Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Year, New(ish) You

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I find January one of the more lackluster months of the year. My new year always starts in September with the begining of the school year, my birthday, and the coming of colder nights. But I know how important turning over a new leaf can be, at any time of year.

Instead of New Year resolutions, I try to make daily (or at least perhaps weekly) changes in my life. Starting this blog six weeks before I got married was one of those changes. I wanted to write, but I needed structured motivation - et volia, Tea and Circuses. With a blog and a determination to write more came the insecurity that I had nothing to say that anyone would want to hear. I could have easily been trapped by my own feelings and given up before I had even started; instead I just decided to write and post something every week for my own worth, and hopefully the entertainment of someone else.

Any day is a good day to be the change one wishes to see in the world. I am not a spontaneous or outgoing person and I thrive on organization and my own brand of order, but instead of telling myself I would “do more yoga this year” or “complete more random acts of kindness this Christmas”, I've just done. No waiting until some conveniently framed time or the new year or anything, I just did. When I decided, once and for all I wanted to do more yoga regularly I brought the wife and I class passes at a local studio, reordered our living room so I could do yoga more easily in the house, and then - gasp - turned on the blue ray player, loaded the yoga app and did it. It wasn't even hard. 

Of course, I did 10 minutes of yoga that day and then went back to watching British shows on netflix, but I had started doing what I had said I’d do. I went to a class last Friday and did some more at home yoga yesterday. No matter the length of the journey, the first step is often the hardest. After that, you only have to keep walking.

Taking action to fulfill goals in the present is important, but almost more importantly is giving yourself credit for any and all progress you make. American culture tells us how much we must do to be happy / good enough / cool, but it’s much easier done on a sound set in Hollywood than in real life, with a full time job and traffic and bad milk when all you wanted was cereal for dinner. I am notoriously hard on myself and come from a family of achievers who thrive on ‘doing’ more often than ‘being’. With every goal I attempt, I try to give myself credit for any constructive step. That 10 minutes of yoga probably didn't contribute too strongly to my overall strength, but I still counted it as a victory toward fulfilling my goal. I often set goals based on things I love like writing, reading, or cooking, that are already part of a regular week. Knowing that I wanted to try a new recipe and actually did sometimes gives me that small boost to continue on with more important goals. 

So today is as good a day as any to set some goals. Pick something you like, or something you think you might even love. Try something new. Whatever it may be:

-keep it simple
-start today (or at least tomorrow), and
-be proud of yourself, however well it goes

This doesn't have much to do with goals, but I did vow to get back to A'dam
this year and I did, so there. Vacation can surely be a goal.

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