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We all know and love the buzz of excitement you get towards the end of the year at the idea of starting afresh. The opportunity the new year brings to set new goals for a new direction.
So why New Year’s resolutions, what’s the significance?
Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named, reflecting on the past year and looking to the year ahead, exchanging promises, gifts and blessings. For us it’s a resolution you commit to, usually the goal to improve life in the coming year. A new year’s resolution can be about breaking bad habits, changing an aspect of your life or simply giving your year an intention or focus.
With as little as 8 percent of people sticking to their resolutions though, what’s the secret to success? Perhaps the key is less to do with rigidity and strict guidelines and more to do with creating a positive mindset.

‘Not mind over matter, but mind over feeling over matter. When you embody the feeling you want most, the universe can’t help but reveal to you every person, situation, and thing that resonates with that feeling’ ~ Amy Larson

The key to setting and sticking to your new year’s resolutions could simply be the way you frame them in your mind. Yes a clear goal and timeframe, in bite size achievable portions can be important, but in a society that already places way too much pressure on ourselves, perhaps there’s a more proactive approach.
So here’s our yogic approach to setting a New Years resolution with intention & compassion.
Firstly, don’t be so quick to dismiss the past. Your past year is important as it reveals a lot to you about your strengths and weaknesses, and obstacles for success. For example, if you set yourself an intense daily exercise regime to lose weight alongside your hectic work schedule only to burn out halfway through the year, don’t set the same goal this year. Ask yourself what were the limitations of your past goal and reframe it to make it achievable.
Choose a core desired feeling to umbrella your year. This is like an overall intention or focus for your year and should be a priority. Anything that doesn’t fit under this umbrella shouldn’t make it onto your resolutions list. For example, if your core desired feeling for 2018 is ‘balance’, then don’t create a long list of things you wish to achieve throughout the year with our first assessing how these things will fit into your already busy lifestyle and making some concessions. Take some time and soul searching to choose your core desired feeling, it’s important and helps to set the foundation.

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

Write yourself a wish list of resolutions for the year, anything you like provided it doesn’t conflict with your core desired feeling. Frame your goals with a positive intent – for example rather than “quitting sugar” trying eating more green vege. Focus on what you will GAIN instead of what you will lose. Set yourself up with a positive mindset from the beginning.
Be decisive and be clear. When we’re indecisive about what goals to focus our year on, we end up using good energy on the indecision rather than the goal. This is energy spent whilst achieving nothing, ie, wasted energy. A good tip is to keep the list short, you can always add to it later and give yourself some tangible outcomes & realistic deadlines.
Then start. That might sound silly but writing a list is only the first tiny step. Once you have a focus you need to start today. Not next week or tomorrow or when you get the time, but NOW. This gets you on the path and towards building momentum. Expect that there will be bumps in the road, but if you don’t start now you never will.
Here are a few steps to get you started:

  1. Reflect on the year gone (learn from the past) – write a list of 5 positive & 5 challenging experiences of the year just gone. How can you increase your positive list?
  2. Choose a core desired feeling (setting the foundation) – answer one question “what do you want to FEEL in 2018?”
  3. Write yourself a wish list (setting the intention) – be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. If it’s a soulful yes, put it on the list, if you’re indecisive then leave it off.
  4. Start living your goal today (Resolving to move forward) – set positive, decisive, quantitative goals and start them NOW, even if it’s just a small step.

We have the power to choose our path and once we resolve that choice the path is set in motion, freeing up time and energy to spend elsewhere. The new year gives us the opportunity to set ourselves on a path, with a focus to help us build momentum towards the goals we choose.
Need to some help building momentum for 2018? Join us for our 21 Day Yoga Resolutions Challenge as a springboard to set your holistic goals for the new year.
21 yoga classes in 21 days ~ Sat Jan 20- Fri Feb 9
Delve a little deeper into your practice and combine it with Ashley Dunlop’s ‘Inspired 2018: Beyond Resolutions’ workshop series Sat Jan 20 & Sun Jan 21.
About the author: Andy Broadbear is a qualified yoga therapist & teacher, who specialises in pre/postnatal + women’s health. She is also co-founder of YogaMamas,  a health & wellness blogger, photographer and busy mama of 3!
Detoxify & energise with Hot Yoga. Tone & sculpt with Power Flow. Strengthen & stretch with Basics and Slow Flow. Relax & mobilise with Yin Yoga at our beautiful studio in Hawthorn, Melbourne.
We also offer Prenatal & Postnatal yoga classes and Yoga With Baby. Our studio also hosts regular workshops, Victorian and overseas retreats to exotic places like Bali and Thailand, as well as a mobile yoga service for community, school and corporate groups. Kula Yoga is the largest studio in the Camberwell and Hawthorn area offering 39 classes, 7 days a week. Enjoy modern facilities, expert teachers and a range of complementary wellness services for optimal health.
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