No, really, this is your year

In Features, Magazine by RI Magazine

If you stop looking for fast results, you can buck the trend and finally make it work.

BY HEATHER QUINLAN

Another holiday season is gone and another winter is upon us. And depending on how your new year’s resolutions went last year, this time of year can bring up a lot of different emotions. If they went well, you’re probably excited and looking to build on that success. If they went poorly, then you’re probably looking back at wasted opportunity—just another 365 days gone by. And everyone around you is making grand statements of hitting the gym every day, eating super clean, and cutting out the booze. All these are made with good intentions, of course, but very few are backed with a clear plan of action, and so very few will stick with their resolutions into February.

Change has never been easy, but the ease of everyday life makes change even more difficult. We live in a world of instant gratification—greater now than at any point in history. We can order any physical goods—and virtual ones like streaming movies, TV, games, etc—all from our phones, which never seem to leave our sides. These changes, while convenient, make it harder to look within ourselves to find the strength to change. Social media can make it worse, creating an impression that the perfect body, relationship, or home is not even exceptional anymore—it’s the norm. The fact is any long term, lasting change or goals takes not only effort but an investment of time that few seem willing to give.

The question is not who’s the “new you” in 2018, but do you have faith enough in yourself to stick with it? Do you have the patience? As a yoga teacher, I see change different than most; it’s the little tiny improvements I want to see in my students every day that, six months down the road, or six years down the road, have finally made a big difference. It’s the students that show up and have to decide mentally to make the changes for themselves, by themselves. I can’t do it for them. As with a physical practice of any sort, you keep showing up and doing the work, never giving up. You can apply that to any personal or professional goals or resolutions you are working on.

At the end of the day it’s the accumulation of those little steps that win the long game. Take the first step now—right from where you stand. This doesn’t have to be just another year. It can be the beginning of a new life.

Heather Quinlan is a certified Bikram Yoga instructor and the owner of Bikram Yoga Burlington, in Massachussets. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

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