Happy 2015 guys!!!!
At this point, we’ve hopefully all recovered from our New Years Eve festivities. I must say, today was a bit of a slow one for me. Since I had already declared it my “off day,” I really just sank into my bed and tried not to think about the responsibilities that are slowly creeping up in light of the impeding semester.
I’ve never been one for “resolutions” as waiting until a certain date and building up a ton of stressful anticipation to embark on a life journey has never made much sense to me. Despite not feeding into the “new-year-new-you” hype, the start of a new year is a great time to reflect back on the ups and downs of the preceding year and start building a vision for the one that lies ahead. There is something very powerful about setting intentions no matter when you do it.
I thought I would take this short post to share some of my goals for 2015 with you guys. Last year, I put forth two fitness related goals: completing a half marathon and achieving my headstand in yoga. I was fortunate enough to be able to reach both of those goals, which makes me feel kinda awesome. I’m excited to think about what I’d like for myself in this new year but I’ve gone beyond the realm of fitness this year to consider changes that I would like to make in other areas of my life.
Spend Less, Enjoy More: Finding Pleasure in the Small Things
My biggest goal going into 2015 is to take better control over my finances. I’ve always felt like the phrase “Champagne tastes, beer money” is my life in a nutshell. I love living well and unfortunately, my desire to live well has led me to spend way more than I should, especially considering the fact that I’m a grad student without a real job. :/ While I don’t at all think that there is anything wrong with wanting to live well (in fact I think there is something wrong with not wanting to live well), I do think that my desire to live well has not been holistic enough and has been too heavily focused on high-end traditional luxuries. Massages are lovely, spa pedicures are a great treat and dinner at a fancy restaurant can be an awesome gastronomic, as well as social, experience. While I love treating myself to these things, it doesn’t mean that I cannot and should not seek pleasure in simpler, less lavish indulgences. Breaking away from work to go for a walk around the lake or buying myself a bar of my favorite dark chocolate are things that I used to appreciate a lot more but because they have now become such common practice, I feel as though I have to do fancier, more expensive things in order to “treat” myself. Moving into the new year, I would like to rediscover the pleasure in the little things and in doing so, decrease my spending, better manage my finances, and take less for granted.
Minimize/Eliminate Unnecessary Stress
Over the past year, perhaps because of my developing yoga practice, I have become increasingly aware of how much stress I experience on a daily basis. Throughout the course of any given day, I find myself all worked up in a number of circumstances that just don’t warrant such a reaction. As a public-transit rider and pedestrian in Los Angeles, there is much to get up in arms about. Terrible drivers failing to give you your due respect while crossing at a light. Rushing out of the house to catch your bus and avoid waiting ridiculous amounts of time. Buses with standing room only. People walking ever so slowly in front of you when you’re hurrying to get somewhere. It can be incredibly frustrating to deal with these things on a regular basis. When I take the time to actually step back from these situations and evaluate what’s at stake, however, I realize that the stress is not worth it in most cases. Yes, it sucks if I miss the bus but it’s not the end of the world. Standing up on a bus for 30 minutes isn’t fun but I’m young and able-bodied so it’s really not that big of a deal in the grand scheme. Rather than allowing these situations to get the best of me, I’m planning to make an active effort to take control over my stress in these moments and realize that it’s not that big of a deal. Ultimately, whether I’m pissed off and stressed out or not, the world is gonna keep turning and the outcome of the situation will be the same. So I might as well not stress in the moment and deal with whatever comes with poise. I’ve been practicing taking the time to breathe before reacting to frustrating situations while I’ve been on vacation so I’m hoping that I continue to hone this skill once the semester kicks in.
So now that my headstand happened, I’m hoping to continue building my inversion practice by working on my handstand. I have only done assisted versions so far and they’re pretty intense. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to actually be holding myself up all on my own. The amazing part is that I remember feeling this exact same way about my headstand last year and now I can pretty confidently pop my legs up over my head with ease. Practice is key to everything.
So that’s all I have at the moment. Since goal setting is something that I like to practice on both the micro- and macro- scales, I will continue to set goals – large and small- throughout the year and embrace all of the challenges, successes, and failures that might come with those intentions. Twenty fifteen is sure to be an adventure.