Do you set resolutions on New Year’s Day? Do you ever actually keep those resolutions? How do you feel about setting goals?

Personally, I love the process of setting goals and resolutions, but I prefer the yogic idea of choosing a sankalpa rather than making resolutions, which have taken on a reputation of being doomed to fail.

A sankalpa is a really deep-seated intention which you can use to guide all your actions and thoughts for whatever length of time it feels relevant to you. It is no more and no less than your heart’s deepest desire. I love working with sankalpas, and the act of crafting a sankalpa is something I teach in my local series for people with autoimmune issues and/or chronic pain (it will also be a part of my upcoming online program as well).  A couple of examples of sankalpas are: “I am enough,” or “I act in love for myself and others.”

Another tradition I usually do is to choose a theme for the year, which I find simplifies and unifies my goals. Soooo….2017 is the “Year of Courage and Connection.”

Courage to live every day more fully and take risks, personally and professionally.

Connection is an area that I think has been a struggle for me lately, and feeling connected is so vital to my overall health and wellbeing (and not just mine –it’s universal for us humans).

In this spirit, I have vowed to create more connection in my life by:

  • Having at least 1 date night per month with my husband.
  • Having at least 1 family fun night per month with my husband and kids.
  • At least once per month, getting together with friends locally or making new friends by participating in some community event.
  • Visiting at least 2 friends who don’t live close to me in 2017.
  • Once per month reconnecting with a friend I haven’t seen or talked to in a while either by writing (an old-fashioned) letter, picking up the phone, or going to visit.

These may not seem like very difficult goals, but I have found that if I don’t make a conscious effort to schedule these things, sometimes a few months go by in the busy-ness of life and these types of things slip by and get put off.

There are a couple important things to remember about goal setting that seem worth mentioning here:

  • If you make your goals too big, they can seem overwhelming. Overwhelm leads many people to abandon their resolutions, usually within the first few weeks of the new year. Think small – baby steps.
  • If you don’t write things down and measure them, AND revisit them regularly to make sure you are on track, you don’t stick to your goals.

So keep your goals manageable and measurable and make time regularly (for me that’s monthly), to actually look back and see if you are on track, and if not, correct your course.

It’s also very helpful to have an accountability buddy to keep you on track. That’s someone with whom you check in regularly who will hold you accountable for making the changes you have set out to achieve.

Other wellness-related goals I am working on for 2017:

  • To get outside more. This is tough for me in the winter, since I hate the cold, but I saw someone post about 365 miles of hiking in 365 days, and I decided I wanted to do that. For me it will be a combination of walking and hiking, but since I live in the woods, it’s practically the same thing, right?
  • Try a new movement modality, maybe Feldenkrais or pilates.
  • Continue with strength training. I’ve been seeing a personal trainer the past few months, and definitely want to continue that to increase my overall strength.

Other than those things, I plan to continue my current level of commitment to self-care, including sleep, yoga, mindfulness, nutrition, self-massage, etc.

My last recommendation if you want to better understand how you to win at create good habits and letting go of bad ones, is to read Gretchen Rubin’s book, Better Than Before. It will help you to understand your personal habit-forming style, so you are more likely to be successful.

I’d love to hear YOUR wellness goals for 2017. For support and accountability in reaching your goals, please join my private facebook group, the Vitality Rx. We are a wonderful, small community of people dedicated to embodied wellness, in spite of autoimmune illness and/or chronic pain.