I believe we all have the capacity to start over anytime. To wipe the slate and to choose different things for ourselves whenever we make that commitment to reach for something better for our lives. And that can happen on the 1st January, the 23rd of May or the 3rd of September at 1.02am. The time is irrelevant. What is important is the COMMITMENT to the intention and the ENERGY from which it is made.
As a yoga teacher and a life coach I see many people swept away with the enticing glamour of the New Year resolution. What I am much more interested in is working with people to make lasting positive change in their life that sticks.
Like in the ad, “a dog isn’t just for Christmas”, well, I believe that “resolutions are not just for New Year!” Here are my top tips for making your resolutions not just last the year but be the long term positive change in your life you are looking for:
- Your resolution is positive not negative. Ie. Not to lose weight but to gain fitness.
- It comes from an energy of love rather than fear. Ie. I have to got to a yoga class each week as I am so worried about my weight v’s which class would I just love to go to, that I look forward to, that is me giving a gift of time to myself each week.
- That your resolution is heavily and frequently reward based. Ie. Every day I cook a proper dinner/spend extra time with the kids/go to the gym/whatever I will reward myself with a long hot bath/new magazine/nice glass of red. When you are trying to change a particularly stubborn/old habit you cannot reward yourself too much or too often as start to establish the newly resolved habit.
- Your resolution is aligned with who you really are. You resolution needs to resonate with who you really are, not some mythical idea of this perfect being in your head. It comes from a place of accepting who you are ( ie. I will never be Cindy Crawford) but moves you to being the best you you can be (fit, toned, healthy, happy)
- That there is a full awareness of the benefits, not just short term but long term. Ie. Getting fit. 3 month benefit will fit into my jeans. 1 year benefit: be able to hike the Tongariro Crossing. 5 year benefit: be able to go skiing with my children. 10 year benefit: better quality of life in retirement. Long term focus helps you to keep your eye on the prize.
- Resolve with discernment. Choose a maximum of 3 resolutions and bring your commitment and focus to achieving them. You don’t have to wait until next January if you achieve them, you can revise or add to them when you like, but keep that initial focus narrow so you can actually achieve. Better to have 3 resolutions and achieve them than make 10 and achieve none.
- Enjoy the journey not just the destination. That’s why it’s called a yoga practice people, not a yoga destination. But the best way to become flexible is to enjoy the journey of classes each week rather than focusing on the end goal of flexibility. That’s what makes any resolution so much easier to stick to, when we enjoy the process of it rather than forcing ourselves through something we hate just to get to some pre-resolved end point.
So, there you have it: if you are choosing to make resolutions this New Year I hope these tips help you to move forward in the direction of your dreams!
What are you resolving (or not!) for 20__?