Intentions for a New Year

8 Jan

Hello again, friends and Happy New Year!

My long absence can only be explained by severe stress and off-the-charts demands on my time. It’s been a wild ride.

I can’t believe we just wrapped up the first week of 2012! The idea of “New Year Resolutions” is a bit cliche for my taste and the success rate of such resolutions is not very promising. Rather than lofty resolutions, I want to set intentions for the new year to give it some direction and clarify what I want out of this phase of my life. I have spent the first week of the new year reflecting on 2011 and looking forward to what I want out of 2012 and finally, 8 days in, I’m ready to set some intentions. I’ve also been doing tons of yoga to end the old year and start the new which really impacted my goals.

Intentions for 2012:

1. Give to others what I want in return.

This one was inspired by Jen’s New Year post. If I want love, I will give love. If I want kindness, I will give kindness. If I want acceptance, I will give acceptance.

2. Practice loving, kindness, forgiveness, and acceptance with myself.

This one is all about self-love. In yoga, we talk about chakras- points of the body responsible for the reception and transmission of energies. The Heart Chakra is located at the center of the chest and is the center for love, understanding, limitless compassion, empathy and forgiveness. This goal includes stopping the self-guilt, negative self-talk, and taking care of my body with whole foods and exercise.

3. Live with intention.

One of the biggest changes I want to make this year is to practice being present and making every minute intentional. I am such a multi-tasker and while sometimes this is a good thing (and the only way for me to function in my crazy life), it doesn’t always serve me well. This year I want to set intentions for every day, every moment. When I rest, I rest. When I work, I work. This also includes achieving my career goals, fitness goals, engaging in my relationships, and blogging more!

4. Live at my edge, continue to find a new edge, and get rid of the baby elephant syndrome.

In yoga, I find my edge in every pose, breathe into it, push a little further, and find a new edge. This is also a good strategy for life. I want to push my edge a little more and find new potential.

One of my yoga teachers told us a story about baby elephant syndrome that really resonated with me:

An adult elephant can easily uproot huge trees with its trunk; it can knock down a house without much trouble. When an elephant living in captivity is still a baby, it is tied to a tree with a strong rope or a chain every night. Because it is the nature of elephants to roam free, the baby elephant instinctively tries with all its might to break the rope. But it isn’t yet strong enough to do so.

Realizing its efforts are of no use, it finally gives up and stops struggling. After the baby elephant tries and fails many times, it will never try again for the rest of its life.

Later, when the elephant is fully grown, it can be tied to a small tree with a thin rope. It could then easily free itself by uprooting the tree or breaking the rope. But because its mind has been conditioned by its prior experiences, it doesn’t make the slightest attempt to break free. The powerfully gigantic elephant has limited its present abilities based on the limitations of the past- Baby Elephant Syndrome.

Sometimes we let our past experiences and beliefs get in our way. Let go of your baby elephant syndrome! You are capable of so much more than you think! Discover your full potential!

5. Continue to find peace and calmness in the chaos.

This one will be the most difficult for me. My stress response is unreal. Stress is good for my productivity, but terrible for my well-being. I have too darn much I want to accomplish in my life, so I’ve accepted that I will always be living in chaos. Therefore, I must learn to find peace- or I might self-destruct 🙂

Thanks for reading 🙂

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2 Responses to “Intentions for a New Year”

  1. em January 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    best wishes as you finish up the internship, kayli! it is incredibly stressful, but at the end, you will feel like you can do anything (and you can!). hang in there…love your intentions for the new year.

  2. Hope January 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    Hey! I just stumbled across your blog and saw that you love fitness and nutrition (as do I!) and that you live in St Louis (me too!)! 🙂 I’m about to start the online Health Coach education course with Integrative Nutrition in March…lifelong dream for me! Just thought I’d leave you a comment because we seem to have a lot in common. 🙂 Your blog is awesome!

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