When each year comes to an end, we see so many advertisements about dieting, starting the new year off right. We see stories about new year’s resolutions, how to keep them, and what goals to stay away from. We get advice about how to many achievable goals and what to do if we don’t meet the expectations we’ve set for ourselves.
Let’s face it, resolutions can be hard to keep. Even when we add goals with the best of intentions, often we find ourselves “failing”. Instead of being a wonderful new beginning, New Year’s can bring on stress and feelings of letting ourselves down. So many of our goals are either vague, like “I will eat better in 2017”, or we don’t take into account that a goal may not be achievable, like “I will go to the gym for an hour every day”. These two examples can set us up for failure. Why put that on ourselves?
Instead of trying to change our whole lives in one go, why don’t we take small steps towards that larger goal? Back in 2015, I added the resolution to do yoga each and every day that year. Sadly, I did not achieve that goal. I did, however, push myself to do more yoga than I had ever done. In 2016, instead of saying I would do yoga every day, I told myself I would do something good for me each day, whether it was eating a salad, meditating, or even doing yoga. While this is a vague concept, I think it helped me with the first step of embracing a yoga lifestyle, meaning I was becoming more present and aware in my life. By becoming more aware of how my body felt after a meal or what I was feeling in the morning, I was really attuned to what I wanted and what my body needed each and every moment of the day. From there, it was much easier for me to embrace yoga each and every day. In the mornings I soon observed that when I took time to meditate, I felt much better throughout the day. I also noticed that after just 15 minutes of yoga, I felt much more clarity and inner peace.
Ultimately, while I may not have done yoga every day this year, I am closer to reaching that goal. I have also successfully integrated meditation and pranayama (breathing practices) into my daily routine. This, combined with eating healthy based on my body’s needs and wants, has really illustrated that our goals are achievable. We just have to give ourselves a break and really start with creating self-awareness.
Cheers to 2017! Here’s to achieving greater awareness and being present.