I have read so many blogs and articles in the last couple of days that loudly declare that we should not make resolutions for the New Year. Resolutions are goals you will never accomplish. They set you up for failure. You will only be disappointed with yourself in the end.
I have to admit I am not disagreeing with these writers. I also am not a resolutions kind of girl. If you knew you me you might think this strange. I am psychotically goal oriented. I also have a tendency to commit myself to projects whole-heartedly, projects I usually create for myself, only to get so tangled up and over scheduled that I’m exhausted by the end of the day and shouting about how there are just not enough hours to get it all done until I am reminded that I have done this to myself. So, you would think creating goals for the next year would be right up my alley. You might imagine me with lists and vision boards and steps on how to make it all come to be, but I don’t.
Of course there are moments and events I am dreaming about, hoping they fall into my timeline of: This happened in 2015. There are certain goals I want achieve within my yoga practice, my writing, and my dreams for this blog. There are trips I want to take, shows I want to see, and friends I want to spend time with. At the same time I want to remain open. I want to be open to all of the possibilities that are out there, including the things I can’t even begin to dream about yet because I am unaware of that they even exist.
So, what to do? Do I tell you to make your resolutions and go after them with a fierce intensity or do I tell you to let it all flow? Well, I’m going to tell you to do both. It doesn’t have to be December 31st in order to take stock in what has come into your life thus far and reach for the things yet to come. This can happen at any time, but we think of this New Year as exactly that – new. And, therefore, it is a time we frequently start to make preparations to go after the life we think we would like. I say ‘think’ because most of us have no idea what we really want or what is really going to make us happy.
There is nothing wrong with dreaming about the future or setting goals. If you have a goal or a dream see what you can do to achieve it. What steps do you have to take? Every journey starts with that single step, so maybe don’t think of goals as an endpoint. I think that this is the trap that most of us get hung up on. If you achieve a goal or get what you were dreaming for that is a beautiful journey that you’ve taken to bring this experience into your life, but it most certainly has not definitively ended. A new goal or dream is always waiting just around the corner, waiting to reveal itself to you and build upon the goals and dreams already achieved.
Balance is key. The beginning of a New Year makes us rush toward our goals in a feverish, uncentered way. We grab for what we want, demanding it from ourselves and from the Universe instead of taking each day to allow them to become part of us little-by-little, step-by-step, until suddenly what we dreamed for is a very real part of who we are and, therefore, not going anywhere.
As a yoga teacher I see this very often at the beginning the year. Classes are full and crowded with people looking for something that will bring them happiness, health, and peace. Yoga will do that for you, but it’s going to take longer than a month. It’s going to take longer than a year. It’s going to be a long road ahead and you must be willing to do the work and allow the magic to happen – to let it flow.
About 4 years ago around the month of August I declared that all I really wanted for Christmas was to be able to get into Standing Head to Knee Pose (my nemesis posture at the time). Everyday I would try my hardest, I would ask my teachers questions, I would square off with myself in the mirrors – I was totally going to make this happen. Did it happen by Christmas? No. I had miles to go in that posture before I truly understood it, but setting that goal made me go further than I would have if I hadn’t. It simply wasn’t time and the body and the mind were not there yet. It actually didn’t happen the next Christmas either, but six months after that I was there.
I set the goal to go after something I wanted, but I realized there was no use in beating myself up about it when it didn’t happen when I wanted it to. I had to pay attention, keep learning, stay open, and allow it into my life. And I’m glad I stuck with it. The time would have passed anyway and what I learned from the experience is immeasurable. So, if you are a resolutions kind of person I’d like you consider a couple of things before jot down what you would like 2015 to hold for you:
- Know why you are setting this goal or going after this dream. Be real with yourself – why do you want this thing or experience? Maybe get quiet and meditate about it or dedicate a yoga class to that corner of your mind.
- Be realistic about when you would like it to come to fruition. If you don’t have the grip in Standing Bow Pulling Pose, but want to be in standing splits take the first steps towards achieving this by coming to class and working for that grip, but know it will probably take longer than a year to get into the splits. Be okay with that. Let 2015 be the year you started to get serious about what you want. And this does not have to pertain only towards your yoga practice, it pertains to anything in your life.
- Allow it to happen. Work hard everyday towards what you want, but know that some of the best things that come into your life are not handed to you, but instead are a ton of hard work and take a lot of time. Everyday is a step towards what you want. Concentrate on what you want, work hard and it will come to you. There is no need to grab for it, manipulate a situation, or get frustrated, just allow it to come to you and trust that it will.
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? I would love to hear what you have planned. What is your experience with setting big goals? How did you go about achieving what you want in life? Comment below or head to the VFTP Facebook Page and tell me what you think.
Much light and love to all of you in the New Year ahead!
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