Bye-bye 2017, Welcome 2018

Well, that was fast. It doesn’t seem possible that 2017 is coming to a close and a new year will be here full of hopes and goals. This year was a big year for me personally and quite the roller coaster around the world. In this post I want to reflect on my past year in terms of my personal life, yoga, & sustainability, as well as use this platform as a way to commit to a few goals for my 2018.

My previous year was full of primarily of weddings and green cards. On Earth Day 2017 I married my love in our down to earth civil ceremony. The choice to marry on Earth Day was intentional as was the entire day and the way that we designed to tie the knot in the most sustainable way that we could. You can read here for ides on planning your own DIY, sustainable wedding.

My husband I again got married in September which was the big shindig with my large family and friends the came from near and far to celebrate with us. This event we also planned to be as DIY and sustainable as possible. I have not written about our wedding in any blog posts yet, I will post tips bit by bit during 2018 as wedding season gets nearer.

As mentioned above, my year was full of our two weddings and a green card, which belongs to my husband (finally). That was a stressful, long, and moderately pricey endeavor, but it was well worth all of the hard work and sacrifices that we both had to make so that he could settle with me here in the U.S. We completed the entire process with some advice from a few friends whom previously obtained green cards, yet without the assistance of an attorney. Coming in 2018 will be a few posts with tips for others who are going it alone to get a green card.

In terms of yoga, my year was both quite and busy. Unfortunately, I did not attend any trainings in 2017 save a few workshops with my dear friend Mindy and some classes here and there at local studios and during my travels. It is a serious goal of mine to attend a weekend or week long retreat in 2018 and to seek out a YTTC in the next couple of years to continue to build my teaching tool bag.

This past year, however, was busy for me as a teacher. I taught in studios and increased my corporate schedule. I continued to teach vinyasa, designing classes appropriate for my students, hatha classes for the corporate students, and some fun workshops and seasonal classes. My 2018 teaching goals, besides training in classes, workshops, and YTTCs, is to push myself more and more to therefore safely push my students to their abilities and beyond as well as to force myself to become more creative with workshops and collaborations.

Finally, and most importantly, I have had some great experiences in my local area, attending educational events on the environment and sustainability. On a personal level I have tried my best to cut back more and more on plastics and have continued my slow fashion lifestyle. Looking towards the future, I am excited to have been accepted as a 5 Gyres ambassador, a title that means that I will host some educational events in 2018 and into the future in which I’ll share the damaging effects of plastics on our oceans. Being an ambassador is a commitment to learn and share and by having an association with their name I have more weight when sharing information with the public as opposed to standing alone on my soapbox. Many people are already aware of the dangers of plastic, but many more are not, and to ask someone to change their daily habits for fish can be seen as a stretch and annoyance, so I am looking forward to utilizing 5 Gyres resources to give myself more credibility.

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This time of the year is an excellent time to reflect on goals and lessons learned from the past year’s experiences and an even greater time to dedicate yourself to personal goals and resolutions. I can’t wait to give 2018 my all and hone my skills and craft with each passing month and year. This yoga thing is such a journey, as is life as a whole. Each new pose is a practice to get there and each teaching experience is an opportunity to obtain more and more knowledge to benefit my students of the present and in the future.

Manifest Your Destiny, Set a Meaningful & Successful Resolution for 2017

The new year is approaching quickly. Now is a time to look back at the past twelve months and appreciate all that was good and learn lessons from the bad in order to switch out bad habits for good. Changing habits is extremely difficult, so take advantage of the New Year to motivate you into making some healthy resolutions. Read on for some simple tips to get you started on your resolutions and to come back to when the going gets tough later in the year.

 

Think Hard About Your Resolution

If you’re serious about starting 2017 in a healthier way, then take the setting of your resolutions seriously. Meditate on what your change will be. Sit in silence and bring your mind to focus on what would really serve you best. If you already have a yoga practice, then do this thinking after a strong yoga asana practice when your mind is clear of all of it’s normal, monkey-mind clutter. If meditating is not your thing (yet, maybe a goal for 2017?) then do a simple brain storm on paper to discover what change will be best for you in the coming year.

Share It

Once you have your goal in mind then be brave and share it with someone. It might feel vulnerable to do so, but by sharing your change with a friend or family member you will begin to turn the wheels on your new habit. Having someone else know about your goal will motivate you to put it into action, if you tell someone and it never materializes, then you might feel embarrassed about not pulling through with your commitment. The person who you inform can also act as a motivator by asking about your progress now and again. Plus, you never know, maybe your friend has been wanting to make the same changes in their life and you could be the nudge they needed to take the plunge. Two people tackling a new healthy habit together are much more likely to succeed than just one.

Start Small

Changing habits is tough, to make things easier on yourself start small. Let’s use yoga as an example. If your yoga practice has ebbed and flowed, being strong and nonexistent in 2016 and your goal for the new year is to get a consistent, strong practice back, then start small. The long-term goal might be to practice for an hour, 5x /week, but that is a major change in your schedule to begin on January 1st. Be more realistic by starting small. Instead of trying to do an hour practice every day, start by making the time in your schedule to do 20 or 30 minute practices a few times a week. It will be easier on your body and on your ego, for if you start big and fail, then you may not get the energy to try again later in the year. And by starting small you can gradually build up to your bigger goal.

 

I hope these simple tips can get you excited to make change for the better for your health and yourself in 2016. Whether you want to increase your practice, get your arm balances down, or give up carbs, meditating on your change, sharing it, and starting small will help you achieve your end result. Have a safe, happy, and healthy New Year!


 

Join me for a Flow into the New Year yoga workshop in Jamestown, NY on Saturday, December 31st from 2-4 pm. For more details follow the sidebar link to Kara Bemis Yoga Facebook page.

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