Hope you all had a good start to the year! The holidays can be pretty intense, involving lots of eating, sitting and socializing with family and friends. In the middle of this, we also need some time for relaxation and reflection. I often find that there is little to no time left for this during Christmas itself, and first in the days before and after New Year's Eve I start to look back and set new goals.
When I was a kid, I had these padlock-sealed diaries that I wrote in every so often. Nowadays, I treasure these books so much. When I go back home in summer, and happen to find any of these books, it is both sweet and fascinating to read about the things my 10-year-old self was preoccupied with. These days, I collect a lot of thoughts, ideas and learnings randomly in various notebooks throughout the year. That said, these notes are often scribbled between yoga sequences and to do lists and how could I ever separate these thoughts and events if I didn't write it down in a more structured way?
For this reason, every year I sit down for a few days (yes it does take a while) to write down what happened in my life from month to month and most importantly how I felt about it. This provides a unique opportunity to look back and better understand what's been going on over the last 12 months. 2015 has been A LOT; settling in a new country, beginning a new job, starting to teach yoga, developing my yoga practice, building new friendships, getting married and much much more.
I think the best way to set new goals, is to first look back to see what has happened.
What moments and friendships did I cherish? What projects am I inspired to take further? What gave me value, health and happiness in 2015? How can I do more of that? What else do I want to bring into my life?
I actively follow quite a few writers and sites that have published posts on how to best meet this new year, and how to keep your resolutions.. In truth, we can actually evaluate and set goals at any time during the year. That being said, now is always a good time - and better than later.
I think the best takeaways from the articles I've read are these:
Make the goals measurable and clear. For example, if you want to bring more happiness into your life. Then write down a list of the things that make you happy.
Stake out a goal of how much time to dedicate to this each day or week:
1. Meditate 5 minutes - eg. each morning or night every day for two weeks
2. Go out with friends at least once a week
3. Try a new recipe or dish every week
4. Drink hot lemon water every morning
5. Commit to a 10 minutes simple stretch routine every morning or night
Write down the goals and share the goals with your partner or friend. When we share the goals with someone, the goals become more real.
Believe in yourself. We all have moments of doubt. On any journey, there is always gonna be some obstacles along the way, this includes moments of doubts, laziness or falling back to an old habit. But if the mind is focused, then we are far less likely to get entangled and lost as a consequence of such obstacles. For me, some of the best ways I know to refocus is to talk to a friend, exercise or meditate.
As I was writing and thinking about Doubt, this one popped up in my Youtube feed. Blige and Swift for you all.
Stay humble and allow for happiness in any shape or form!