While most people look at fall as the beginning of the end of a year, I usually see it as an opportunity to set new goals and start new projects. Sure, it's the start of a really busy season, with holidays and travel filling up a lot of my time, but it's also the perfect time to check in with the goals I set earlier in the year. I let go of anything that no longer suits my desires and plans. Then I make adjustments to the goals that are still important to me and set new goals to take me through the end of the current year and into the beginning of the next.
2011 has been an excellent year so far. While much of what I'd planned to do this year has fallen to the wayside, new and exciting things have cropped up in my life. I've learned to be flexible in my goals and to recognize patterns of behavior that might be hindering me from getting where I want to go.
Where there were once a lot of professional writing and freelance business goals, there are now yoga teaching goals, creative writing goals, and personal life goals climbing toward the top of the list. As I've evaluated what I've been spending my time on, I've come to discover more of what is important to me.
I like to spend time with friends and family, so I've needed to make more time for being social. I've found a real passion in teaching yoga, which means I've taken on more classes than I'd originally planned to teach in my first year. I'm also in the midst of a relatively new romantic relationship, one that I never expected but am so wonderfully blessed by. And with that new long-distance relationship, I've had to learn how to navigate the waters of time zone differences and Skype dates, among other things. With a lot of changes on the horizon these days, it seems like I'm always checking in with my goals and plans to make sure I'm headed in the right direction.
It turns out that there's never a bad time to re-evaluate your goals. You don't have to make resolutions on January 1st or set a goal at the beginning of a month. You can start any time. Don't let habit or tradition stop you from setting goals right now. We're only one week into the month. Why not set a goal today to make your November positive and fulfilling? Need some ideas? Here are a few:
* Practice some form of yoga every day.
* Meditate for 10 minutes every morning.
* Take three mindful breaths before you start each meal.
* Spend time every week learning or practicing a skill.
Whatever goal you choose, set the intention to work toward it every day and don't get down on yourself if you "slip" or get off track. The point here is to keep moving forward. No beating yourself up or dwelling over perceived failures. Focus on the achievements and let everything else serve as a learning opportunity.