I don't believe in New Year's resolutions that force me to give up something, since by the end of January they are already broken. Anything forced from one day to the next doesn't last. Instead, I like to set intentions for the new year based on how I would like to be, feel, and act.
As I sat down to reflect on 2015, I realized that some of my intentions did not happen as planned. So I started to go to that dark place again. That black hole where my Ego lives -- the part of me that thinks I am never enough.
A Conversation with the Ego
Ego: "Well Pam, you had so many ideas this year to open a juice bar with a yoga studio attached. But you did not do it. Now someone else will open a juice bar and you missed the boat. Great job. And by the way Pam, you also wanted to lead five Reboot juice cleanses each impacting at least 20 people for a total of 100 people. Then you wanted to have 10 individual health coaching clients by August of 2015, and that did not happen either. Actually Pam, what the hell have you been doing all year?"
Pam: "I did some research for the juice bar and even looked at a couple of spaces downtown. They were just too expensive and risky for low margins on donation-based yoga and juices. I did have one successful Reboot in March and I really enjoyed coaching 20 people through it. I might not have achieved my goal of individual clients, but I am working with a few amazing people.
By the way Ego, I wasn't feeling too great this year, since I developed a lot of food allergies and my digestion was a mess. I spent a lot of time getting my energy back and allowed myself to dive deeper into my yoga practice. And you know what Ego, I finally realized that it is not always about achieving and measuring success. It is about trying and being fully involved in whatever it is I do."
Big Plans Gone Astray
Life happens. We don't reach our goals, we set intentions and New Year's resolutions, and we don't achieve them. It is OK. The most important thing to realize is that we cannot beat ourselves up and go to those dark places where we like to hide. We can always start over tomorrow and we don't have to wait for January to come around.
Sometimes our intentions manifest in other ways that are those 'blessings in disguise.' In addition to my business goals, one of my well-being goals was to have an energized body and a calm mind to be able to help others and accomplish a lot in 2015.
Well, my energized body crumbled around June as I developed tons of food allergies and major digestive issues. I was forced to focus on my own well-being. I had to allow myself to take time to cook healthful meals and to spend as much time as I needed for my yoga and meditation practice. As a result, I have journeyed with Sadhguru down a path of yoga that I never knew existed. I experienced dimensions beyond my five senses and know what true bliss tastes like.
Initially, finding time to dedicate to yoga and wellbeing on a DAILY basis was hard. My Ego would convince me that I should not spend too much time taking care of myself, since I had more important things to do. Most mornings, I would sit in yoga and feel guilty that I was not at my computer working towards all my goals. Not anymore.
I had big plans for 2015. My body broke down and forced me to take a different path. As a result of this path, I now know what self-care means. Why is it that personal time for inner wellbeing comes in last place when compared to 'productive' time for work and everything else? It is a fact. Without our health, we don't have much.
Reflect and Move Forward
As 2016 gets started, take some time to reflect on your 2015. Remember that nothing is good or bad, it just is. Instead of labeling something as a success or failure, just look at it as an experience.
1. Overall, how was the year and what would you like to do differently in 2016?
2. Did you have new experiences that took you down a different road?
3. How did you flow through the experience? With grace and ease or kicking and screaming?
In the end, we may not reach our goals or we may break a resolution. Who cares. Don't kick and scream. Take the road of grace and ease. You may find that while on this road, even though your life did not go according to your plan, what happened instead was even better.
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." -- John Lennon
Note- Originally published on the Huffington Post on December 30, 2015.