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Personal Transformation, Self-Care, Yoga Student Tips

Forget New Years: Try Seasonal Resolutions

Originally published on Type A Yoga blog in October 2012

As we start transitioning into Fall, I feel like I am on a roller coaster click-clack-clicking its way up the lift hill. In another week or two I’ll begin the inevitable fast-paced descent, this curve is Halloween, then a few quick bumps and small hills into a banked curve of Thanksgiving, then a lazy slope until suddenly I’m into the double corkscrew twists of Christmas and New Years. From now until February, actually, several close friends and family members will have birthdays, including my own, and I know from experience in a couple of days I’ll be so busy trying to catch my breath for the next few months, I’ll have no idea where I am or what day it is. As a result, when NYE hits I’ll have grandiose plans for how to spend the next year with little momentum to put them into effect. That’s why I’m starting now…

I have a lot of changes I plan on making in the next year. For the last couple of years I’ve been hit by a number of challenges and surprises that have thrown me a bit off course, and I’d like to invest some time and energy in feeling a little more grounded. In order to make such powerful changes at such challenging times, though, I will need a game plan.

I’ve started making seasonal resolutions. These are small tasks that start to develop good habits, or ways I can make space for new activities, or perspectives I need to work on maintaining. I’d like to have more time to myself, sure, but who wouldn’t? Beginning to plan for some of those spaces in my schedule starts now in small ways. I can take 15 minutes a week for something now, and slowly expand it to a daily activity. By January it could grow to an hour or two.

I’d like to have more consistent eating habits. In order for that to be a productive goal, I need to understand why I don’t have those habits now. One of my seasonal resolutions is to take more time to observe my habits and notice the obstacles that have stopped me from being more proactive in the past. If I were to wait until January to correct an issue I’ve had for years, I’m pretty sure I’d have one solid grocery run and a handful of prepared meals before getting stuck or thrown off course. Making these small, preparatory changes now when I have a little more mental energy and sunlight could help a lot.

I’ve bought a couple of Groupons to encourage me to try new activities and hobbies, but if I don’t start clearing my schedule now, they will probably expire before I ever use them. I’m beginning to set aside time in my schedule for these activities so that I can see what will threaten to encroach on my best laid schemes.

While I would love to be an enlightened guru, unfettered and undisturbed by the comings and goings of the material world, I am sadly a much more flawed person than I’d like to be. As I have tried to “clean house” so to speak, I have encountered new obstacles and challenges, and I’ve developed emergency coping mechanisms that no longer serve me. If I wait until January to try to shake off the bonds I’ve tied over the last however many years, I think I’d just be setting myself up for failure.

So, if you too are flawed and in need of resolve, you might consider breaking up your resolution revolution in to easier to swallow pieces with me. Plus, if you slip a bit between now and NYE, you can just try again in a few months. Who said renewal had to have an annual subscription anyway?

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