It’s the start of a new year (as I’m sure everyone is constantly reminded from every single social media post at the moment), which can be daunting. You’ve set yourself some pretty big goals, and a lot of them.
I compare the beginning of a new year to standing at the bottom of a mountain you’re about to climb. When look up from the foot of the cliff that looms ahead, the task before you seems so intimidating that you begin to wonder whether it’s even possible.
I had something similar this morning. I’ve set myself several goals, or habits if you rather, to incorporate throughout the year in every aspect of my life; personal, financial, career, and health. One of these is to start integrate yoga and mindfulness into my days.
Eventually, I want to become this embodiment of holistic health and have the ability to strike a yogi pose on a secluded rock in the middle of the ocean for a beautiful picture. Okay, maybe that isn’t why but let’s be honest, it’s going to happen.
I know the positive effects that yoga and mindfulness can have on the human mind and body. Empirical studies have demonstrated this and I’ve felt them firsthand; Reduced stress, a feeling of lightness, increased concentration, positivity, calmness, better sleep, less anxiety, and a sense of acceptance; with everything that happens in your life. You learn to take things as they come and deal with the cards life hands to you in this almost blasé essence.
Unfortunately, when I decided I wanted to compete I stopped caring about my mental health and wellbeing and all of my yogi-ness went out of the window. I say yogi, really I mean the ability to actually touch my toes without screeching in pain.
Anyway, back to my point. When you look at all of the changes you want to make it can seem like flipping your whole life around.
I know I’m not going to become a yogi overnight. I know it will take consistent effort over time that will get me to be where I want. And that’s true for any goal. Sure, you can have the intention of beginning the new year as a completely new person and starting everything at once but often this is overwhelming and not maintainable.
So, instead of diving head first into bending backwards I started my morning with 15 minutes of yoga for beginners and I will stick to that twice a week until I feel that my body is ready for more. It’s important to break down your goals into smaller, attainable blocks and build it up over time to reach your overarching goal. That way, you make progress, it becomes an integral part of your life and it’s so much more likely to be adhered to for longer.
I think it’s important to apply this philosophy to everything in life. You need to walk before you can run. As Macklemore said
The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint
The greats were great cause they paint a lot