You won’t escape people asking about New Year’s resolutions or intentions for the new year. If you’re like me (I haven’t made New Year’s resolutions in nearly a decade) you may cringe when everyone starts talking about all the ways their lives will be different after January first.
You’ve probably noticed most resolutions or intentions are forgotten by mid-January. That’s why I don’t make them. At least it’s why I don’t make them specifically for the “new year.” Sure, I set intentions, but I don’t do it on a schedule. I do it when it’s time, and always with a bit of yogic “non-attachment.”
So, naturally when my yoga teacher invited us to consider one thing that was a “must-do” for 2019, I was a little tempted to roll my third eye. Then, I caught my own cynicism and agreed to at least think about this for a moment, just as I considered charting a course for 2018 at the beginning of last year.
Pondering What “Must” Happen
I’m always ready for change (well, as ready as a human can be), and there’s a list of things I’d like to do. But I’ve also learned over the years that attachment to an outcome can be a big problem. And let’s face it, a resolution made on January 1st pretty much comes with attachment to an outcome.
Unless you’re a yogi.
The first thing that came to mind when invited to choose something I “must” make happen this year is finding a partner to help me with the Yoga Circles project.
Another thing I’d like to do is update the book with more topics and stories . (If you have one let me know!) Or maybe I’ll start working on book two. And I want to find more of the yogis I’m writing the Yoga Circles blog for, especially on social media.
If you’ve ever tried something similar, you know there’s no way for one person to do all that alone.
Setting Intentions for the New Year as a Yogi
Are these “musts”? Would I be violating the law of non-attachment if I decided they are? Can they happen even if I approach them knowing I’m not going to fall apart if I don’t reach my goals?
I like the idea of setting intentions for the new year—or anytime really—when there’s something we want to accomplish. After all, you can’t accomplish much if you don’t decide you want to do it.
But usually accomplishing a specific goal requires more than intention. You have to know the steps to get there. Usually, you have to try a bunch of things and fail at most of them.
And you have to give yourself a break when things don’t go as planned.
As my mind played with these thoughts, I remembered another yoga teacher asking what character trait we would allow to come forth this year.
I’m paraphrasing what she asked, but the point is, she wasn’t asking about an accomplishment. She was asking who we would be this year. That’s the kind of twist you can expect when you’re thinking about setting intentions for the new year like a yogi!
The Practice of Setting Intentions
Whether you have clear goals with concrete steps for reaching them or not, you can always move forward. For me, that’s a constant no matter what time of year it is.
Show up. Practice. Be present. Fail. Pause. And show up again. Maybe for yogis, setting intentions for the new year just means remembering this about the practice.
If you keep practicing, you may not need to worry about setting intentions for the new year. Your whole life will be an intention —the intention to keep practicing.
This idea of allowing a hidden part of who we are to come through intrigues me. It’s what yoga is about. We practice to learn who we are.
When I was invited to state—with one word or phrase—what I would allow to come forth, the phrase that came to mind was “everything belongs.”
I’m a big-picture, find-the-connections kind of person. I don’t like the idea that some traits, skills, and achievements are more valuable than others or that what’s on the surface is what matters most.
Everything belongs. Everyone matters.
Tell Your Story
As I think about the idea that everything belongs, I realize that if we want to understand how everything belongs (that is, if we want to know who we truly are), we need to look far beneath and beyond the surface.
To do that, we must tell our stories, even while we recognize we are not our stories. (Who said yoga was simple?)
And more importantly, we need to hear each other’s stories and give them all the same respect.
That’s why I use the tagline “Let’s Tell Your Story” for my business. And that’s the one thing I must have happen this year: I must hear and appreciate my own my story, and your story, and all the stories that make us each a piece of the divine. That’s the only vantage point from which it’s clear that everything belongs.
In other words, I need to keep showing up and doing the practice.
What’s your “must-do” for 2019? Are you setting intentions for the new year? Don’t forget to tell your story!
Would you like to explore more yoga topics in depth—perhaps with a group of yoga friends? Get your copy of Yoga Circles, A Guide to Creating Community off the Mat. You’ll find lots of topics and activities for living the yoga lifestyle and enjoying time with like-minded yogis! Click here to order!
Hi, I’m Maria. I created Yoga Circles for you if you want to delve more deeply into the philosophy, practice, and life-changing effects of yoga. I’m also a writer and editor who helps small business owners, wellness professionals, teachers, and authors publish books, develop marketing strategies, and connect with readers, clients, and students. Visit my website (link below) for more about that. I’d love to hear from you!