January’s blog post had to come a little bit earlier. As a yoga instructor, blogger, and a person who does a lot of preaching, I’ve been picking my own brain about what New Year’s theme or motivation I can throw out there. I’ve been asking myself the following questions:
How do I motivate people to set New Year’s intentions?
How can I encourage people to stick to them?
Wait… do people even set them anymore?!
I was reading through other articles and blogs to get ideas. My notes became very focused on pushing people to change themselves in 2016. That seems to have always been the theme, right? Be better, do better. And then suddenly I stumbled upon one of my favorite quotes:
“Take Pride in how far you’ve come, have Faith in how far you will go.”
It was clear! Making changes in your life requires two things – 1. Having an idea of what you want your future to look like and how you will get there, but also, 2. Developing a sense of pride for how you got to where you are right now. How can I push people to make all these changes, shifts and corrections without taking time to reflect on all the changes, shifts and corrections that have already happened? So this is what I am offering you all these last few days of 2015: soak in and marinate into all that has happened this year.
Start by going back to January 1st, 2015. Can you remember the intentions you set for yourself? I can’t! However, if you can, or have them written down somewhere, take a look at those intentions without any judgment or expectation. Even if you don’t have a list to work from, start to ask yourself the following questions:
- What did, or didn’t you accomplish?
- What made your happy? What made you sad?
- What was the single most challenging thing you experienced?
- What did you receive? What did you let go of?
- What did you give?
- Where did you go?
- Who did you meet? Who did you let go of?
- Did you save money? How much did you blow?
- Did you take care of yourself physically, mentally, spiritually?
- What was the biggest thing you learned this year?
- Pick 3 words to describe 2015.
This list can go on and on. Dig deep and get creative. And then once all of your questions are answered, just sit with them. Again – with no judgment or expectation. Let yourself fill up on all that has happened, good or bad. Pat yourself on the back, wipe away the tears, enjoy a few moments of taking pride in how far you’ve come, soak it all in… and then let it all go. Free yourself from any attachments, and then take that same list and turn it into intentions (i.e., What do you want to accomplish? What will make you happy?). You’ll find that setting New Years intentions after first doing some self study, or Svadhyaya, puts things into a different perspective. It gives you faith in how far you will actually go. For me, it makes things more realistic. Time for reflection reveals my habits and weaknesses, while also highlighting my strengths and things that I can capitalize on. It brings a sense of gratitude and satisfaction to all I’ve been through, and softens the pressure to make so much drastic and rapid change. It allows me to be honest with myself, and I hope this post helps you to be more honest and light with yourself as you transition into the New Year. Have a Happy One!