I currently feel uninspired to write my obligatory “happy new year” post. You know, the one with some cliche quote about new beginnings as I provide a profound recap of how I found myself over the last decade. I have this love-hate relationship with social media, especially Instagram. I tend to disappear often, especially during the holidays. To be honest, I just can’t stand the cheese factor of it all. I’m a positive person but I don’t like to paint an unrealistic picture of life. I’m a sucker for a good dose of gritty reality and I think we all need a little more of that in our lives.
A lot has happened since 2010 and just because I woke up to a new year I certainly haven’t completed my story yet. This isn’t the end of the book where all my mistakes have been made and now I just get to ride off into the sunset. At least I hope not. At 38 years old I’m two years away from completing my third decade of life and this is the one that has defined me as a person more than any other. So instead of sharing how much I have been blessed with, let me share some important lessons I have learned and the new goals I resolve to meet.
Lesson #1: Children are a blessing but it’s okay if your life still has a greater purpose.
I got married in 2010 at age 28 and had four pregnancies and three babies by 2015. During those five years, I would have lied and told you that my purpose in life was to be a mother. Don’t get me wrong, being a mother is hands down the greatest accomplishment of my life, but as I carried around my babies I also carried a ton of anxiety and fear about the future. I was afraid that there was nothing more to being me because being a mother didn’t fulfill my life’s purpose. I doubted that I was capable of finding success on my own. Things shifted at the end of 2015 when I decided to take a job with Beautycounter. I was terrified of failing, especially in a business that required sales, but I followed my heart. This job set my brain on fire and has given me the confidence to know that there is so much more to ME..
Lesson #2: I get stronger when I walk away from toxic relationships.
At the end of 2015 I also abruptly and quietly left the studio where I had practiced yoga for eight years. That story is for another blog but I’ll summarize by saying that I experienced an awakening. I learned that just because someone teaches really good yoga classes and says really inspiring words about life, it doesn’t mean they are practicing truthfulness in their own lives. I also learned that I’m a strong ass woman that doesn’t need or desire to be accepted by cliques or girl gangs in order to be worthy. While it is painful as hell, you grow a million times stronger when someone spreads untruths about you and violates the things you told them in confidence. It’s liberating to learn that none of that shit defines you.
Lesson #3: It’s okay to admit something isn’t for you.
I started my second business, OM Yoga Studio, in 2016. It wasn’t easy at all, but I slowly rebuilt my circle of friends out of those who also desired truthfulness. I found people who wanted to practice yoga without gimmicks and false idols. I learned that I could practice yoga with many different teachers who were all human yet pure in their intentions. I also learned that, while I love teaching, I suck at running the business of yoga. At first I worried that people would call me a failure. But I realized that, as always, God has a greater plan. I was able to pass the torch to someone who was perfect for running my business. Now I get to teach and practice in the studio I started and watch it flourish.
Lesson #4: I’m busy because I want to be. We all are.
When I walked away from the yoga studio, I thought it would be so easy to balance “only one full-time job” with the rest of my life. Oddly enough, I feel just as busy as I did before. This is because I don’t do well with idle time. I quickly replaced the 30+ hours a week I spent teaching yoga with my job at Beautycounter, my kids’ activities and other activities. I feel just as busy I did before, only my focus has shifted. I have learned to stop telling others that “I’m busy,” because I’m not alone. Most of us choose to be busy.
Lesson #5: You need to say “I’m sorry.” Even if you don’t want to.
I can’t tell you how many drawn out emotional downward spirals I have had simply because I was too stubborn to apologize. At the end of them all the lesson was that I wasted a lot of time and energy on something that could have been solved with a simple apology. I am still working on this but I can honestly say that I’m getting better at apologizing and so far it has saved me hours upon hours of pain and suffering. Being sorry and happy trumps having a panic attack to be right.
Lesson #6: I don’t have to make resolutions if I live my life with resolve.
It’s important to remember that a resolution is not a one-time decision. So instead of making resolutions that last for a few weeks at best, I choose to live my life with resolve. The quality of being resolute is defined as “determined, admirably purposeful and unwavering.” I resolve to set personal goals for myself, both long-term and short-term. I resolve to update those goals every month and write them down in a place where they won’t get cast aside. I resolve to continue supporting the revolution among my peers that I started five years ago. I resolve to shed light on the lack of regulation in the beauty industry that is causing serious damage to the people I love. I resolve to lobby for change at the federal level until enough protective laws are passed. I resolve to be unwavering and admirably purposeful in the work that I do.
Setting goals can be tricky, and this is a great way to find out what you need to do. Think about the last year (or decade) and then answer these questions:
- What do you want to do again? Do you want to take another family vacation, earn another promotion, enjoy another year of marriage? What actions will it take to get there? Maybe you need to clearly define your work hours, save money or find a side gig. Write down the short- and long-term actions that will get you there!
- What do you want to NOT do again? Did you spend too much time with toxic people, toxic food or toxic chemicals? Resolve to make changes! It’s not likely that everything will change overnight, but you can make short- and long-term goals to eliminate the toxic crap around you. I might just have some blogs coming to help you do that!
- What do you want to do that you haven’t done before, or haven’t done in a long time? Do you want to start yoga, get a promotion at work, start your own business or live a more sustainable lifestyle? Once again, these things won’t happen overnight but there are plenty of actions you can take to move in that direction.
- What makes you happy? Try not to make this about money! Do you love being social? Do you love being alone or reading a good book? Do you love traveling? Think about the realistic actions you can take to do more of the things you love in 2020.
As you find out what you want, look for actions that will lead to results. Clearly define your goals and then look for accountability. Don’t just make sure your partner or friends know about your dreams–ask them for the support! Always look for relationships that add value to your goals. Seek out the people who are as motivated as you are.
Finally, establish a routine that creates consistency. Set your goals in a visible location so that you can review them every day. Create time for a short meditation on those goals. This can be as simple as looking at your goals every morning and then sitting with your eyes closed as the coffee brews. As you meditate on these goals you will learn to listen to your intuition.
This story isn’t over yet. I hope we are all blessed with another decade of difficult life lessons and self-discovery!