We’re three days into 2020 and I am ready to hit the ground running and create new goals for the new year. While I’m not big on making resolutions (partly because I never stick to them and partly because I think you can make them at any time during the year), I came up with a few goals—both personally and professionally—that I am going to hold myself accountable for.
Before I get to sharing my goals for 2020 (making them public is a great way to hold oneself accountable!), I wanted to tell you about my New Year’s Eve plans. Typically, I stay in—turn on the television, watch the New Year’s Eve chatter on various stations until the ball drops at midnight, and then go to bed. In short, it’s nothing exciting and pretty much the same scenario each year. But this year was different. I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram in the days leading up to 2020 when I stumbled upon a local center offering a New Year’s Eve meditation. I thought it sounded more interesting than sitting on the couch all evening and figured what could be better than entering the new year in a peaceful meditative state? So, the day before, I registered to attend and prepared to clear my mind of all the clutter it had accumulated in 2019.
This was my first time in a formal meditation center (although I meditate every night using the Calm app) and I had no clue what to expect. When I arrived, I was greeted by others who also thought meditating into the new year sounded like a restorative way to kick off the next decade—and I even saw a few friends in attendance, which put me at ease.
We were let into the temple promptly at 10:30 pm and had the option of meditating for the next hour and a half in a chair or sitting on a pillow on the floor. I opted for a chair in the front row and settled in. Our teacher took his place before us and we eased into our meditation practice, which included chants and mantras that were interrupted only by our teacher’s soothing voice as he guided our thoughts. While I struggled to follow along with the chants, my mind quickly tuned in to his words.
Throughout the meditation, the topic of having a strong and stable mind arose. As we came closer to entering the new year, our teacher offered us some wisdom: that of all the things we could strive for in life, having a positive and virtuous mind should be a priority. I thought about that for a moment and then I thought about the people in my life. The people that most ease my worries are the ones with a light and optimistic mindset. They are the ones who pay no attention to the small stuff or let things get under their skin. They handle stress well and easily put things in perspective. They are the people that I most look forward to spending time with for merely being in their presence makes me a better person. I thought about those people during my meditation and took each word our teacher spoke to heart.
As the clock struck midnight and we entered 2020, I felt grateful, peaceful, and hopeful. My troubles from 2019 had been washed away and I was starting 2020 anew. I was in control of my future and I had the power to control my thoughts and my mind, which felt both liberating and empowering. Moving forward, I have a mission and a purpose in the new year and I look forward to seeing how by embracing this idea of a strong and stable mind it can improve my outlook and my life.