With the New Year can come unwanted pressure. As friends and family around you vow countless resolutions, a flicker of guilt can set in and make you feel like you need a list your own. While the New Year is of course a time for fresh starts, it doesn’t need to be a complete overhaul of your entire life. Ayurveda promotes a sustainable approach. The small practices you do every day are far more valuable than inconsistent attempts at much larger goals.
Taking on these large and often unattainable goals is a common pitfall of January 1st. The pressure of trying to take on everything in the first month of the year will likely leave you feeling disappointed and deflated by the time February rolls around. The New Year shouldn’t be an opportunity to berate yourself for any perceived shortcomings of the previous 12 months. In many cases, people set resolutions or goals to punish themselves in a way, setting strict guidelines and unachievable targets.
The Ayurvedic outlook is to go gently with yourself, at a moderate pace, and focus on goals that will support your well-being. If you live a fast paced life, you may be in too much of a rush to give this approach a chance and fear it won’t give instant results. You’re right, it won’t give instant results, but it can give lasting results. It is possible to achieve your goals without running yourself into the ground. You just need to be committed in the long run, and willing to see it through. This post will help you move past the myths that the New Year has to mean a new you. Instead, it will focus on tools to create supportive goals and help you see them come to fruition.
PLAN AND PREPARE
Taking the time to consciously plan your New Year goals is the most important step. At this point, you don’t need to worry too much about how exactly you will execute your plans, you just need to focus on what exactly you want the next 12 months to bring. Throw away any misconceptions you have about what you should aim for, and think about what targets are unique to you. Know what you want first, and figure out how to get it second.
Invest some time, even just an a few hours, to plan out what you want to achieve. Following a guided meditation is a great way to clear your mind and focus your thoughts on the task at hand. Tuck yourself up under a blanket in savasana (corpse pose) with some gentle music and picture the year ahead. See what comes up, you might be surprised! Maybe you want a new car, to learn a new skill, or to focus on your health and well-being. The goals will vary widely from person to person.
Once you have an idea of what you want to focus on this year, a creative way to map it out is to compile your own personal vision board. Whatever it is that you decide on, find images of people already doing it. Make a collage and hang it somewhere, maybe in your bedroom or in your office, where you can look at it every day. This will remind you of what you are working towards, especially when motivation levels are low.
Once you have figured out what exactly you want and have a clear picture of your goals, now it’s time to figure out how to get it. Start mapping out manageable targets to make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself in the process or set unrealistic timelines. Ayurveda’s approach is a slow and steady one. For example, if a goal of yours is to write a novel this year, commit yourself to writing one page a day. This may not seem like much, but your cumulative effort will reap rewards, and you can always do a little more in your free time. The point is to pick a realistic goal and stick with it. If your dream is to run a marathon, give yourself enough time to train. Set small weekly goals, follow a training plan, and watch yourself progress over the coming months. You’ll be far more likely to enjoy the process and remain injury free too.
INVEST IN YOUR HEALTH
There is no denying that the best goal any of us can work on is our health. Making that investment is one you will never regret, and will serve all other areas of your life. If working on your health is a goal, map out the reasons why this is important to you and make it a priority. As with everything, you don’t want to take on a whole new health regime in week one. Instead, pick one area to focus on each week and start accumulating a set of self care practices. Ayurveda offers a wealth of knowledge on how to care for your body daily. Let’s take a look at a few ways Ayurveda can transform your health this year.
The best place to get started with implementing an Ayurvedic lifestyle is to follow a simple daily routine. The more time you have the better, but even just 30 minutes in the morning can set you up for your day ahead. Upon rising, scrape your tongue with an Ayurvedic tongue scraper and swish some cold pressed sesame oil around your mouth. This cleanses the oral cavity, and also stimulates your digestive system ahead of breakfast. Before getting stuck into all your tasks and to-do lists, set aside 15 minutes for meditation and deep breathing. If you struggle with this, begin with just 2-3 minutes, and spend the rest of the time journaling. Move your body each day and make sure to take time out for rest. Do your best to go to bed between 10-10.30 pm each night to wake up feeling rejuvenated.
As well creating a more supportive daily routine, learning how to fuel your body is one of the best skills you can acquire. We all need to eat everyday, and the food you take in not only allows you to survive, but it can enable you to thrive. By knowing what foods work best for your individual body type, you can feel vibrant and well all year round. The Holistic Highway Meal Plan has done all the hard work for you. Each week, you receive five seasonally appropriate recipes that suit your specific metabolic type. Best of all, the recipes are simple to prepare, and instructions on how to make each meal family friendly are included too. The first two weeks are on the house, so get your New Year off to a tasty start!
The Holistic Highway also offers year long Transformational Wellness Plans. These plans help you uncover and resolve your imbalance at its root by providing personalized support for your unique needs. They are 12 months in duration for a very important reason – success doesn’t happen overnight. Our programs help you through the ebbs and flows, and highs and lows, when working on your wellbeing. Why not make this the year you commit to putting yourself, and your health, first?
Ayurveda takes the individual into consideration, ensuring your unique needs are catered for. In your year long program, you will learn about your individual body type and what foods best support you, how to stay healthy year round through seasonal adjustments, how to cleanse Ayurvedically, daily routines and much more. These programmes take you step by step through a full year of personalized coaching, ensuring you learn what you need to maintain good health for a lifetime.
MAKE GRATITUDE YOUR ATTITUDE
Your attitude is just as important as the work you put into achieving your goals. No journey towards a significant goal is going to go exactly according to plan, so you should anticipate some ups and downs and persevere despite the setbacks along the way. If you’ve spent the time consciously planning what you want to achieve, a minor hiccup in the road shouldn’t be enough to derail you. Remember why you set this goal in the first place and adjust course if needed. Also, be grateful for all progress you are making, no matter how small. If what you are working towards is something you truly want, it should be an enjoyable addition to your life.
At the end of each month, take some time to rest and reflect, not only on your new goals, but on all you already have to be grateful for. Turn a page in your yearly planner into a gratitude list and regularly add what you are grateful for and why. If you are choosing to make the commitment to your health and wellness this year, Ayurveda offers a personalized approach to your goals. It teaches how to live a balanced and sustainable lifestyle year round, not just for January.
Schedule an appointment with Ayurvedic Practitioner and founder of the Holistic Highway, Kerry Harling, to learn more about what a 12 month Ayurvedic programme can do for you.
Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy New Year!