As we start the second month of 2014, it occurs to me that many if not most (okay, maybe ALL?) of the resolutions that were made for the new year have either been forgotten or forsaken. Some people tend to make ambitious resolutions that are difficult to keep.
I personally gave up making resolutions a long time ago. I am not good at keeping them, and when I would make one and then fail to keep it, I just felt worse about myself. It seemed to be an indication that I had no will power and no follow through. It wasn't worth it, so I gave up the practice of even faking for making New Year's Resolutions.
I do believe in setting intentions and creating goals, however, whether it is the first of a new year or not. I believe that every new day offers an opportunity to be a better person, to practice patience and kindness, and to bring a smiling face to the people I meet during the day whether it is a friend for coffee or the grocery store clerk bagging my groceries.
One of the books that I have used to help me keep my intentions in recent years is The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. If you aren't familiar with The Four Agreements, I urge you to grab a copy of this relatively short but powerful book as soon as you can. If you are familiar with the book already, perhaps it is time for a refresher.
Specifically, the Four Agreements are as follows:
(1) Be Impeccable with Your Word;
(2) Don't Take Anything Personally;
(3) Don't Make Assumptions;
(4) Always Do Your Best.
Starting next week, I am going to elaborate on each of these agreements, one per week, for four weeks. I will speak to how I interpret these agreements, and how I try to practice each of them in my own daily life and practice.