Most of us start the New Year setting resolutions and we reached out to find out what resolutions our team have set for themselves for 2017.
It turns out the concept of new year's resolutions are both loved and loathed by our team. Loved because it’s an opportunity to start fresh, do something different and focus on something great; loathed because they can suddenly get so serious, rigid and unrealistic. So we are reframing it as simply, great goals and intentions that we want to achieve in 2017.
FERN ROSS (YOGA INSTRUCTOR)
‘I have a confession: I hate New Year’s resolutions, for a couple of reasons. One being that January is miserable enough already, and the other being that I think life should be about celebrating all it has to offer and living in the present, rather than cutting stuff out and creating a rigid framework to exist within. Saying that, I do believe in setting intentions: intention-setting is a key part of my yoga practice and I encourage my students to do so too. After all, without intention, you’re just doing exercise; there needs to be intention to grow the mind-body-spirit connection. I keep a daily journal, so when I returned from my Christmas break I took a few moments to write down what I wanted to happen in 2017. This ranged from completing my pregnancy and Yin yoga teacher trainings to growing my business, via redecorating the living room and planning a trip to Columbia and Panama this summer. Then I took a moment at the beginning of my self practice to sit and visualise these things happening, and moved with intention. It felt really powerful, and later that day I had two emails from prospective new clients. Now, I’m naturally the world’s biggest sceptic when it comes to this stuff, so it just goes to show that when you put a positive intention out there, it really can manifest. But I’m also a big believer in doing the work. I work hard, and I practice yoga daily, on and off the mat. Which brings me to my other main intentions for 2017: to live more openly, and to be kind to myself, because I believe all of us can benefit from more of that. So ditch the rigid resolutions and do the stuff that makes you feel good, both physically and mentally: take the time to call an old friend, re-read your favourite book, travel somewhere new and treat yourself to that massage. Life is too short to live with limits. Have a wonderful 2017!’
HAYLEY COTTER ( YOGA INSTRUCTOR)
I have a real aversion to New Years resolutions, mainly because I feel it creates pressure and a sense of setting up for failure, which leads to disappointment if you do not achieve the goals you set. That said, I think it is great to start the new year afresh with ideas of how to make this year at least as as happy as, or happier then last year. I've decided to focus on small lifestyle changes which are not too challenging or drastic to implement into my daily life but which should (hopefully!) have a big impact. It all centres around happiness. At our core we are all entitled to uninterrupted and continued happiness and that is in fact our true nature. The problem is that life's worries create obstacles on this path and in reality it is impossible to feel happy all the time due to external stresses that are out of our control. I intend to deal with negative experiences with more positivity and kindness to myself with these fairly simple steps:
1. Being present in every moment. 2. Being grateful 3. Being kind (to myself and others)
Practising being present allows me to enjoy and live in every moment, letting go of any worries or distractions. Sometimes this is noticing the cold on a winter's day and feeling grateful that I'm wrapped up warm and cosy. For me, being present opens the door for feeling grateful. The more I notice, the more appreciative I feel for the little things. One of the practical things I have already set up is a happiness jar with lots of sparkles and glitter to write down small or big things that make me happy. There's no pressure to do it every day (and so far a cuddle from my cat has been a highlight), but it reminds me that even if I am having a bad day that something positive will have happened, even if I have to take some time reflecting and finding it. I can also look through my happy notes to cheer me up at anytime if I need to! I believe that presence and gratitude will lead to me becoming a kinder person, sharing my positive energy with friends, family and my students and also being kind to myself when I need it - listening to my body and my mind.
For me, yoga helps with all of these things. It provides a safe space to focus on my breathing giving my monkey mind a rest from daily worries. Yoga teaches us to be mindful of what our bodies are telling us, learning to respect that and also positively dealing with emotions that may arise from the practice as this gives me an indication of how I am doing off the mat. I am grateful that I get this time to myself, that I can practice mindfulness and being present. Dedicating my practice to family and friends I find, opens me up to being a kinder person.
So there you have it, my three fairly simple ideas for a happier 2017!
ELISABETH CARLSSON (NUTRITIONAL THERAPIST)
I aim to simplify my life more and one way of doing this is that I'm going to start meal plan properly and batch cook for the week. Stock my cupboards so I always have healthy meals and snacks at the end of my fingertips. This way I won't be stuck for a healthy and nourishing snack, preparing my son's packed lunch or knowing what to cook my family for supper and that part of my life is going to be more straightforward and less stressful.
Of course, I have a million other 'need/want/must' but the above will greatly improve the amount of time I spend on thinking about thinking about preparing and cooking! And that is where most people fall off the 'healthy' wagon if they don't have enough good food in the cupboards.
EMMA-JANE BUNN ( PRACTICE MANAGER & YOGA INSTRUCTOR)
I don't believe in making hard-and-fast resolutions, especially when it's so cold and dark at this time of year. The last thing you want to do is be too hard on yourself and make things feel even more miserable! But, my intentions moving forward are to re-ignite my passion for cooking and to make self-care a priority. When I'm busy or stressed out these are the first things to fall by the wayside - and yet should really be more of a focus! For me this includes trying out new recipes, getting more massage, connecting with my body on a deeper level by exploring more mindfully in my self-practice, trying new forms of movement like dance or Tai Chi, and maybe even getting the occasional pedicure. We can take our bodies for granted and I want to make sure mine feels as nurtured as it can this year!
VIVIEN LEUNG ( CO-FOUNDER)
Going into 2017 I am splitting my resolutions into 2 parts. Long term attitudinal goals that I want to turn into habits and more practical goals to help me achieve what I want this year.
Firstly and most importantly, I will be kinder to myself and focus on everyday joy. By going easy on myself, work and life will be a little lighter and tasks will become more enjoyable. Which leads me to my second attitudinal goal, which is to be more positive. It is so hard in today’s world to escape sadness, but I will always remember how lucky I am and will end my day every day sharing something good that happened- spreading love is definitely the way forward in 2017. My final goal is to actually switch off when I am supposedly switching off. Hard work gets results, but research shows if you take on too much and burn out, you won’t sustain high performance. So this year I will spend time regenerating; which means enjoying long walks, relaxing baths, exercising and reading without the pressure of getting something done during those moments.
Concerning more practical goals, I want to look after my body more, ensuring I am the strongest and healthiest person I can be this year. So more strength training on top of my regular yoga and Pilates practice, and more visits to the chiropractor to ensure I am aligned and balanced. Another objective is to take my love for podcasts and move from passively listening to actively remembering. I will do this through writing short reviews/ description of my favourite episodes (Freakanomics, TEDTalk, GirlBoss & HBR Ideacast); hopefully, this will help me remember the key take outs and action them in everyday life.
So that's it for me; it may seem like a long list of things to do, but I think it all comes down to a positive shift in attitude in work and life and creating goals that you know you will enjoy. The ultimate goal for me is to be the happiest person I can be and I hope my intentions and goals will help me achieve it.