Once someone asked Osho, “If one were to make only one New Year’s resolution, what would you suggest?” And Osho, in his inimitable style, said, “This and only this can be the New Year’s resolution: I resolve never to make any resolutions because all resolutions are restrictions for the future. All resolutions are imprisonments. You decide today for tomorrow. You have destroyed tomorrow. Allow the tomorrow to have its own being. Let it come in its own way! Let it bring its own gifts. Resolution means you will allow only this and you will not allow that. Resolution means you would like the sun to rise in the west and not in the east. If it rises in the east, you will not open your windows; you will keep your windows open to the west. Resolution is struggle. Resolution is ego. Resolution is saying, ‘I cannot live spontaneously’. And if you cannot live spontaneously, you don’t live at all — you only pretend. So let only one resolution be there: I will never make any resolutions. Drop all resolutions! Let life be a natural spontaneity. The only golden rule is that there are no golden rules.”
And naturally, the question will arise if we don’t make new resolutions, how do we change our old habits, bring something new in our lives? To understand the real meaning of Osho’s comment, we have to go deeper into the mechanism of the mind. It is the rational mind that is behind the new resolutions that we make. They spring from our past and unconscious behaviour. Before deciding to make a new resolution, try to understand the nature of the habit and behavioural science. A habit has strong roots in the body and mind; therefore, habits are automatic, conditioned responses. Brain researchers say that it takes at least 66 days to form a new habit or change an old one. This is too long a gap between our resolution and the actual change of the pattern. Nobody has patience and perseverance to wait till the habit changes by itself. That’s why we think we have failed, and wow, that we will never resolve again. But the key is that the resolution has to be done by the heart, not by the mind. The mind is always indecisive, and the heart is ever resolved, undivided. Because the heart is not divided, it can determine unwaveringly. Another suggestion: If you want to be successful, don’t have big goals, start with small actions, they are easy to fulfil. Instead of saying “exercise more”, decide not to use the elevator, or walk for 20 minutes. Don’t order yourself to eat healthier, have fresh fruits, and veggies for lunch. If your heart is in the decision, your success rate will be very high.