Three Actions To Make Stuff Happen in 2015
It’s two weeks until 2015 so let’s talk about the elephant in the room:
Personally, I don’t like the word. For one thing, I associate it with failure. Also, it insinuates that something I did in 2014 was wrong and I should “resolve” to not do that anymore. That ancient judgment system doesn’t bode well for creating change.
I do love the clean-slate-ness of a new year, however. Sure, a fresh start is available to us at any moment, like right now. There’s something incredibly powerful, though, about nearly everyone on the planet all at once declaring: “This is what I'm up to in 2015!” So—to increase my chances for making stuff happen next year—I’m changing “resolutions” to “what I'm up to.” Which brings me to Action #1:
CHANGE YOUR LANGUAGE. Our words are our biggest tools in our shed. As a writer, I feel freedom when I write exactly what I want to say, simply and powerfully. As a yoga teacher, I feel lighter when I say something real and true over what sounds good. Words carry energy and when we say precisely what we want, an energetic clearing occurs. Alignment happens. At Baptiste programs, we spend hours just practicing how we speak. A new possibility is instantly available to us by simply switching how we talk about ourselves.
Say something you want in 2015 is to be on time (great one, by the way). You probably describe yourself as “late." Like it’s an innate quality. Instead, say: “In the past, I’ve been late." You immediately put your habit behind you. It’s not part of you anymore. Soon, you start showing up on time because you’re not carrying around “late.” It’s something you used to do, just because you said so. You're so powerful that what you say, becomes.
CHOOSE YOUR INTENTION. THEN CHOOSE IT AGAIN. And again. Intentions only work if we’re consistent at them. The practice of consistency looks like this: Say my focus/intention is to take a break from my phone for an hour. I’ll put it down. Literally fewer than two minutes will go by before my autopilot picks it up to check to see if anything cool has happened in the last 90 seconds. Oh yeah, right, I'm up to something else. Put it down. Forget. Pick it up. Oh wait. Back to my intention again. It’s not about never, ever losing focus. It’s about re-committing (every 90 seconds if needed). We’re less likely to re-commit if we beat ourselves up every time we forget what we’re up to.
You can replace “Take a break from my phone” with anything: “Plan a vacation;” “Practice yoga five days a week;” “Accept myself.” Your autopilot will go back to what you’ve known. Choose your intention again. Like anything in the beginning, the work will seem tedious, frustrating, and even futile. But the work is so worth it.
HAVE A STRATEGY FOR WHEN YOU GO TO THE DARK SIDE. Key word being “when.” Something that always seems to happen to me on the rollercoaster Ride O’ Life is when the ride is fun and easeful, I forget it's a rollercoaster. My experience of the ride is going to change: my mood, my perspective, my co-riders, the world. And I will forget what I'm up to. Key word being “will.” Not in a forever-detrimental way. Losing our way is essential to any kind of forward motion. The goal is to catch myself quickly and implement my pre-planned, DEFCON-5esque strategy: Read the letter I wrote myself when I was feeling strong. Look at the photos I've “liked” on Instagram (They're either going to inspire me or make me laugh, because those are the only kinds of pictures I like). Connect with someone who is on her easy, fun part of the ride. And do those things as often as needed.
Declare what you're up to now. Choose it every minute, every hour. 2015 is your year, simply because you say so.
Jessica Kenny is a writer who teaches yoga or yoga teacher who writes, depending on the day. For a long time she did neither and was not very happy. She is a Certified Baptiste Teacher in San Francisco and contributes articles to many online and print publications. You can keep up with Jess and her ginger self on her website and Instagram.