I love New Year’s resolutions, not because I necessarily always stick with them but because they give me the chance to reflect on the past year, my self-growth, and form new ideas about how I would like to improve my life in the coming year. For me, writing them down helps me acknowledge them, and once they have been written they really do stick with me for the rest of the year so I’m able to make changes. If you’ve never written down your NYR, I highly encourage you to do it this year as you may just learn something new about yourself, and a way to improve your life. And then, if nothing comes of it, let it go. Don’t let the list make you feel guilty if it becomes nothing more than a list. I have a feeling that no matter how small the change, in writing it down you and your life will in some way change for the better. You will be AWARE of your resolutions, which is half the battle! Ok, so, as promised in my previous post (New Year, New You), here are my 2011 resolutions. I hope I inspire you to make a list too, if you have not yet done it – it is still only January after all! (Here is a link to some guidelines, in case making a NYR list is new to you: How to Make a New Year’s Resolution and Keep It)


1. ANTICIPATE STRESS As many people do, I tend to get stressed out during the end of the year. Between Holiday cards, parties, gifts, work and family, there is always a lot to get done in a short period of time. I know this time is stressful and yet I never plan for the stress. This year, I would like to get in front of stress. If I anticipate something will be stressful, I am going to be prepared! I believe the first step is to simply acknowledge that it will be stressful. The next would be perhaps to have some time set aside amidst the madness, to simmer down the stress. As mentioned in New Year, New You, I am going to learn to meditate. I have already picked up a few very helpful tools and am going to dedicate more time to learning how to breathe through the difficulties and practice meditation. (Now you can hold me accountable. I look forward to sharing the experience with you!)


2. CUT BACK THE PLANNING Most people who know me know that I am a total planner.  I love to have a plan, whether it is five weeks away or five days away and for the most part, I can remember it all in my mental calendar. That is a lot of wasted space! I like to know what is coming and how to be prepared. It can definitely be very helpful, particularly in times of stress, but at other times, it can get in the way of simply being present and allowing things to happen on their own. I believe we are all striving to stay present from moment to moment (the foundation of yoga) and I will of course to work on this (hence the meditation) but in addition, I would like to try to let go of the planning just a little bit and learn to enjoy not always having a plan.


3. QUIETING ANAL DOWN I have spent plenty of time sharing Anal (my alter-ego (and name spelled backwards)) with you (in my blog New Year, New You) and simply want to make it a resolution that I will continue to quiet her down. In addition, I will be especially mindful of her critical ideas about what a healthy body should look like so that I can keep my promise to you to remember how impractical the “ideal” American body really is.


4. KEEP SEARCHING I vow to continue to research new ways to be healthier and happier as well as how I can contribute further to a healthier, happier planet. Here are a few examples: I will regularly post ideas about health and wellness here on my blog – my goal is to keep you updated regularly. I am going to begin composting in my backyard so I can cut back on our waste and help the environment (Aunt Mary, I will be contacting you shortly about composting!)


5. SAYING NO This one is a new one for me and very important for me to embrace in 2011. Back in college, I had a boyfriend who helped me to understand the importance of saying yes to things: remaining open to new experiences and possibilities. I didn’t like leaving my comfort zone so saying no felt natural. Thanks to him, I became very open and willing to accept all invitations to do and try new things. Now, it is time to say no to things – but in a different way. I tend to over commit myself to people, activities…you name it! I feel guilty not helping someone out in need or not accepting an invitation some place. And in the end, I am exhausted and unhappy because I said yes to things when I should have listened to my gut, and said no. So, in 2011, I am going to make the effort to be authentic to myself and say yes to the things I genuinely want to do and no to the things that I don’t. Out with resentment, guilt and exhaustion and in with the power to say NO because it feels good!