Has it been a nice first week? For me, ohmygosh, yes.
I'm just home from this beautiful retreat center after leading an amazing New Years yoga retreat with my dear Sarita Lou.
On the 31st, I got ready for midnight by taking a late night swim and showering under a flowering hibiscus tree. As we crossed into 2016, I watched fireworks explode down the Pacific coastline. I hugged some of my favorite people in the world and felt incredibly blessed.
It hasn't always been this way for me. I've ended years too tipsy and feeling like a big failure, convinced I'd have to change everything in order to be a good person in the coming year.
This year, on New Years day, I taught the last morning class of the retreat to our beautiful group. While I taught, the ocean sparkled bright down below. She asked me what I would make of this next year if I believed everything was possible.
I would love--myself, everybody, this broken world we live in. Love is what has given me eyes to see beauty and truly accept myself. Love gives me strength to meet the hard parts. Love changes everything.
So my word of intention for this next year is LOVE. It's simple and it sings straight from my heart. This year I'm going to live it out fully.
With love in mind, I remembered the thoughts I wrote last New Year’s while wondering how to approach change in the new year. (Scroll below to read).
To me, they still ring quite true. The only difference is that this year I came up with what I think is an awesome solution to how to spend this first month of the year.
Instead of trying to change your habits this January, why not focus on upleveling your 2016 self care support?
If you really want to change your habits, you are going to need support. Wouldn’t it be smart to use the next month to build your support?
That way when you recoup your energy in a month or so, you will be able to ease into habit change feeling inspired by your nearest and dearest.
Check out my totally FREE month-long journey to Uplevel Your 2016 Self Care Support. Sign up today! We only started a few days ago and you will have plenty of time to catch up.
And read on…
From December 2014:
This week I felt some pressure about the New Year. Not about the parties or anything like that, but rather my offerings to you all. See, it's my first New Years as a proclaimed health coach and I thought I needed to offer a Start the New Year right program. Or at the very least I should say something important about New Years resolutions.
I pondered it for a while and as always, I had to reconnect with what I think is most true. So here's what I think about New Years resolutions: I don't think the new year is a good time to make resolutions.
Why? Because making resolutions requires thoughtful desire and a well-laid plan. Following through on them takes a cultivated reserve of support, strength, money and energy. All of this is necessary to navigate the tricky but beautiful process of real change.
The problem with this time of year is that we don't have any of that in excess. We tottered from social event to social event, cut corners from both ends of the sleep cycle, and perhaps consumed the weight of one of our limbs in Christmas cookies. It was festive and joyful but overall it was a big strain on our system.
I get it though. We went too far and abused our bodies. We feel gross and desirous to make it all better. Perhaps we even let ourselves overindulge to the max because we promised ourselves it would all change come January 1st.
Believe or not, I feel that way too. I am not immune to Christmas cookies. Hopefully someday, but not right now.
I also get that the New Year's resolution is a nice idea. We will do what we resolve to do. We will be bright and shiny and new and our dreams will come true. These are nice ideas and I love nice ideas. They are fun to think about when I'm walking Poncho and when I'm falling asleep at night. They spark more nice ideas and put me in a good mood. I'm pro nice ideas and think you should think on them often.
But my fear is that you will take your nice idea of THE PLAN FOR THE WHOLE NEW YOU IN THIS NEXT YEAR and due to the systematic bankruptcy of your holiday, not follow through. This itself isn't so bad. Plans fall flat all the time because we are human and learning and need multiple attempts to figure things out.
However, what I am most nervous about is that you will use this falling flat to develop a not-so-nice story about yourself. Two weeks into 2015, when you skip the gym because you are tired or order pizza because you haven't gone grocery shopping you might tell yourself that you lack discipline and followthrough. Tell yourself these stories long enough and you'll start to lose faith in your ability to change. Lose that faith in yourself and change becomes almost impossible.
See what I mean? Do you get why I don't like resolutions? A few years ago I wrote an article about this for GOOD magazine--read the updated version on my blog--and so many people wrote me to say they were relieved. And if I like anything, it's a collective sigh of relief.
But if after reading all of this you must make a resolution for 2015 then please make it small and sexy. Vow to go to the gym four times in the next month. Drink one green smoothie before February. Finally sign up for Instagram so you can share your artistry with the world. Get some awesome budgeting software in January and actually begin using it in February.
Or my favorite, sign up for a free 30 minute chat with me. My next group coaching habit transformation class begins on March 20th. The start date feels like the perfect amount of recharge time so you can get the most out of this experience.
If you are interested in making big sustainable change within a nourishing, connective environment, then let's chat and see the class is a good fit. Once you are signed up then I'll begin sending you prep school assignments that will help you slowly and surely get ready for our March start.
In the class, we work on shifting our unforgiving inner monologue to a softer, more fertile place where real change is possible. It's deeeeep work that shows us how often we get in the own way of of our bright shining lives. Together, as a group, we bravely move forward. The most brilliant part of this all is how well it really works. I could tell you many stories, but this week's forum post from Alice, a lovely repeat course participant, says so much:
"No matter how much I might want to make dramatic sweeping changes right now, this is not the day or the week for that; the cycle of my body that operates in a larger cycle of nature has other plans. I have to respect where I am now. Instead of an epic long run, perhaps a short walk. Walking is great too. Today I am going to aim for good enough and for just showing up. My life and body are a precious gift just as they are and I am going to try to honor both with gentle kindness."
Amazing right? Let's learn from Alice and recharge, relax, and enter this next year keeping up the faith in ourselves. As this faith gets stronger, so will our results and that cycle strengthens itself. It goes like that--one foot in front of the other, one day lived more mindfully than the last, and the love for ourselves holding our small but potent markers of change.