I hesitate to ask, but if you have a New Year's resolution, how is that going? Maybe you've resolved to find your way to your yoga mat more often. If so, are you still on track? I hope so.
Many times, we give up on our resolutions quickly because we're unable to get into the firm habit of doing whatever we need to do to reach our objectives. That's why, by this time in January, many of us have fallen off the wagon, whatever we resolved to do on December 31st. That's okay. Dust yourself off and climb back on that wagon if you want.
Sometimes though, feeling immense resistance to doing this thing that you wanted to do less than a month ago is telling you something important. Can you take a closer look at your resolution, be completely honest with yourself and decide if it's truly what you want? Many times, it takes doing something for a week, a month or even longer to know for sure whether we really, really want what we thought we wanted, or to discover that it's not for us. And that's okay too. We can let go of a resolution and move forward into 2022 a little lighter.
If you've been honest with yourself and decide that you absolutely do want to continue onward with your New Year's resolution, I'm here to help. Below, I've listed a few tools and a resource to get you back on track and fully committed to whatever you've resolved to do. All of these can be applied to establishing the habit of your personal yoga practice, but also to anything else you'd like to do in 2022. They aren't specific to yoga practice. If you'd like tools to motivate you that are specific to personal yoga practice, be sure to re-read Chapter Five of my book. There is so much in that chapter to help you find your way back to your yoga mat. (If you haven't purchased my book yet, and you'd like to, you can do so here.)
It's been important to my own life this month to gather some additional motivational tools as my intention for 2022 is to get back into a daily writing practice. I'm starting work on my next yoga book. While I really enjoy writing, making myself actually sit down to write is incredibly difficult. So, I need strong and effective motivational tools for daily writing practice, just as you might need motivational tools for personal yoga practice or anything else you are intending to achieve this year.
Here are some simple tools and a resource I've found that I'm going to use to build the habit of writing. I hope you also find them useful:
· Stack the new habit onto another established habit. For example, if your intention is to meditate every day, sit down to meditate immediately after you brush your teeth in the morning or evening.
· Do small increments of your activity, often. With this tool in mind, I'm going to sit down to write at least one paragraph every day until it feels like a normal part of my day. I'll probably write more than just one paragraph too. Bonus.
· Be as comfortable as you possibly can. So, if your objective is to train for a 5K, this might mean buying yourself the perfect lightweight jacket and replacing your old, worn-out running shoes with shiny, new ones.
· Reward yourself while engaging in the activity, not just after completing the activity. For example, have a piece of chocolate when you sit down on your yoga mat to practice. And have another one after practice, if you'd like. This little chocolate-flavored dopamine boost may motivate you to spend more time practicing and help get you on your mat again the next day.
· Lastly, listen to or watch "The Huberman Lab Podcast" #53. You will learn some of the neuroscience that underlies habit formation, and Dr. Huberman describes two science-based systems for habit formation that might be helpful to you. You can find the podcast on YouTube and Apple Podcasts.
I hope you have a productive and happy finish to January. As always, please feel free to reach out to me with questions or comments and suggestions for future newsletters. Thank you so much for being here. It's an honor to share and connect with you this way.
With much love,