10 Jan 2011
“Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.” – Leonard Cohen
When I create goals I try to think of what feeling I’m trying to achieve. On New Year’s Day I attended a wonderful yoga class with one of my favorite teachers. She spoke of setting an intention for the class, like always, but also setting an intention for the whole year. She suggested we think about ourselves one year from the day, January 1, 2012. She asked us to think about how we wanted to feel, who we wanted to be with, where we wanted to live, what job we wanted to have. Then she told us to identify what in our lives was holding us back from achieving those things. She told us to let go of what is not serving us, what is holding us back from being exactly who we want to be. This is what I came up with:
- Sleep more.
My fiance Mark has terrible sleeping habits. He stays up very late, gets very little sleep, takes naps at odd times and then catches up on the weekends. This works for him, but not for me. I prefer a regular bedtime and a somewhat early rise. More than anything, I need consistent sleep. The problem is that it’s hard to spend time with Mark unless I stay up with him. But I’ve noticed that I don’t get as much out of the day if I get up later and this throws a lot of things off. Therefore, I’m going to try to get to bed earlier and wake up earlier during the week. The goal is to get in my bed by 11:00 PM. Hopefully, my good habit will rub off on Mark and he’ll become a more regular sleeper as well.
- Don’t take things personally.
I am not really into astrology, but I’ve always been intrigued at how closely my personality traits align with those of my sign, cancer. Traditionally, cancers are emotional, intuitive, protective and sensitive. The shell of the crab, the cancer’s symbol, is used as a defensive wall. The claws are used to hold onto things from the past. Many of these qualities can be used for positive, but one problem is that I tend to take small, insignificant things to heart. My goal for this year is to let these little things go, or at least to simply acknowledge them and move on. Dwelling and over-analyzing these things only hurts me.
- End after-dinner snacking.
I have this terrible habit of snacking after dinner. It’s gotten to the point where sometimes my dinner just consists of multiple snacks. I have a couple of theories about this and a few ideas on how to stop it. First, I’d like to be more excited about dinner, so I’m going to plan at least two meals for the week on Sunday. I’ve found that when I’m looking forward to cooking dinner, I am more excited about eating it and less into thinking about what other goodies are in my pantry. Second, I need to set the table (kitchen or coffee) with a place mat for dinner. Eating should be an experience, not something I rush through to do other things. Ideally, Mark and I would only eat dinner and not watch T.V. or be on our computers when eating, but I know that’s not realistic just yet. Hopefully, we will do that with more and more meals as the year progresses, but right now I just want to focus on making dinner a dinner and not a series of snacks.
- Try new gym classes.
I pay more money to go to a more expensive gym with lots of classes and other frills, but I don’t use any of them! Right now I use the gym for the cardio equipment and take yoga classes at a separate studio. I am happy with the amount of exercise I do, but I’d like to try new things, if only because I pay for it. So, my goal is to try to go to one gym class per week, ideally in the strength training area. If I go a few weeks without utilizing the gym classes, I need to step up and quit this more expensive gym.
- Send real birthday cards.
This serves two purposes. First, it’s hard to maintain adult friendships, especially when your friends are scattered across the country. Acknowledging a friend’s birthday is important! Second, I love getting real mail! So much is done on the Internet, and while that is great for so many things, there is something fun and exciting about getting a birthday card in the mail. Hopefully my friends will appreciate the real mail and I will feel more connected to the important people in my life.
- Enjoy the moments.
In September Mark and I are getting married, which means there will be a ton of planning and wedding events this year. My goal is to enjoy each of these moments. I don’t want to rush through them. This is a really fun and exciting time and I want to appreciate each moment of it. I tend to be thinking of a million things at once, but this year, especially with Mark and our wedding planning, I really want to focus and take it all in.
It’s hard to work on new goals, but if I think about myself one year from now, it helps me work harder. I like to think of these goals as practice for being the best version of myself that I can be. That way if I fall off track I can get back on with very little guilt. “Failing” at one of these is not real failure, it just shows me where my work is and what I need to do. Good luck with your goals and happy 2011!Check out my latest posts here