It’s April, your New Year Resolutions have fallen into the recycle bin with all of the festive wrapping paper and suddenly talk of summer is floating about in the air. With the impending warmer weather (hopefully!) it may be worth considering dusting off those resolutions and giving yourself a bit of a re-start.
Spring is a new beginning
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), spring is the best season to plant seeds, make new plans and then see them through to fruition. This suggests that New Year Resolutions may stand a better chance of surviving if made at this time of year.
Taking some time to identify our goals for the remainder of this year, can allow us to see clearly the actions we need to take in order to see success. With the tradition of spring cleaning of our homes and cars, it can be worthwhile to take some time to spring clean our lives too. Looking at our lives now and deciding what changes need to be implemented in order to reach our future goals.
Preparation is key
Once you’ve got an idea of what you’d like to achieve, it’s planning time. I am a planner. It’s one of the first things you learn to do as a teacher, planning every second of the day and then planning for contingencies out with your control. I honestly feel better when I’m organised, but it can take a bit of time to get started with planning.
Breaking things down into manageable (realistic) steps can help you to get started. So, if you wanted to get the gym more, start by identifying two days you can make it in the next week. Write it in your diary or put it in your phone, get your gym gear looked out and decide in your head that it’s going to happen. I like to write these things onto my calendar and then tick them off after I’ve achieved them – that way I can see my achievements and celebrate my successes.
Don’t hate, motivate
Find a buddy to motivate and encourage you. Things always work out better if you have someone to give you a gentle nudge in the right direction from time to time. My mum is my main motivator, I asked her to help encourage me when I don’t want to go to the gym by saying things to help me feel better about the decision to go. She’s been great at helping me get there and hasn’t made me feel bad on the days I’ve given it a miss.
By taking charge of your own goals, you never know who you could be encouraging to get started on their own journey.
Social Media can be a wonderful source of inspiration but can equally be a great yard stick to show how much we don’t measure up with the rest of the world. When I look at pictures of people on Instagram doing impossible yoga poses and read their comments about having started yoga a year ago, I sometimes want to cry. My yoga path has not taken me to the perfect handstand or given me a super bendy back – what I’ve gained is more of an internal change and that doesn’t photograph so well.
It can be very easy to compare ourselves with others, and fall short of their seemingly perfect lives. So instead of beating myself up about how I am not ‘whatever’ enough, I use these images to motivate me on my own yoga and fitness journey.
You can always start again
Accepting that life gets in the way of the best laid plans is the first step towards making plans that stand a chance of succeeding. I’m a strong believer in beginning each new day fresh and ready to take on new challenges, or to restart heading towards those long-term plans. But I work very hard to not beat myself up if I don’t make it to the gym, or ‘accidently’ eat a cupcake (or two!)
Spending a little time meditating or thinking about what you would like to get out of the rest of the year, re-evaluating those New Year Resolutions and making plans to move forwards can give you a fresh perspective on things. Using the energies of spring to your advantage, you may find the perfect motivation to get yourself back on track.