Create Lasting Change
As we embark on a new year it is very easy to set lofty goals and determine that THIS IS OUR YEAR. And then after a couple of weeks, our lives take over and we are left feeling disappointed in ourselves for not staying the course. For not crushing each and every intention we set. But there is a trick.
The trick is doing the work in small bits every day.
Examples of my goals:
- Come into extended compass pose
Each morning, I spend 5 minutes doing yoga poses that open the upperback and hamstrings.
That is it. I am not going to force myself into the pose each day and then belittle myself for no progress. Simply doing the work that will get me to that pose is all I can do.
- Come from a space of more peace.
Each day, when I feel the most anxious, I will set a timer and simply take deep, full breaths for 5 minutes. There is no need to add a 30 minute meditation at the beginning of my morning routine. For me, in the morning I am busy enough and don’t need to shame myself for skipping the mediation when I choose to hit snooze.
- Have a certain amount set aside for a trip
Once a week, I will make a choice, am I going to go out to eat or buy a coffee or am I going to put that money in savings with the travel earmark? There is no need to give up eating out entirely or never have a bougie coffee again. Simply make one change. And celebrate it.
I ran into a problem when I tried Dave Ramsey a few years ago. I did not build in daily pleasure. I did not allow for “fun” in the current status because it was counter to my (aggressive) goals. And as a yogi I am adamant about the balance between our present lives and our future lives.
We have to be careful living too much in the present, sometimes this can lead to excess and gluttony. With no thought to the future, all of sudden we are 65 with no retirement.
But we also need to be mindful that our lives are happening right now. And we deserve joy today (and tomorrow).
As you set your intentions for 2021, I invite you to do so in a manner of ease. Maybe set a first quarter goal and then at the end evaluate how that goal served you and set a different one for Q2. Maybe by month four of the year you are ready to add 20 minutes of morning yoga to your routine or perhaps a dedicated time of day to meditate. Or you had a book to your reading list with the goal of ten minutes a night before bed. Essentially, remove the barriers to joy so that your goals can be easily celebrated and accomplished with less reason to judge yourself.