It’s almost time for 2017…. wow! This is a time full of reflection across the country. And it is a great time for reflecting on the past year and setting goals for the future. For some of us, this task is riddled with anxiety because year after year we set lofty, unrealistic goals and we feel like total failures when we don’t accomplish these goals. But have no fear! Before you pick your “New Year’s Resolution,” think about incorporating the following strategies
- Set an Intention rather than a Goal: when we set a goal, this is something that must be accomplished or else… we fail. Just because we don’t accomplish something, doesn’t mean we are failures! Try to set an intention this year rather than a goal. SO rather than saying “I will lose 10 lbs” (which is a terrible resolution for multiple reasons), you can say “I will prioritize my health”. Instead of “I will earn $90,000”, you could say “I will spend money consciously”. In fact, a lot of areas in our lives would improve if we simply acted more consciously…
- Look Inward rather than Outward: think about where you fell short this last year – and think about what caused the shortcomings. A lot of these causes were probably completely outside of your control! So rather than trying to change something outside of your control, look inward to try to change how you view the situation. Your resolution could be “I will be happier”, but for those of us prone to lower moods, we may need to be more specific, like: “for every negative thought, I will counter with a positive one”. Or, instead of saying “I will be less stressful at work” you could say “I will practice pranayama (conscious breathing) whenever I feel stressed out”.
- Think about your Mental and Physical Health: a lot of people make lofty goals like running a marathon, or becoming a raw-paleo-pescatarian. For a lot of us, goals like these simply are not healthy for our physical or mental health. If your body or mind isn’t ready to run a marathon, don’t force yourself to run one! (a marathon won’t make you any healthier or happier than you already are, believe me) So for physical goals, try something like “I will explore nature every day” or “I will move my body for 30 minutes every day”. And as for diet, I always recommend to avoid a “diet”. If you want to improve your eating habits, there are plenty of ways to eat healthier without restricting yourself to a diet. For instance, you could say “I will eat mindfully” (i.e. not while watching TV or using the phone). Mindful eating helps so much for those of us that struggle with portion control, emotional eating, or overeating. So rather than following an inflexible fitness or diet goal (for no obvious reason), try to simply shift your habits to be healthier for the rest of your life.
- Don’t be discouraged if you fall short, remember that You are Perfect: even if you miss a day of your new intention, don’t be discouraged. Remember that you are perfect just as you are – right here, right now. Just pick up where you left off to make your new intention a lifelong habit. January 1st is an absolutely arbitrary day when we are talking about the grand scheme of your life. So smile and move on 🙂
So before you jump head-first towards the first intention that sounds appealing, think about what you need most this year in order to live the happiest, healthiest year of your life! Spend some time in a quiet space with a journal before you make your decision. And feel free to post your unique, amazing intention in the comments below. Have a spactacular year, everbody!