Tired of making a new year’s resolution that you don’t keep? Yeah, me too. Though, the years when I have skipped making one, I felt anchorless. Having a resolution gives me a rudder and sets a course for the coming 365 days. So, I started thinking, Maybe I am approaching this whole resolution thing wrong, and just maybe, there is a more mindful way of creating New Year’s resolutions.

Often, we come at things from a perspective that is not all that productive. It is unconscious, happening before we even know it.

Let your heart speak, listening without attachment, without judgment.

We have this ingrained “negative bias” that has been hanging around the oldest part of our brain since the time of the caveman, always looking for the threat, always looking for the bad, always looking for…well, the negative. When we start thinking about the new year and resolutions, we often start with all the stuff we do not want, coming from a place of negativity, of scarcity.

This year, I propose doing something radical, something that will help rewire your brain, those neural pathways that could use a new direction. Neuroscientists give this a thumbs-up, and mindfulness supports it.

So, get a notepad (or smartphone) and find a place with no distractions.

First, recall the good, the abundance you already have and want more of. This reflection enables you to create your resolutions from a positive place of having instead of a negative one of lack. Your brain likes this, and will better support your desires throughout the year because you will be oriented towards magnetizing more of what you want versus more of what you do not want.

Next, meditate.

Get comfy, though not too comfy. You do not want to fall asleep. I suggest sitting upright instead of lying down, as your body usually associates being horizontal with sleep. Light candles, fluff up pillows, put yourself into a state where you can let your mind go and observe what comes up for you.

Set a timer for as long as you can handle sitting still. Try twenty-minutes to start. And remember, you can do this more than once.

Start the timer and settle into your meditation. Begin by observing your breath going in and out of your nose. “In and out,” watching thoughts as they arise and float by like clouds in the sky—no attachment, no judgment. Follow your breath as it comes in through your nostrils and down into your chest, your heart-center, the seat of your emotional wisdom. “In and out.”

As you are ready, silently ask “What do I want this year? What do I REALLY want?” Notice what comes up—it could be material or ethereal.

Let your heart speak, listening without attachment, without judgment.

When your timer stops, jot down what stands out in the wake of your meditation. Choose the top one to three things that resonate with you most, turning them into complete statements. These will be your new year’s resolutions. Being mindfully created, they are more likely to stick.

Happy mindful New Year!

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