MARCH 19, 2018
Contemplation and reflection are two of my favourite things (aside from surfing, yoga, tacos…), so I get excited about having these conversations, but it also leaves me wondering why we wait for a monumental moment (a birthday, break-up, the New Year) to commit to making positive changes in our lives.
It’s been over two months since the clock struck midnight, the ball dropped and people all over the world kissed as we celebrated the start of a new year.
I was in bed.
I wasn’t avoiding celebrating on purpose, but after too many years of waking up on January 1 and not feeling the greatest due to “the festivities”, I wanted this year to be different.
Besides, it was -30 Celsius.
I woke up feeling rested and motivated to set some intentions for 2018.
Practice yoga upon waking even if it’s for ten minutes
Don’t check phone until after practice
Respect people’s time; be on time
Take a surf trip every three months
This will be my year, I told myself.
I didn’t even get a few days into the New Year before these intentions fell to the side to make room for other things, both distractions and competing priorities.
Change is hard!
It takes time to build new habits. I remind myself this everyday whether I find my way to the mat or not. As Charles Duhigg says in his book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, “Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.”
Unless we exercise our will to make a change every single day, creating a new habit can be challenging; however, if every morning we roll out of our bed and onto our mats before even thinking about anything else, eventually it becomes as second nature as your morning pee or coffee.
Some days I punish myself for failing to uphold my intentions and other days I remind myself that there is always tomorrow. I don’t need to wait until January 1, 2019 to commit to a daily practice just because I missed one day.
Every day is an opportunity to begin again.
I’m not interested in living each night as if it’s New Years Eve. I don’t have that many party dresses, and my liver and waistline can’t handle the gluttony (Yes, I know there are other ways of celebrating the big night), but I can still wake up with the excitement and optimism of New Year’s Day even if it’s just a regular old Tuesday in March.
If you haven’t already, set your intentions. Make resolutions. Write about the habits that you want to adopt in your life. but remember that just because it doesn’t happen five days in a row doesn’t mean you need to stop, or wait until another momentous occasion.
Make each day momentous.
If you have set intentions, or made resolutions for 2018, check in. Where are you? Don’t give yourself a score, but rather notice if you’re making progress. If not, that’s ok! Write it on a sticky note. Tell a friend. Make your intentions known and when you wake up tomorrow morning try again.
It is never too late to start again.
Ashley is a surfer, yogi and writer living and loving in Calgary, AB. She aims to write the way she lives – freely and unapologetically.