Be realistic…what’s your New Year going to look like?

New Year, new perspective?

There’s no doubt you’ll have read oodles of content on New Year’s resolutions in the last couple of weeks, and there is also no doubt that this time of year always feels like a watershed moment.

Whether it’s to do with the calendar clicking round to show another year gone (last year went quickly, right?) or the anticipation of what a fresh new 12 month will bring, it’s easy to fall into making plans, resolutions, promises. Hope for the future is a great thing to have…the possibilities are endless! And I’m not one for squashing people’s aspirations, plans or desires.

There’s only one BUT…they need to be wholesome and realistic. There’s no point aiming for a dry January if you know Auntie Lil’s 70th is coming up and she loves a drop of fizz. That way lies disappointment. There’s also no point in saying that this is the year you will win the Lottery/lose 12 stone/become famous – there’s no sense of an achievable target there, and some of those forces are totally out of your control.

How about reframing those aspirations, hopes and dreams around a schedule of realistic, timebound goals that you CAN influence? That way, you are more likely to be able to chunk them up into mini goals, and feel like you are really making progress to the greater aim. And a timetable is good because it sets a path to success, but not if it becomes tyrannical, so be realistic in your expectation. In fact, someone trained in stress management once told me that all stress relief comes down to three words…’Lower Your Expectations’! If you feel the tyranny of your, and other people’s, aims and expectations, you can use this as your mantra 🙂 (and breathe).

Those of you who work in project management will know all this better than me…however, we all know the satisfaction of ticking another thing off a list. So try it…I’ve made my list of mini goals for this year, and I’ve ticked one off already. It feels goooood.

Be nice to yourself. Namaste.

Finding your personal practice mojo

Along the journey of teaching and sharing yoga with you, I regularly mention the word ‘home’. Either ‘try these poses at home’, or ‘have a go at your home practice’, and I am very aware that many people in classes up and down the land make a mental note and then never find the time to step onto a mat elsewhere!

I understand; we can all be very busy. Even seasoned teachers find it hard to maintain a regular home practice. I listened to a podcast recently by US teacher Jason Crandell where he honestly listed his shortcomings with home practice in the past. So refreshing! He then very helpfully gave some fantastic tips for starting a home practice:

  • A regular time and space that works for you
  • Not setting unrealistic goals. There’s a reason you have favourite Asanas, so start with them, and don’t stay longer than you want to
  • Embrace distraction, whether kids/dogs/cats/neighbours
  • Don’t try and replicate a class environment/sequence in the early days
  • Being honest with yourself about why you’re meeting yourself on your mat.

It starts with a simple wish, to enjoy your yoga more. That’s it, no other intention is needed at this stage. In time, you will find your practice will develop and lengthen as you wish it, but at a level and pace that suits you.

Being honest and wholehearted will see you start your home yoga path in the right way, and see you right for years to come. And if you’re just too busy? Well, that’s a whole other blog post 🙏🏻 but we’ll start here: