Updated: Feb 19, 2022
The start of a new year.
A flood of emotions come rushing at us thinking about the past, present, and future.
We are saturated with endless suggestions from outside sources about how to turn things around in the new year.
Being new to the fitness & wellness industry, I struggled with how to approach this time of year. After much thought, I have landed on an approach that I feel comfortable with.
What follows are the basic ingredients I have found necessary for change. I offer them to you as someone who is still figuring out the full recipe. May we both use these ingredients for a 2022 full of hope and happiness.
1. Everything is Already Within You
Whatever it is that you want, is already within you. You want to be more honest? You have the capacity to be honest. You want to find more focus? You have the ability to be focused. As human beings, we have so much potential. The problem is that we think we need something outside of ourselves to make it happen. A product, a book, even a virtual yoga community are great tools to help you get where you want to be, but YOU are the only one that can make what you want happen. And YOU have all you need within you to succeed. If you doubt your ability to make things happen, perhaps you begin by just working on this. You can work on it by slowing down and listening to yourself.
2. Slow Down
In order to find out what we are, we have to slow down. I know, I know - we all have deadlines and timelines. It's hard to get out of that frame of mind - but if you're chained to those things then you may not be reaching your ultimate potential.
Are you happy? If you're not, then something needs to change. Try to think of it in tiny bits. Making one small change will make a difference. No need to uproot your whole life. Start tiptoeing toward happiness, and it will unfold for you.
Remember, it's within you already - it just needs to be found! So we have to sloooooow down. Choose the way you want to do this - there are so many options (yoga isn't the only one!) Basically, just lose yourself in an activity you love. Exercise, Write. Read. Meditate.
3. Identify and Live by Your Values
People who can identify their values ~and~ live by them, lead happier lives. I started calling this "values based decision making." As you're making a decision, bring your values to mind and ask if it matches. Make your decisions and take action accordingly. The more we live by what feels right in our heart, the happier we will be. I have been working on this for the last few months and have felt a lot of success.
This may sound daunting, and it can be. This is, again, where slowing down will help you. Do you know your general values but can't hear your inner voice yet? Or can't stop engaging in that behavior? Slow down. Sit with it. Something within you needs to be nurtured. You'll get there soon enough.
4. Dream Big, Make a Plan
This section is inspired by a Ted Talk given by a Stanford University Professor.
We can be so grounded in reality that we forget to dream. Doing some dreaming, ask yourself:
~ What is the type of life I want to create?
~ How do I want to feel in my life?
Then, sketch out three possible life paths, one of which is continuing the life you have now. Sit with it. How does it feel? Which one feels most authentic?
5. Create Systems
A system is a structure, organization, or method to get you where you need to be. Create systems to achieve your dreams. Create systems to allow you to slow down and find your happy place. Create systems to live by your values. Only you can know the system that will work for you. Here are some systems we can implement in our lives:
Routines keep us moving in the right direction - toward our dreams, our realization of self, or whatever you're working on.
Boundaries are guard rails we use to keep ourselves safe. We create boundaries with others and with ourselves. A boundaries system can keep our world from spinning out of control.
We use intentions in yoga to keep us focused on something larger than just the yoga poses. For the past year at JFY, we have focused on an intention each month. This had us thinking about things like truth, non-violence, and self-discipline. This month, our work will be to create our own intentions. More to come on that:)
6. Silence The Noise, Surround Yourself With Support
In December, we focused on the power of community. We learned that not everyone in our life is going to show up for us the way we need - and that's ok. It's about finding the people that will support that dream life you have. There is this great speech by Teddy Roosevelt called "The Man in the Arena"... Basically think of it this way - seek to find people who are also out there fighting to be the best they can be. They are the ones that can provide the best support and feedback.
I've given you alot to think about!! The good thing is - we don't need to figure everything out right now! We'll take it step by step in our classes this month and beyond. If you're itching to work on all of this right away, join us for our Wellness Workshop on Sunday, January 2nd at 11:15am EST.
May we acknowledge our true selves this year through careful introspection and deliberate movements.