We’re already one month into 2024, dear readers! Can you believe it?
Thinking back to the visions that charmed us for this year, the intentions we outlined in words or writing… how do the opening musical phrases of 2024 sound so far?
How are we feeling and sensing the qualities of this fresh, newborn year? What about our goals? How healthy is our resolve to apply willpower toward positive outcomes?
If we’re doing well enough, and showing up each day we can meet ourselves and our true intentions in this world, and we might be feeling positive, strong, and sure-footed.
If, on the other hand, we’ve had a slippery, scrambly start to 2024, full of hesitation and struggle, that’s OK too. Human.
Maybe we have even let ourselves down, skipped out on our promises, gone out for cigarettes and never come back, psychologically speaking. Well, OK!
Anything that matters is worth trying again. Also, anything worth doing will be somewhat hard, some of the time.
Whether the light of our spirit has glowed or guttered so far, let’s begin this moment anew with a fresh cleansing sweep and start again.
Here are some encouragements from us at Villa Kali Ma for getting back in the saddle and sallying forth towards our true intentions.
1. Revise and Reprioritize Your Goals
We are always allowed to reconsider our goals and fiddle them into the right shape for us, as we are right now. Life is fluid and changing. Our goals might need to be too.
Sometimes life just doesn’t fit the image we had of it. We are always allowed to adjust the map as we go along and get information from the real terrain of life.
Perhaps after one month of mixed effort or even full-on failure, we have more information than we did before starting. Maybe reality has prompted us to reassess whether or not our goals were feasible and realistic. Or whether we even wanted those goals.
Whatever your situation, for each intention you set forth for 2024, take this opportunity to revise if needed, toss out if it’s truly legless, and recommit to those you’re serious about.
2. Use SMART Goals
Good, helpful goals are worded in such a way that they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based.
While grand New Year’s Resolutions tend not to last past February, well-worded goals that follow the SMART acronym’s recipe are luminously achievable, because they’re designed from the start to ensure small successes we can build on.
3. Makes Goals About Practices, Not Results
You may want to consider reframing your goal as a practice rather than an outcome. For example, losing a specific number of pounds is an outcome, but exercising three times a week for 30 minutes is a practice.
Sometimes the pressure to reach a specific result is too much for us, but a practice-based intention is always easy to succeed at, since if we do the practice we succeed, by definition.
And the success is important. Each promise we keep with ourselves is worth its weight in gold.
4. Make Your Goals Smaller
Even if a specific outcome is important to you, you might want to make the goal smaller and less intimidating, knowing you can always reach further in your next set of intentions.
If you want to be able to run a marathon eventually, what about starting with running 20 minutes three times a week for a month and taking it from there? When we’re ready for it, we can take on the greater challenge.
It is better to do a ridiculously modest goal successfully than it is to try something too big and let ourselves down again.
If you have a low opinion of your ability to follow through on your promises to yourself, design a foolproof experiment for yourself, something you can do for sure. 3 minutes a day of meditating for 7 days straight? Yes, I can do that. Complete that goal, small as it might be, and raise the stakes from there.
5. Fortify Your “Why”
The biggest assist for change, including integrating yoga therapy into our lives, is having a good reason for change. Change is hard. It takes effort and discomfort. We have to do and feel things that in the moment we might not feel like doing.
What will bridge us over the discomfort, resistance, negativity, and discouragement that might come up for us? Not to mention our urges to self-sabotage, to wreck our lives again?
A powerful why.
Love is the most powerful “why” of all. When we connect our goals directly to something or someone we love, that energy of love in our hearts will soften the edges of difficulty and infuse our efforts with nobility.
Excitement, eagerness, and curiosity come to our aid when we can connect goals with something we feel naturally passionate and positive about. Joy can move mountains.
When we have a powerful why, we will endure a lot, maybe without even feeling the pain of it, because the positive, benevolent glow of our desire and loving will are protecting us.
For each of your resolutions, try to generate at least 12 compelling good reasons that this resolution is worth fighting for. Make the entries on your list as poetic, evocative, and stirring as you possibly can, to waken the dragon of your powerful why.
6. Remember Your Why Not
If you truly don’t have a powerfully motivating reason that makes you smile and feel some uplifted energy, then you might want to ask yourself why this particular goal is on your list at all.
If you have an important health goal that you really feel like you “should” have on your list, (like getting sober!), but you can’t quite connect emotionally to the “why” about it, it’s ok to have negative whys be your reason. Things you want to avoid, and never have to experience again, are powerful motivators too.
I want to be sober forever because I don’t want to ever have to feel afraid of losing custody of my daughter again, I don’t ever want to have to ask my parents for money to go to rehab again, and I don’t want to ever have to feel so ashamed of myself ever again…
7. Have Compassion for Your Struggle
The truth is, life is hard a lot of the time. Of course, there are the good aspects of living – joy, love, humor, creative expression, passion for our work, and people. But if you also do suffer, if you find it hard to be in your skin – that is the human condition.
Suffering is part of change. It’s not the result of change, it’s part of the middle part of change. It is normal to be beset with challenges.
An argument can be made that the fight for your life, your happiness, etc, is part of proving to yourself how serious you are about this. Everything good is worth fighting for. When there’s a lot of opposition (even from within you), the answer isn’t to shrink back, necessarily. Maybe you need to lean in and just keep going.
But if it’s hard, be nice to yourself about that and know that it’s hard for everyone else, too. Maybe not all the time, but at some point in human life, there is a challenge for each and all.
8. Psych Yourself up With a Positive Rant
If you’re getting that feeling of dread and oh no before something you promised yourself you’d stick with, it can help to do a short burst of out-loud or inner pep talk monologue to fire yourself up:
I want to exercise because I like the feeling of relaxation and being “spent”. It’s going to feel so good! It’s going to be that warm, delicious feeling of stepping into the shower after I’m done and I’m feeling all good all over! I’m going to have so much energy and have such a good sleep tonight! It’s going to feel GREAT to slip into the sheets! I’m going to feel so proud of myself for doing it!
9. If You Don’t Want to Do Something, Find Out Why
If you’re facing a lot of inner resistance, take some reflection time to find out why.
Journal on the following questions:
What are you afraid will happen to you if you make this change?
Are you sabotaging yourself?
Do you truly want to achieve this goal? If yes, why? If not, why not?
Is it a goal you should do, or is it a genuine expression of who you are, and what you’re here to do with your time on planet Earth?
Villa Kali Ma’s Whole Body Approach to Your Goals
Villa Kali Ma specializes in how women can evolve and change themselves for the better, shaking off the burdens and shackles of addiction, trauma, and mental health trouble so the bright spirit we are can finally thrive.
We have a deep understanding of all that opposes the human spirit from thriving, and all of the many forces of positive growth inside of us which can be activated to help us bloom.
If you’re ready to bloom bigger, friend, consider us your ally!