Happy New Year!!
I am so excited about 2016 I could just spit!
2015 was such a great year in my life. My best friend got married, I rode down Route 66 working on a vintage car race, I met some really wonderful new friends, reconnected with some really fabulous old ones, did three shows at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, got a big girl job (finally!), and fell in love with my sweet Shaun and tricked him into letting me move in. I have been so overwhelmingly happy and have felt so very lucky to live my life.
But, as with each year, there have been some trouble spots to the year as well. I lost my beloved Aunt Evelyn, fell out of touch or had to distance myself from people with whom I was once very close, stopped singing nearly as much, the world went crazy with racism, violence and greed, I lost touch with my yoga practice and I gained about 30 unwanted pounds.
All in all though, I’d say the good greatly outweighed the bad and I am still extremely fortunate. And the best part of all the bad is that I learned valuable lessons about who I want to be and how I want to live my life and I now have tons of wonderful goals for the New Year!
As I said last week on my Instagram, I am planning a whole-self overhaul this year and I want YOU to be a part of it. I need accounatbility and I figure, if I ask you to hold me accountable via this blog, perhaps we can all help each other and maybe you will find some inspiration and encourgement as well! So, each day, I am going to start my post with a daily, weekly and monthly goal. Some of them will be difficult. Some of them, maybe not so much, but if you want to join in my goals, awesome. If you want to create goals of your own, that’s perfect too! I will be here and on Facebook and Instagram (hayleyg113), every day (or as close as I can manage) to be your encouragement, offer some advice, challenges, words of love and to hopefully practice what I preach so that I can also accomplish my goals for the year (which I will list at the bottom of this post). I hope you’ll be on my team!
That being said, I want to mention a couple of things. One, do NOT let anyone stand in the way of your goals or cause you to question them. DO. NOT. I posted on Instagram recently that I wanted to lose weight for the New Year and got a little bit vibed for it from some folks who view my “superficial” goal as being counterproductive to “being healthy” which they believe is a superior goal. But, here’s the thing (I’m going to explain myself here to illustrate a point, but I am going to give up explaining myself in 2016.), I am 30 pounds overweight. I’m causing myself physical issues by having this extra weight. So, shedding this weight is a step toward better health. Yes, I want to be healthy as well, but losing weight is a perfectly acceptable goal. I won’t apologize for the things I want to achieve. You don’t have to either! Don’t apologize for striving to be whatever it is you want to be. No one else can live your life for you, so tune those voices out.
Secondly, let go of your ego. And, I say this ironically because I understand that writing a blog requires some deal of ego, as you have to believe people will read it and, for lack of a better term, give a shit. BUT, ego is the greatest hindrance to self-worth. When we compete and try to become better than other people, we either become insuffrable and lonely or we become self-absorbed, lose our confidence and feel like we’re struggling. All. the. time.
So, with that, I give you today’s goal. (And tomorrow’s. Because it’s late in the day and I’m tired.) The goal for January 1 and 2 2016 is to drop the ego! Whatever you do for the next two days, approach it without any sense of being the best. For example, today I took a yoga class with my lovely friend Sally Bacon, where she taught a beautiful sequence with lots of opportunities for advanced variations. But, as I wanted to lose the ego, I decided to challenge myself to only do the most beginner-level variations, to drop to my knees and to not take any fancy postures. And, let me tell you, it was HARD. Not only because I really do love playing with more difficult variations but I also felt a weird ego-driven need to one-up the people around me because I am a teacher and I though people might notice the variations I take so they better be cool ones! But why? Why do I care what other people think or notice about my practice? It’s mine. I can challenge myself in a lot of ways, and dropping my ego was a really tough one. But, super rewarding. I left class feeling strong and rejuvenated, not exhausted and beaten down, which is how I often feel when I push myself too hard. It ended up being exactly what I needed! So, pay attention to those moments when ego takes over and let. that. shit. go.
The goal for the week is to set your goals for the upcoming year. Some people call them resolutions, but I’m going to stick to goals. Come up with your goals for the year. Write them down. Evaluate which goals are manageable and if they aren’t, try to break them down into manageable pieces. Get your final list together and put it somewhere you can look at it every day. Let your goals be as much a part of your every day as all the mundane, boring tasks you do without thinking. And then, tell yourself that those goals are already in the bag. What you believe, you achieve. Believe in yourself!
The goal for January is to sweat. Sweat a lot. Sweat until your sweat sweats. I don’t care how you do it. Just do. I’ve come to realize that I am most happy when I’m doing things that produce sweat: dancing, practicing yoga, acting in a really hot costume, playing sports, hanging out at the beach on a super hot day… the list goes on. It’s weird because I hate working out but that’s what I typically associate with sweat. So, if you’re like me and you hate “working out,” find a new sweaty alternative! Dance! Do cartwheels! Jump on a trampoline! Whatever it is, just find something fun that makes you sweat. You’ll find (I’m certain.) that you feel happier, healthier and more alive. And mark it in your calendar every day. Make time for it! I promise it’ll be worth it!
So, those are the goals and I will remind you every day of my goals (and yours if you so choose!) and tell you what I’ve one to accomplish them that day!
Finally, I want to share my 2016 goals with you. I’m already off to a great start as I attended a yoga class this morning to get my sweat on and tonight, I cooked a delicious (Shaun can back me up on this!!) meal of sweet potato, black-eyed peas and wilted greens pictured above (credit credit: Thug Kitchen) and I enjoyed reading some of my book and just enjoying a quiet day at home. But, in no particular order, my goals for 2016:
- Use my online presence to hold myself accountable! (Check.)
- Journal daily.
- Cook once a month. (Check for today! I’m just so proud!)
- Lose that 30 pounds of happy weight I’m not so happy about.
- Quit eating so much garbage and eliminate diet soda from my diet.
- Go to the beach.
- Learn to play one of my instruments. 10 minutes of practice per day.
- Do one new thing per month.
- Make NO frivolous purchases; only necessities and gifts.
- Budget. Budget. Budget. And get that debt paid off!
- Drink more water.
- Read one book per month. (Thanks for my sweet Kindle Chris and Dan!)
- Do not read the comments on news articles online. Definitely do not respond.
- Downsize. I have too much dang stuff.
- Ride my bike. Seriously.
- Recommit to my yoga practice.
- DANCE. A lot. A LOT. Because why the heck not?!
- Make something cool with my hands. I don’t have to be crafty to craft.
- Meditate more.
There will be revisions/additions/subtractions to this list, I am sure. But, for now, this is the list. What are your goals? Let me know what you hope for 2016! We can do this! Together!!
All my love and light,