3 Tips for a Better Start to your Year

Alright friends. It’s that time of year again. It is the time of year we all start hating on what we did not do this year and dream big about all we will accomplish in the next circle around the sun…. Then we get to February, notice we have not stuck to hardly any resolutions, our circle of bad self talk begins again. Let’s try something different this year. I’d like to introduce you to yoga. Check it:

  • Yoga Practice; we are called to continue our practice through our lives. Yoga explains that we work everyday to reconnect with our true nature and each time you hit your mat, that is a practice (#practicenotperfect).

  • The Niayma: Tapas. This ethic translates to discipline or persistence. It calls us to continually study our habits, our thoughts, and our ‘whys.’

  • Intensions & Manifestation: Our thoughts are powerful to create the life we want.

  • The Yiama: Ashima. We are taught to embrace ‘non-harm,’ so stop self hating. :)

  • From the Sutras: 1:17 Samadhi is the process of complete absorption brought on by reasoning, reflection, joy, and self understanding. Basically, we can't find our true selves or realize our full potential unless we continue our reflection & self - study.

What these philosophies are telling us is that reflecting on your year, setting yourself up for success for next year, and doing it with a mindset of growth rather than disappointment is a HUGE and unavoidable part of your off-mat practice. Not saying that is easy though. It is harddddddd. However, in 2018 I started following these 3 simple tips and it has improved my experience, track record, and perception of success.

  1. Celebrate your baby steps.

  2. Reflect on your year and write down every success you had. Focus on these instances rather than what you didn't do. For example, I HATE reading. I hate the action of it so so much, but I love the idea of it and want to be a regular reader so much. After college, the first book I read for fun took me 14 months to finish. That year I made a NY resolution that I would read 3 books the next year…. Obviously I didn't. But, I did get through an entire book and started a second, so during my end of year reflection, I celebrated that. I went from 1 book in 14 months to 1+ in 12. Baby steps are still steps forward.

  3. Set intentions instead of resolutions.

  4. This changed my life last year!! On a zoomed out, high level, they basically sound like the same thing. The difference is how they manifest inside your mind & actions. Resolutions are set decisions we make (ex. Go to the gym every week), when we fail, we are often left with feelings of guilt, dread, and frustrations. Resolutions focus only on the outcome and leave no room for growth in a natural human life way. Intentions create a plan or goal for a mindful change. You are creating a goal that might have multiple pathways to get there (ex. Move your body more). It builds in the idea of slip ups and celebrates baby steps towards new and life long habits that you will stick with even after that first year is over. Meaning, intentions are all about the journey. As humans, growth is a long process for us. We have to learn, try, fail, and try again. Intensions call you to offer yourself love, forgiveness, & grace as you learn and move forward.

  5. Pro tip for writing intentions: be realistic (Take my example above, in no way shape or form could I have realistically gone from 1 book in more than a year to 3 in under 1. I set myself up for failure from the start!).

  6. Write it out and then write those parts out.

  7. We set our intentions but the best way to set yourself up for success to also have a plan. Or at least an idea of one.

  8. Step 1. Write out your intentions once a week for the start of your year! By utilizing that law of attraction and manifesting what we need, yall!

  9. Step 2. Before January, write out a rough outline for each intention. Using our move your body example, you can start by writing out every single idea you have to do that. Call a friend once a week and catch up over the phone while you walk. What is an exercise you’ve always wanted to try? Write that down (I suggest yoga). Can you figure out how to take a real lunch break and take a short walk during it? All your ideas. Write them down.

  10. Step 3. Assign 1-2 of these ideas to each month of the next year! See which you like. Repeat the ones you love. Do what sticks and celebrate each attempt.

This year was FULL of ups & downs. There is no way you got through the last 365 days without learning… a lot. Take a moment and reflect on all of those lessons. Celebrate your wins. And then follow these steps and set yourself up for the best next year possible. AND, no matter what, make sure you offer yourself and others, love, forgiveness, grace, namaste friends.


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