Don’t Wait for the New Year to Make Some Changes

Alice5

“I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”

Why wait for a new year to make changes in your life that you desire? As human beings, we are literally changing every day, every hour, every minute, every second! Small and quick, invisible changes. Large and slow, lifestyle changes. Although it is important to observe the changes you experience on a regular basis, setting New Year’s Resolutions can be helpful in shaping one’s intentions in their life and provide some time of reflection about their overall identity. Engaging in dialogue with ourselves concerning our actions, expectations, and goals is a good way to learn more about ourselves. Our individual identities are complex and difficult puzzles. We have to find pieces that fit together. Yet, a wonderful experience lies in adding pieces to the puzzle and seeing things come together.

In order to accomplish any goal, you have to start with what you have, where you are. Resist the urge to compare yourself to others as best as you can. Don’t dwell on how successful others may seem in the area of change that you are getting involved in. If you’re engaging in a new exercise, art form, social group, or habit, make sure that you are doing it for yourself. Recently, my specific goal has become nurturing my daily yoga practice. It is HARD. I get caught up in thinking about master yogis who practice 4 hours a day, over the course of decades. Taking responsibility to find the time to practice each day has been a huge challenge. I’ll be honest, I have skipped days. It doesn’t feel good. But, when I’m able to do just a little bit, maybe 10 minutes, that can be enough for me to continue weaving this new habit, this new change into my daily life. There have been weeks where I’ve practiced well over 7 hours of yoga, making major progress.

Create resolutions that include specific goals. Recording your progress is a helpful way to see how far you’ve come. When you write or imagine a manageable set of tasks that serve your overall goal, your intention becomes clear. Writing out when I will practice yoga in a to-do list or day-planner gets me committed. It keeps the goal in the forefront of my consciousness. I love the benefits of my daily practice, so it’s worth continuing. I feel more relaxed, energized, successful, connected, and in tune with my body. Writing down all of the time I’m putting into my yoga practice is really helping me feel accomplished and builiding momentum to make this change stick.

Don’t forget that you don’t have to wait for a new year to create some desired changes in your life. Each day is a new opportunity for us to shape our lives and decide who we want to be. The person you were New Year’s Eve has changed by the time New Year’s Day arrives. Bigger overall lifestyle changes come with a lot of smaller specific changes a long the way. By appreciating how far you have come in a day can motivate you to keep going to see how much you change in a week, month, or even year.

The annual celebration of a year coming and going can provide motivation to make desired changes. Just remember to start wherever you are and determine that these changes you will undergo serve you in a positive and self-loving way. Maintain a specific schedule of smaller goals that you can check off and record to keep you on track. Don’t forget to pause and appreciate how far you’ve come and how much can change in just a day.

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