Perhaps it is the long dark days here in Northwest British Columbia, or perhaps it is simply that that winter, this time of darkness, is made for contemplation and going inward—into that deep state of pratyahara.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the passing of time and the rituals we follow to mark the passing of time. And though the Gregorian calendar we follow is purely arbitrary, and really a new year could be any day of these 365 days that mark our circumnavigation of the sun, there is something so powerful about a collective people celebrating the start of something together. It is an exciting, creative time, once you can really come to peace with the letting go of the literal and metaphorical old. And just as we do in the vinyasas of yoga, moving through this cycle we call the year’s end and beginning afresh a new cycle allows for new possibility. But you have to go through your own process.
It is also a time to think of think of our cyclical cellular regeneration.
Consider the incredible regenerative capacity of our human body. Did you know that we breakdown and replace over 24 billion cells a day? Or that every component of every cell in our body is replaced totally within a nine-month cycle? i.e. We are newly minted every nine months. Whew, we’re literally bodies in a state of flux – of dynamic evolution.
It’s not easy, yet if you open yourself to it, and begin to realize how vast our capacity is to remake ourselves, create new, sustainable habit patterns, embrace new ideas and more positive thought & behavioral patterns, you’re almost halfway there. It sounds new-agey I know, but seriously, if our cells regenerate themselves continuously, don’t you think we’re capable of mentally and emotionally creating shifts? After all, we’ve been adapting and evolving to our environments for centuries.
What are your intentions for the new year? What sustainable changes do you want to create in your life?
Writing your goals down is a key first step.
A simple way to tackle them is to divide them into three categories: Personal, Health and Professional.
1. Commit: Find a clean sheet of paper and list at least two goals under each category.
2. Move from intention to connection to reality:
Know that when you write your goals, you are creating tangible connections to these intentions, allowing them to metamorphose from ideas into reality
3. Find your own edge: Keep your goals flexible, yet set a date that makes you accountable.
4. Keep them S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant (or realistic), Time-Bound. Yes, it’s good to reach for the stars, but be realistic.
5. Embody your goals: Fold that piece of paper and tuck it into your purse, wallet, wherever you are able to read it and refer to your goals often. Cross them out, rework them, discard them or embellish them, but keep them in sight until you begin to breathe them.
6. Lastly, consider the impact of your goals vs. their connection to the larger web of life and find the balance.
One of mine is to get even a mini- yoga practice in each day, so here I go. Oh, and to spend less time on my lap top.