2017. It's finally here. Many of us were anxious to put 2016 in the past and usher in 2017, with all the promise of a brand new year. Many people bristle at the idea of setting New Year's resolutions, but I think it's important to take time to reflect on the outgoing year in order to know what shape you want the incoming year to take. Here's how I went about reflecting on 2016 in order to make meaningful resolutions for myself.
Reflect on what went well
What areas of my life was feeling really positive about? Where did I totally kick ass in 2016, and how do I keep that going in 2017? I find it helpful to start my self reflection focusing on the positive side to set the tone. New Year's resolutions aren't about getting down on yourself, it's all about setting yourself up for a year of positive growth.
Reflect on areas/habits/circumstances I'd like to change
Where would I like to see more growth in a certain area? What habits have I developed that aren't serving me well and I'd like to stop? What habits would I like to develop that I know would serve me well?
Set attainable goals
Overly ambitious goals are a recipe for failure (for me anyway). I find the best success with attainable small lifestyle or habit changes that I can stick with. This way I can make incremental improvements and steps that keep taking me closer to the goal I've envisioned, and minimizes the chances that I'd get discouraged as soon as I slip a little and then just give up all together.
Whether writing them down in a journal, saying them out loud to a friend, or writing them down in this blog, formalizing my resolutions in these ways creates accountability. What I find really helpful is to tell my resolutions to my boyfriend. Since we live together, he can help call me out when I'm not acting in line with my resolutions.
So what were my resolutions?
- Make it onto my yoga mat every damn day - Whether it's making it to a class in the studio, doing just a few sun salutations on my mat at home, or even just taking a child's pose or savasana, what's important to me is that I make time on my mat part of my daily routine. When I more consistently make time for yoga, even in small increments, I feel better mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
- Strength train - A contributing factor to my knee and low back pain comes from weak muscles in areas that need some more focused attention. I'm going to consider strengthening exercises just like a medication that I need to take.
- Make my health a top priority - No exceptions, my health needs a top priority that I'm not willing to sacrifice.
What are your resolutions for 2017?