How to make and keep New Year's resolutions from Buddhist perspectives
Table of contents [Hide]
- 1. Planning and achieving your resolution
- 1.1. Stage 1: Evaluating your resolutions
- 1.2. Stage 2: Committing to your resolutions
- 1.3. Stage 3: Reaching your resolutions
- 2. Achieving resolutions from Buddhist perspectives
- 2.1. The cause and effect of success in this life
- 2.2. What to do to reach your resolutions
As a new year comes, everyone tends to wish for something new and aspires to enhance their lives as well as develop and reinvent themselves. The success of a goal depends on the following factors. Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh showed us amazing ways to make and keep resolutions according to the Buddhist view.
1. Planning and achieving your resolution
1.1. Stage 1: Evaluating your resolutions
The first stage is to assess your New Year's resolutions. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your goal practical or necessary?
- How significant is this to your life?
- Is it a short-term or long-term goal?
- Is this easy or challenging to achieve?
Ensure your New Year's resolutions are clear and specific, as taking on too much may lead to distractions. Thus, concentrate your efforts on major goals or core projects.
In addition, consider how well your skills and abilities align with your goals. Take into account the pros and cons, as well as changes in all circumstances when planning a future goal, which could be at new year or a specific period.
1.2. Stage 2: Committing to your resolutions
The second stage involves committing to your New Years resolutions, keeping track of them, and bearing them in mind. It largely depends on your willpower, determination, and perseverance. Will you be scared or discouraged to carry it out?
1.3. Stage 3: Reaching your resolutions
The final stage is a continuation of the previous two. If you stick to the first two steps of selecting a goal, researching it thoroughly, and then committing to it, your chances of success will be high.
2. Achieving resolutions from Buddhist perspectives
2.1. The cause and effect of success in this life
From the Buddhist viewpoint, your success is not only determined by how well you prepare for the first two stages; it also has much to do with your prior karma and the blessings you have that support your success.
Karma is an ability generated through our actions. It is invisible but has the power to govern and control us, much like inertia in Physics. For example, when we are riding a bike and then stop pedaling, it still moves us forward. Similarly, when we take actions through our body, speech, and mind, we immediately generate a capacity known as karma.
In the Vanijja Sutta: Trade, the Buddha explained why some people achieved incredible success beyond their intentions, some achieved success as planned, while others were unsuccessful.
A person's success in this life comes from good deeds accumulated in past lives. Specifically, if one vowed to undertake a good deed in past lives, such as supporting and helping a Buddhist monk, but then they broke their promises, that karma will make it more difficult for that person to succeed in whatever business he or she engages in. On the contrary, if one did exactly as promised, his or her work would be successful.
If one assisted energetically and more than he or she promised, his or her work and business would be tremendously more successful than expected in this lifetime.
Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh also shares more: "Your reluctant pursuit of something in past lives will shape the karma of leaving things unfinished. It can accompany you to this life, making you pursue things half-heartedly, or "soon hot, soon cold," which is hard for you to gain success.
In the case where you have negatively affected many people, like hindering others' success, good intentions and acts in previous incarnations, youll get the retribution of meeting obstacles to accomplish your goals in this life.
As you can see, one's karma from previous lives significantly impacts on their performance in this life. Many individuals in society put forth a lot of effort and have foresight, yet they still fail. Conversely, some people are successful or incredibly successful despite putting in little effort.
2.2. What to do to reach your resolutions
Buddhism provides a more comprehensive picture of a matter, showing how the past affects the present. If you want to reach your goals and objectives, you should build your good karma first, by cultivating a good and pure mind from now on. Then, those acts of compassion will increase your chances of receiving other good karma, which can help you achieve your goals with ease.
In brief, achieving your goals depends not only on your self-effort in your present life but also on the impact of karma from your prior lives. If you continuously strive and cultivate yourself, the negative karma from the past will fade away and be replaced with good karma. Then, success will come to you.