One month into 2019 and I’m wondering how many resolutions have disappeared from mind, as quickly as the calendar has flipped January over into February. (Yes, I still have a calendar hanging up on the kitchen wall - no google calendar for me yet!) We usually begin the new year with enthusiasm for new plans, new hopes, but it turns out that changing long-standing habits and thought patterns is not as easy as it felt after a few glasses on the last day of 2018!
I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching during the first 31 days of 2019 and here’s the process that I’ve found helpful to navigate the changes I’m bringing to life from this month forward…..
1. Look back at 2018 and review the joys and challenges the year. Recently I’ve been working on a program and this was the first mission we were set. Our phones are great for looking back through photos snapped during the year. It brings back lots of memories and feelings, we relive the joys and challenges we faced. This is a great exercise as I think we tend to focus on the ‘big ticket’ moments and forget those spontaneous moments captured when out in nature or catching people (known or anonymous) in funny situations or remembering those long-shared lunches with friends we seldom connect with. And reviewing the year’s challenges can be approached as an exercise in revelation, as there is usually a lesson learnt. This allows us time to pause, contemplate and see the gift we were offered.
2. Next think about what you did, created or experienced last year that you’re really proud of. How often do we fall into the trap of listening to that little (but sometimes big) critical voice in our head? We forget our small accomplishments that help to shape us, that make us stronger and more resilient. I’m most proud of myself for stepping up and buying my yoga teacher’s business here on the island, and running a series of yoga workshops…..oh yes, that had me out of my comfort zone, but I did it!
3. And along with remembering what was great – what mistakes did you make, and like those challenges, what can you learn from them? Reviewing our mistakes can help bring understanding for what went wrong and how we can do better next time. Realizing sometimes circumstances are out of our control and we’re along for the ride, things can go wrong….that’s life. But if I’m honest I can see that without proper planning and a big dose of self-doubt some hoped for projects didn’t see the light of day – last year, but this year it’ll be different as I know what I can do differently!
4. In my yoga classes I’m always teaching the need to let go of emotions and thoughts that no longer serve us….so what can you let go of? Looking back over 2018 I’m seeing I’m holding onto resentments, perceived hurts, misguided anger and unrealistic expectations that must be released. Some of the stories I’ve been telling myself, new ones and ones I’ve been regaling year after year, must go as they are not true and are disempowering. I can’t carry the heavy load of rubbish beliefs into 2019 and beyond.
5. Look ahead. What do you want your life to be and what would you like to achieve this year? Setting an intention is all well and good, but to successfully bring the intention to life, we need to have a WHY….without a WHY we can get stuck in procrastination and can kiss our best intentions goodbye. So, whether your WHY is good health, clarity, strength, power, love or something else, know your WHY.
So, what were my greatest joys in 2018? Stepping on my mat, new trainings, and actually anything yoga-related, as well as time spent connecting with friends. And challenges were property related, maintenance and upkeep of my house is a biggie for me, and as in the previous 6 years….living life without my husband. How many lessons do I need about inner strength and resilience I wonder??
Take some time to consider the year ahead and hopefully you’re heading into February with excitement, joy and anticipation for what’s to come.
Oh, and my WHY….clarity and strength – watch this space for some exciting new projects and dreams I’ll be bringing to life!
The pic accompanying this blog is of my favourite contemplation spot only a 20 minute walk, through beautiful bush, from my home. I encourage you to get out in nature, take in the beauty around you, and sit, listen, be present, wait and be guided.