The start of a new year is like the start of a month, a moon cycle, a week, or a day. The specific day may be arbitrary, but with the beginning of any cycle we have an opportunity for setting intentions and starting in a way that may be different than how we have started our lives, the last year, or the last 10 years.

 This year, the first day of the year was only a few days before the new moon. I took the days between to think about the last year and about the year to come. I usually don’t set specific goals these days, departing from my corporate training in making SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time sensitive) goals, but I do set intentions, recognize how I want to spend my time, and pick some words that will guide me for the upcoming year. Occasionally, I set a SMART goal or two for the year as I find it can be helpful, but I also like to remain open to what may happen, what I haven’t planned for in my limited view of the world.

 A few years ago, I listened to an author explain a theory about how helpful it can be to list a few things you want to spend time on in the coming xyz (month, week, year…)  to organize your brain and so that when you have time, you can recall those areas rather than default to looking at your phone or watching TV. While downtime and staring off into space are certainly things I appreciate, I also have benefitted from making this list. When I have ‘vocalized’ that I want to work on something like knitting a blanket or learning Sanskrit and I have some extra time, I find that I am more likely to spend that time, even 10-15 minutes on something I find fulfilling and balancing rather than feeling like I’ve wasted that time. I find this also helps in my overall concentration and centeredness- if I don’t spend 15 minutes distractedly looking at Instagram, I find concentration comes easier when I return to whatever is next.

 I’m so excited for this year. The main areas I want to spend time and energy are Ayurveda, breathing-yoga, cooking, building a business, and friends-family. Each of this topics has more SMART-type bullets like taking anatomy and physiology, completing the Ayurveda Health Counselor program, etc. which help to focus my energy. I check in every quarter to see what is still serving me and what is not.

 As part of these energy areas, I’m teaching several classes at The Happy Cook, I’m working with a local farm Atelier Farm to create a series of summer cooking classes, I’ll be hosting Ayurveda meet-ups, and I’ll be heading back to Kripalu to continue working towards the Health Counselor certification.

 Wishing you balance, growth, and contentment in 2019.