Setting goals differently in 2018
In January I read an article from my fellow Ohio University alumni (and Phoenix friend) Rachel Orr in The Lily. She wrote about how instead of setting a typical New Year's resolution last year, she did 12 monthly challenges.
I had thought about doing this type of goal-setting style previously, but Rachel's article inspired me to go for it. After years of creating mind-maps and setting lofty goals, but always hitting a point of overwhelm, I thought this format would be more attainable.
So, each month this year, I'm focusing on a different goal and challenge. I feel it's important to have a goal that is more meaningful than the challenge itself, to help stay motivated beyond the task itself. Plus I have so many things I want to explore, 30 days seems to be sufficient time to give each goal, without layering them all on top of one another. During January I didn't drink alcohol and in February I focused on my relationship with technology. More on both of those later, but for now - my March goal:
Goal: Dive deeper into an interest or hobby
Challenge: Do #yogaeverydamnday
If you're into yoga and Instagram, you've probably seen Yoga Girl's #yogaeverydamnday hashtag. She started the hashtag years ago, with the aim of posting a picture of your yoga practice each day. I'm not posting a picture each day, but taking the concept sans social media. Well, other than this blog.
The objective of this challenge is not to go to a 90min vinyasa class each day. But rather, to roll out your mat, get out of your mind and into your body, and if you can only take 10 minutes, that is enough. It's about making yoga a priority in your life and part of your lifestyle.
I'm roughly halfway through and I've only missed one day so far.
A lot of days are just a 15-20min informal flow on my mat, of whatever poses my body feels like it needs. Sometimes it's an in-person class, and other days an online class. I'm plan to incorporate more long sessions in the second half of the month.
What I've learned so far
My practice is actually more evolved, and I'm more experienced than I've previously given myself credit for. I'd often brush off any of my success in yoga poses as due to years of ballet, but that didn't make me a yogi. And that's 100% true. But as I've been going to classes over the last 8+ years, I've actually developed a practice, which is more than just a good standing split.
As for the yoga itself, some days it's more of a challenge than others to squeeze in 15 minutes, but that's life. I have already noticed I feel much better in the weekly class I attend when I keep up with doing my own practice throughout the week.
I'm also quickly realizing how much you can progress if you stick with something regularly. This is not a new realization by any means, but sometimes you need to do it and feel it to truly understand it. As in many things in life...
And I got a sign from the universe
As I started this challenge on March 1st, I received a magical sign of alignment from the universe (aka Facebook memories). A memory came up, that 6 years ago to the date, I started my 30-day Bikram challenge in Phoenix. At that point I had only dabbled in yoga, let alone Bikram, but I loved the idea of a challenge. I'm taking it as a sign that this is what I should be doing now.
To think that challenge kick-started my practice in Belgium, to do a retreat in India, and tour the US trying different studios, really puts it all into perspective for me. And now, here I am. With experience under my belt, and a new passion for this practice.
I'll let you know how the second half of the month goes in a few weeks!