healthied-up baking; and (3) my mom’s care packages.