As a rule, I try not to make New Year's Resolutions. I'm extremely hard on myself when I abandon them (I say when, not if, since I have yet to keep a resolution), and I think the practice of self-flagellation for not sticking 100% to a promise made on January 1 is the opposite of what resolutions are about. The idea is to change something for the better, to quit a bad habit, to give up an unhealthy practice, to improve your life in some way. So instead, I think we should view resolutions more as goals for ourselves for the year, things that are attainable (see: New Year's Resolutions Worth Keeping).
This year, I challenged myself to be happy. I quit my job, where I had spent 2 and a half years learning from some of the best and brightest minds around, for a start-up serving small businesses in Greenville. While I loved working for a large agency, I wanted to be able to have an affect on the community around me. I love the idea of seeing the work I do make a difference for the better in the lives of people I know, work with and live in the same town as. So shameless plug, if you're a small business owner in Greenville who needs affordable advertising, give me a ring!
I've also challenged myself to get back to my yoga practice. Towards the end of last year, as I was deliberating accepting the new position, celebrating multiple holidays, arranging frantic travel plans and driving to Richmond, Williamsburg, DC, back to Richmond and then back to South Carolina, I let my practice fall off. In the course of November and December, I think I made two classes total. My back and shoulders stiffened up, despite my boyfriend's multiple massages and the professional one he gifted me to ease some of the pain. My anxiety levels, calm for so long, started to spike again. Things that I should have been able to take in stride seemed insurmountable again; small upsets brought me to tears. The thought of my future was painful and big, life-changing decisions were looming. I knew I needed the peace and clarity that yoga brings me, but I couldn't force myself to get up off the couch after work. So I decided 2016 would be different. With all the changes I've embraced for the coming year, I owe it to myself to keep my mind clear and my soul rested.
I've been back to class a week and a half now. Last week, I made it to three classes, and this week I've been to one and done my own practice at home. Instead of signing up for the thirty day challenge, I'm trying to hold myself accountable. It's not about the workout, it's about the mental break. Imagine. 60 whole minutes completely to yourself. Imagine thinking of nothing else but your breath and your practice for one whole hour. It's pure bliss. I can forget the grocery list I'm mentally building, the fifteen things I'm sure I forgot to do during the day, the laundry list of, well, laundry that I have waiting for me. I can put on hold the ever-growing schedule of social posts for which I'm responsible, and press pause on brainstorming new prospects. Imagine. 60 guilt-free minutes all to yourself.
It wasn't until I made myself practice at home tonight that I realized just how much that time means to me. I'm at home alone - boyfriend is working late. I worked until about 7:30pm, cleaned the kitchen and did the dishes, painted my nails, made myself dinner. I started Downton Abbey, a show I've been meaning to watch. I even poured myself a glass of wine. But in all that alone time, I didn't feel truly relaxed until I did a few sun salutations and worked on my arm balances.
So I challenge you to find your bliss. Find what makes you happy; what gives you your 60 minutes alone. Maybe it's a hot bath a few times a week, or an hour spent perusing Target. It could be a long run or preparing an elaborate meal. But figure out what gives you bliss, peace of mind, happiness. And do it. Make time for it. Schedule it, if necessary. Trust me. It's a resolution worth keeping.