I’m not really a New Year’s resolution gal. It always seemed like an arbitrary time to dig my heels in and go after something. If there’s something that I want to do, I just do it. Admittedly, many of my actions are marked by compulsion, irrespective of the calendar. I don’t wait for a certain time of year to start creating what I want. I’m a work in progress around the clock. To focus on one specific thing for the year has always felt rather constrictive and suffocating to me. (What about all the other things I want to do??)
2018 is a little different, however.
In an attempt to reconnect with nature, I’ve been paying close attention to lunar cycles this past year. I’ve crafted some simple rituals and have started syncing up my intentions with the changing moons. It has given me a newfound respect for beginnings and endings, as well as a new lens with which to view the new year. There’s something to be said for a clean slate and a clear vision.
I'm carrying over some of my practices into 2018, and I'm sharing them with you today. The Earth is in orbit, after all, so we may as well just lean wit it, rock wit it. Here’s how we can use the start of a new year to our advantage.
1. Look to the past year.
Learn from it, grieve any losses, celebrate the wins.
That celebration part can be tough, I think. We tend to acknowledge where we’re falling short, where we don’t stack up, what needs to be fixed. But what about the the triumphs? The delights? The hard-earned successes? Where can you pat yourself on the back? Be sure to focus on that. There’s no sense in charging forward with new goals if you can’t honor the ones you’ve already accomplished.
What have you accomplished over the past year?
How have you made others feel great?
What’s one scary step that you took?
What has emerged in your life?
Is there a theme for the past year?
What was the dominant lesson you learned?
How do you feel about 2017 coming to a close?
What are you longing for in 2018?
2. Get clear for the new year.
Did you set a goal or resolution for yourself? Call it to mind. And then go deeper.
I want to spend more time in the gym.
I want to start a yoga practice.
I want to get out of debt.
I want to work on my marriage.
I want to lose 20 pounds.
I want to start eating healthier.
What is the underlying feeling you are seeking with your goal(s) for the new year?
Some folks like to choose a word to stay focused throughout the year. Some examples: peace, freedom, confidence, vitality, calm, excitement.
Focusing on how you want to feel delivers clarity for ALL of your decisions throughout the upcoming year. You can stop to ask yourself: Does this action bring me closer to or further away from how I want to feel?
If you’re having a tough time getting clear on the feeling, dig in deeper.
What do you want to project out into the world?
What are your values?
How do you want to show up for others?
How do you want to show up for yourself?
What makes you the most excited about the new year?
What are you committed to building in your life?
How do you see yourself a year from now?
How does it feel in your body to think about it?
3. Don’t wait.
Can you feel that feeling RIGHT NOW without it actually happening?
Can you have gratitude for achieving that thing even BEFORE it happens?
This is huge, healing and life-changing.
Sit in meditation after journaling. See yourself in the future. Combine that image with a positive feeling. Truly feel that in your body as you hold the image of your future self.
4. Notice your blocks.
When setting goals with my clients, one thing I always encourage them to do is prepare for setbacks. Not exactly the first thing you want to think about when embarking on a new exciting endeavor.
But eventually, the novelty wears off, and you’re faced with the same ol’ challenges. So figure out what they are. This might be logistical (how will I fit in exercise if I’m stuck late at the office), but I also encourage you to go deeper. 70% of our thoughts are negative and redundant. Are these negative mind loops and limiting beliefs holding you back?
We can be our own worst enemies. We can attach ourselves to old belief patterns, we can fail to see our own self worth, we can feel undeserving of new opportunities and therefore block the good things coming in.
Maybe self-sabotage is a dear old friend to you. If that’s the case, okay. Some of these thoughts have been anchored in for many years. Some of them are put on us by society. Acknowledge it. Honor how these patterns have perhaps served you in the past. And then be open to releasing what is no longer serving you. You can do this through therapy, meditation, EFT, journaling or quiet introspection. I use a combination of all 5. Release the blocks to make way for new opportunities that will help you feel the way you want to feel in the new year.
What are you leaving behind in 2017?
4. Want more?
If you want to continue this dialogue and experience a physical practice to go along with it, join me at 3 Bridges Yoga in Portsmouth, NH on Sunday, January 7th at 1pm. Through lecture and practice, you will examine, release and detox from cultural programming, limiting beliefs and trapped emotions that keep you from creating the change that you want.
This workshop is my response to diet culture telling us we must cleanse, purge and repent our food and body sins at the start of each year. #nope
Diet culture's New Year customs are not supportive of the body’s own rhythms and natural detoxification processes. In fact, drastic detoxes and quick fixes fail to get us the results we’re after, and can even do more harm than good.
We’ve got to GO DEEPER and look not only at what’s going on physiologically within the body, but what’s happening emotionally and energetically as well. This is how we truly detox.
This 2.5 hour intensive features a detoxifying practice - including asana, pranayama and guided meditation - along with a discussion where I will cover:
- How detoxification works in the body and how you can support it everyday
- How gut health affects overall health and what you can do about it
- The problem with low calorie diets when it comes to weight loss
- The fallacy of self care
- How you have the power to change your own genes
- What food has to do with all of it