It’s now the middle of June and we have the solstice coming up on Monday 20 June. Whether you are in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, this is a significant date of the year as it marks our half way point of the seasons this year. Our days will be getting longer or shorter (depending on where in the world you are) and all of us have a new season to look forward to.
In the past few years, I have always wished that I practised yoga outside or watched sunrise at Stonehenge to feel the energy and celebrate the start of the summer season. Have you seen pictures of thousands of people practising yoga at New York’s Time Square every year? Don’t you just want to join in with them? Despite wanting to do these things every year, I have never done them because it might rain (which is likely if you live in Britain), Stonehenge is too far, New York is even further, I have to work, etc. etc.
This year, rather than thinking about what I wish I will do/have done on summer solstice (despite knowing that I won’t do them), I am thinking about the first half of this year, what it has meant for me and whether I am closer to reaching my long-term goals. I have never made New Year’s resolutions as I don’t think they will ever work. The concept of New Year’s resolutions has always felt like a fad to me which doesn’t bold longevity. My view is that if I want something, then I will work towards it at the moment I set my mind to it. Why wait until that single day of the year to make my dream a reality?
One of my goals in the past few years is to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle and try to be healthy without taking the fun out of it. It occurred to me two weeks ago that despite having that as one of my overall goals in life, I have been putting my mind and body into serious jeopardy for the sake of my new business. I have heard the saying before that ‘Your Wealth is in Your Health’ and I thought that by practising yoga sometimes and eating relatively well then my body can just carry on and on. However, two weeks ago, my common sense finally hit me and I realised that I had to make drastic changes in my lifestyle to look after myself a lot better. I decided to take a step back, rest and prioritise what is really important to me. I do not regret what has happened and I won’t beat myself up about this. I have learned from this and I am taking positive steps to a healthier lifestyle and that is the only thing I can do.
Did you make any New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of the year? Have you kept them? If you haven’t, please don’t beat yourself up about it. I believe that self-blame is not only unproductive, it is actually quite damaging. Whatever has gone on in the first six months of this year has passed and we made decisions to take those actions for reasons that we justified to ourselves. All of us can make the changes as of now to make whatever dreams or goals that we want a reality.
Similar to yoga, to make our dreams and goals a reality, a lot of this takes motivation, focus and determination. A lot of this also takes time and this is one of the hardest things we have to accept. We now live in an age where we expect everything almost instantly and sometimes, our impatience is one of the reasons why we don’t make our dreams a reality.
I find it useful to think about how I will feel once I have achieved what I wished for and what that really means to me in the long term. Here are some tips I am sharing with you to make your dreams and goals a reality, no matter whether you started this on New Year’s day this year, last year or as of today:
- Believe that you can and will achieve what you want.
Say it out loud to yourself on a daily basis and mean it when you say it. Words are very powerful. You might not believe it at the beginning but with practise, you will start believing in it. Think it, smell it, taste it and live it.
- Surround yourself with a positive environment to help you achieve what you want.
If you are trying to lose some body fat, having a freezer stocked full of frozen pizzas and ice-cream is not going to help.
If you have people in your life that see the glass half empty rather than half full and doubts your ability to achieve what you want, don’t let that affect your plan to achieve what you want. People who see the glass half empty or half full don’t realise that things change all the time. We can always refill that glass.
- Have a plan in place.
If you do not have a plan and actions set against it, all of this is merely a dream.
If it helps, put post-it notes on your fridge to remind you of actions that you can take.
If you want to win the lottery, you still need to go and buy that ticket.
- Tell your friends and family about this.
By telling them, you are announcing that you will make this a reality and they will hopefully give you the support you need to make this happen.
- Understand that all of this takes time and it is unlikely to be a straight line downhill.
This is another reason why friends and family are important as they will help encourage you to reach your goals. Patience is key.
- If you notice progress, pat yourself on the back.
One of the things that I used to be very good at is to not recognise my achievements and when friends praised me for my achievements like my weight loss or passing an exam, I dismissed these compliments and by doing that, I diminished how hard I have worked towards them.
This is not going to be easy. If you notice any progress, make sure you say “Well Done!” to yourself and tell yourself that you are doing very well. You can do this!
At the end of each Bikram class, I quietly thank myself and say “Well Done!” to myself regardless of how the class went. This is very encouraging and keeps my motivation going.
- Have fun with it!
No matter what your plan is, make sure you have fun during the journey to make this slightly easier for yourself. If you make a mistake, laugh about it, pick yourself up and carry on. Remember that this is not going to be downhill in a straight line all the way. If you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, it’s ok to be upset, cry about it, pick yourself up and carry on. All of this is ok and normal. Just make sure that you enjoy it. Otherwise it will never last.
Make your dreams and goals a reality. Don’t wait until 1 January 2017.
Make it happen today.
I would love to hear your comments on this.