Let’s get one thing clear: I'm not against New Year’s Resolutions. It’s just that I’ve found something better. There’s an almost sacred symbolism embedded in the New Year celebration, and I’m all for that. It’s a time for renewal, a time to review, reflect and re-prioritize for the year ahead. The problem is that it’s a whole year ahead, which means (a) it doesn’t take a year to make a stable change, and (b) it takes a lot less than a year to forget a promise you made to yourself.
Perhaps all went well with your last resolution. If so, you might like to stop reading. If not, join me, because this isn't an article about New Year’s resolutions. You won't feel like a failure, and I promise you, if you pick up these suggestions, you’ll have a better chance of creating real change in 2014.
Thanks to my yoga practice, I discovered the New and Full Moon Rhythm as an alternative to the New Year’s resolution, and when I started it felt like a “duh” moment — like, “Why haven’t I been doing this my whole life? It seems so sensible.” It also fits with my understanding of human behavior change and where my training as a clinical psychologist meets my training and practice as a yogini.
New Moon Resolutions and Full Moon Reflections have changed my life, and in watching clients I’ve seen this rhythm work equally well for yogis and non-yogis alike. Suffice it to say this approach isn’t unique to yoga. In many cultures, the new and full moon periods are sacred times for ritual, ceremony and the setting of intentions/goals.
Here are some suggestions on how to ignite your own New Moon Resolution practice, some examples from my personal approach, and a little extra information on the symbolism of this process.
First up, schedule the year ahead according the New or Full Moon. I like to use both (as I’ll explain further … the New Moon for setting new intentions and resolutions, and the Full Moon for reflecting on my journey) but you could simply use one or the other as a point to both reflect on the month that was and resolve for the month ahead.
New Moon: Begin Anew
The new moon is about new beginnings.
In terms of symbolism, at this time, the moon is located directly between the sun and earth, which means we can only see the side of it that's not lit by the sun. Like on New Year’s Eve, there’s a sense of intrigue and wonder about what will happen next. There’s a feeling of hope and potential for the next phase in the journey. It’s time to regenerate and reset.
Questions and Reflections