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Chris Linnares, Published December 29 2011

Linnares: How about a revolution instead of a resolution for the new year?

This year I am celebrating New Year’s in Brazil with my family and friends. In my culture, there’s a tradition surrounding the holiday. Most Brazilians, including myself, dress in all white on New Year’s Eve

in order to bring good luck and peace for the year that will follow.

After midnight, everyone flocks to the beaches to jump seven waves while making a wish. This custom comes from the mix of African and Indian cultures that developed in Brazil. It has spread from one coast to the other.

I remember in 2007, being at the same beach I am today, wearing my white dress, jumping seven waves and making one wish: “Lose my baby weight so next year I won’t look like a jumping giant marshmallow on the beach”

According to surveys, only 8 percent of people successfully achieve their New Year’s resolutions. That specific year, unfortunately, I was part

of the 92 percent. When I looked back, one of the reasons I didn’t accomplish my resolution was because I used the wrong word.

Resolution is an intention or a determination – a force existing only in one’s mind. If we truly want to provoke significant changes for the year ahead we need a New Year’s revolution, which means complete and forcible overthrow, radical and pervasive change. In other words, taking massive action.

Resolutions are easy. Most of us make them at least once a year. A revolution, on the other hand, is something you may not have made for a long time in your life.

To revolutionize any areas of our lives – our health, our relationships or our careers – we need to make some sacrifice. I remember how much I hated the “S” word when I was battling to lose my weight. I really wanted to be able to fit in my old Brazilian jeans, but I didn’t want to sacrifice my new American discovery … Chunky Monkey ice cream.

What was stopping me from achieving my goal was a misunderstanding of the word sacrifice.

To me the word sacrifice meant forcing myself to do what I didn’t want and losing what I really wanted. But the origin of the word sacrifice comes from Latin/Old French/Middle English words “sacer” (sacred) and “facere” (to make).

Where did the original meaning of “to make sacred” go? I realized I needed to gain my health back by making my body sacred.

Four years later, here I am in Brazil again. But this time, I am able to feel comfortable in my white dress jumping seven waves. This is possible because I made a decision to revolutionize my life by “making sacred” my wishes, even when they involve changes that I may perceive as a “loss.”

What are your wishes for 2012? What do you want to make sacred in your life?

Welcome to the revolution!

Chris Linnares is an international author, Brazilian psychotherapist and creator of Diva Dance. She is the founder of Naturally Diva and Diva Connection Foundation for women’s health and empowerment. Contact her at chris@naturallydiva.com.