I’ve spent the first day of 2017 the same way I spent the last day of 2016, pottering around the house and talking to the dog.  So, in some ways it’s a bit hard to get overly excited about this new year.  But, in taking some time to reflect on the journey of the past year, I can’t help but feel grateful for all the great experiences I have had, the lessons learned, the new friends met, and the many opportunities to share mindful movement with others.  2016 has not been without challenges, that’s for sure, but it has also been a great year of learning, and I hope that 2017 will bring more opportunities for learning, loving, laughing, moving, and sharing.

I’m not a huge fan of resolutions, especially considering that apparently only 8% of people achieve their resolutions.  I am more inclined to do my goal setting at times when I’m feeling more readiness for change.  Right now, I’m just feeling a bit tired and ready for a nap.  But, that doesn’t mean I don’t have plans.  I’m planning right now.  Want to join me?

My practice, teaching, and business are all guided by my own personal set of core values which also help to guide my life, my actions, and relationships in general.  But, for some reason I’ve felt a shift in those values this past year, and that is what is guiding my (tentative) aims for 2017

‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’ has long been a guiding principle for me.  But, I might have misunderstood that quote, thinking if I was just flowing along and doing my best to be peaceful, compassionate, tolerant and accepting, that the world would somehow become a better place.  However, if 2016 taught me nothing else it was that I can’t just be peaceful and compassionate at home with my dog Bob and hope that the world will change.  If I’m going to ‘be the change’, I’m going to have to ‘be it’ out there, in the world.  Which, for a hermit like me, is no small step.  But, I can no longer stand by (or lie on the couch-by) and not get involved.

So, for this year, I am planning (planning on planning?) to take my practice off the mat and out of the house and take a more active role in my community and my world.  In that aim, I am beginning to work on three resolutions; one for me, one for my role in the community, and one for my world:

  • An aim for my own growth, self-study or self-care
  • An aim for co-creating positive growth in my community
  • An aim for contributing to a more sustainable world

I haven’t fleshed these out fully yet, maybe after my nap. But, I know a few things:

  • This year I want to study something different. After 20 years of studying yoga and movement, I’d like to try studying horticulture, or a language, or maybe a building skill (power tools!)
  • This year I want to get to know my community better and take part in conversations outside of my usual ‘echo chamber’. I want to be exposed to greater diversity in other thoughts, ideas and experiences in an effort to hear the voices and concerns of all of those in my community.
  • This year I would like to be a bit better to the earth, so reducing consumption in some way is a goal…perhaps it will be taking a ‘fast’ from shopping (thanks for the great idea Claire!)

Whatever I end up resolving, it’s got to be about my aims, not just the ones that I hear other people declaring on January 1st, or the aims that I think I should have.  My goals will come from what is arising for me now; those areas that are ripe for change, growth, and practice.   Intentions only work when you are ready for change, when you can set goals with sincere intention.

So, if you are in place where you would like to set some intentions/resolutions for this next year, maybe take some time to notice what is arising now for you, and perhaps set your aims around those areas that are emerging and are ready for change, growth, or practice.

And, perhaps you’ll join me in setting some aims for yourself, for your community, and for your world.  After some tough times in 2016, perhaps we can all ‘be the change’ together…

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