As the end of the year approaches, I find myself looking back and taking stock. Last year on New Year’s day I took a two hour yoga class. In the first hour, we honored and released 2016 - Keeping the lessons and letting go of any regrets. The second hour was for setting our intentions for 2017. We wrote on index cards what we’d like to accomplish in 2017. This week, while teaching a yoga class, I pulled a book out of my bag and that card fell out. After class I stopped to read the card. I was amazed, I had accomplished almost everything on the card! The three items that I didn’t complete, are already scheduled for 2018!
We often feel, as we look back on a year, that we didn’t do anything we set out to do. We may feel yet another year has passed us by and we’re not sure where we are, or our place in the world. This reflection can be overwhelming. But when we have written confirmation that we did succeed, and moved forward, and made a difference in our own lives and maybe even someone else’s life, we can enter the new year satisfied and invigorated for whatever may unfold in the upcoming year.
Take time this weekend, while reflecting, to journal. Make note of the good and the bad of 2017. In a very tumultuous year, it may seem that there weren’t any good things that happened, but I think you’ll be surprised if you think about the year in total. Then take time to look forward to 2018. What do you want to do, where do you want to be and most importantly, how do you want to feel? Personally, when my resolutions look like a “to-do” list, I’m less excited to get started. Be cautious of unattainable goals that set you up to fail. It doesn’t feel good to start the year off with a list of broken resolutions! Rarely do people keep a resolution for a full year, 80% fail by the second week in February! 92% of people who choose “getting healthy” as a resolution will not succeed. Why is it so hard? We set goals that are either too vague or too overwhelming.
I think the big thing to remember when heading into the new year is to stay present. It’s not always about the long-term “big” goals. Appreciate the moment that you’re in every moment of the day. Learning to live with gratitude is the real key to a successful year. From that mindset, goals are easier to achieve.
Give yourself some wiggle room. Set some goals or intentions for the new year. But enjoy the process of working towards achieving them, rather than being attached to the outcome. The path may not look exactly how you envisioned, but you’ll be better off for the journey.
I hope that you have a safe and happy New Year and that 2018 brings you joy.