New Year’s resolutions can sometimes be a negative experience. We persuade ourselves that there are things we just have to give up, before we can be ok. Very often, we’re deferring our happiness, to some future moment, when we’ll be thinner, fitter or more spiritual.

And often the paths we choose to get to these states of perfection are so extreme that they’re very hard to keep. This creates a heady cocktail of unrealistic expectations, unkept promises and guilt. Maybe not such a great way to start the year.

Meditation is the practice of being in the here and now. Instead of putting off our enjoyment of life, it means learning a quiet acceptance of this moment, and ourselves, whether or not all the details are ‘perfect’. If you can learn to sit with your mind for 10 minutes, concentrating on something relatively boring, like your breath, so many other things become easier to handle too.

It’s not a huge time commitment, you don’t need to squeeze yourself into leggings or show up for a class, and you don’t have to abstain from burritos or chocolate (in fact, if you try mindful eating, you might eat less of them, and enjoy them more). But in return for that small investment of time you get something amazing: a clearer, calmer mind.

That means being a little more patient with your partner, a little less stressed, a little more focussed. It means having more room for the people around you. Over the course of a year all these positive changes can really add up.

So this year, we’d like to gently suggest, that starting your meditation practice with Headspace could be just the resolution you were looking for.