STQI Downtown Toronto School

Your 2017 New Year’s Resolution the Shaolin Way

admin | 30 December 2016 | Shaolin Way Philosophy, STQI Toronto | | 0 Comments   

Apply the Shaolin Virtues to your New Year’s resolution!

Deciding on Your New Year’s Resolution

The Shaolin Virtue of Strive will help to drive your 2017 resolution theme.  What main area of improvement would you like to see for yourself?  For many it is health and for others it is peace.  Be sure it is a non-materialistic theme – those are better off as ‘acquisition goals’ that can take a second seat.  After all, if you acquire something then the theme for the year is over at that time.  Better to find something that can persist throughout the whole year.

To help you with determining your New Year’s resolution theme, take some time to reflect upon the Shaolin Virtue of Focus.  Find a quiet place where you can relax your mind and body.  You may want to consider Shaolin silent sitting meditation for this purpose.   With your mind at peace you will likely be able to think more clearly.

You may want to consider that your resolution is:

  1. Broad
  2. Simple
  3. Non-materialistic
  4. Easy to remember
  5. Improves you mentally or physically
  6. Not time-limited

So for example, choosing a resolution such as healing a leg injury, getting a promotion or learning martial arts isn’t ideal.  On the other hand, improving your health, being the best employee or improving your self-defence skills could be better alternatives.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Personal health improvement – mental stress reduction, physical strength and conditioning, food and drinking habits, etc.
  2. Personal characteristic – Personality trait, extroversion/introversion
  3. Major skill improvement – self defence capability, problem solving, memory improvement, priority management, etc.
  4. Social – family importance, close friends importance, make more friends, community and charity involvement
  5. Shaolin virtue theme – strive, focus, perseverance, respect, leadership, or compassion

Fulfilling Your New Year’s Resolution

You’ve decided what your New Year’s resolution is for 2017.  What now?  How will you see it through?

The Shaolin Virtue of Perseverance is key to ensuring your resolution isn’t a waste of time.  It says that you must maintain your willpower to continue with your resolution even though you may encounter difficulties along the way.

Difficulties you may face include:

  1. Going back to your old ways and habits
  2. Forgetting about the resolution
  3. Giving yourself excuses
  4. Being influence by others
  5. Giving up because you failed ‘too many’ times

All these reasons are usually the result of not ensuring your resolution stays on top of your priority list throughout the year.  The skill to manage your resolution is called “project management”.

Project management theory is actually quite simple.  Think of your resolution in terms of:

  1. Planning
  2. Executing
  3. Tracking

With that in mind, here are some basic project management tips that could help:

  1. Planning:
    • Write out your resolution in detail including an action plan (i.e. how are you going to fulfill it)
  2. Executing:
    • Set daily or weekly reminders about your resolution on your phone or calendar/task software
    • Apply the resolution with each action every day
    • Periodically spend a few minutes to reflect on your resolution
    • Periodically reflect on excuses and situations that go against your resolution
  3. Tracking:
    • Periodically review your progress i.e. what has happened so far and how are you doing?

For example, if your resolution is to be more healthy, then you will want to reflect on that every time you make a decision to do something, whether it be eating, sleeping, exercising, working, etc.  There is always a ‘healthier’ option for you.  If you having a meal, how does that meal affect your health?  If you are going to sleep, is the time and environment suitable to your daily activities?  If you are exercising, is the time, energy, and effort sufficient?  If you are working overtime, at what point would it be considered unhealthy for you to continue?  Just by asking similar questions each time you do something will help greatly towards fulfilling your resolution.

At the end of year, spend some time to focus on yourself.  Reflect on how well you persevered and be sure to strive for more next time!