Made resolutions for 2019...check. New habits...check. Big plans...also check.
The new year is such an exciting time filled with possibility. We take the time to journal, dream, hope and craft our vision for the new year. What will our career look like this year? Will we fall in love, get married, have children or move somewhere new? What travel spots will we check off the bucket list?
And then there are the small details. More time exercising and less time bingeing on Netflix. Less sugar and more veggies. Plotting a path to your healthiest self in the new year.
So many new ideas all swimming around in our heads, visions of health and happiness, but how do we begin to make them a reality? How do we move them from the space of dreams to the concrete?
The big question to ask yourself first is ‘what have you let go of?’. Where will you fit all the new dreams into your current reality?
As a yoga teacher, we talk often about ‘letting go of the things that no longer serve you’. But what does this mean and how do we do it? It usually means taking an honest look at our current situation, not where we dream of being, but where we are right now. What is working, and more importantly, what is not?
3 Ways to Clear Space for Yourself in 2019
1. You likely had many plans, intentions and dreams for 2018 as well. Take time to take stock. Did you sign up for a fitness membership that you don’t use? A meal plan service that gets thrown away because you are eating out more often than you wanted to?
We often have a hard time letting go of these things because we feel that we have failed. Instead, forgive yourself. It is possible that not every intention we make this year will come to fruition either. Maybe it’s just not the right time or path at this moment. Note your successes, and then begin to clear away the clutter left behind.
Where could you use that money, time or resources to start again? Would it serve you better to take a new direction and start fresh? By letting go we give ourselves the freedom to move forward.
2. The time sucks. We all have them, they come in so many different forms. Social media, video games, Netflix. Even perfectionism can be a time waster, I know it is for me. If I can’t move onto something new because the house isn’t clean enough then I’ll never accomplish what’s next.
Sometimes they are simply a form of escape. They allow the brain a few minutes, or hours, to turn off the stress and the noise of the day. But most people’s number one challenge with doing something new, or even keeping up with their everyday lives, is time. Time can be our biggest stressor.
So where can you free up small chunks of time? If you’re like me I tend to think everything will take longer than it does, when in reality it’s amazing what I can accomplish in thirty minutes when I am focused.
Is it realistic to give it all up? Likely not, but we can begin to set parameters around the time wasters. Tell Alexa to set a timer when you get on Facebook, and make the Netflix break just a snack instead of the whole meal.
3. Okay. Now that we have begun to shed the layers on the little pieces, what is still there? The big, scary ones. The pieces that we hold onto for dear life, even though we know we shouldn’t. The ones that we don’t even want to talk about letting go of, nonetheless actually release the grip.
For me, the quieter I get, the more honest I can be with myself. There have been times it was a job I needed to move on from, or a tried and true habit that no longer fit who I had become. Maybe it’s a relationship or a long held grudge. What will truly free up space...physically, mentally and emotionally?
The harder it feels, the more important it is. And you may be the only one who knows what that one big thing is.
One last thing. We don’t need to accomplish everything at once. Be patient, but persistent. Commit to a time frame, or begin to whittle away at them piece by piece. If you slip back to habits, be gentle with yourself. It is a marathon, not a sprint, and the work isn’t always easy. But the rewards and the new freedom of body, mind and soul are worth the work.