Ahhh, it feels SO good to be back! Back with a purpose, back with a vision, and just plain BACK to something that means a lot to me. 

It’s NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION time- that time of year when we become a little overzealous in our intentions to do better, be better, or accomplish more than we have before. We try to undo some of the habits we’ve created and re-create new habits that will bring us (we convince ourselves) to a more satisfying, fulfilling, and meaningful life. 

return & report

I’ve bared my soul about New Year’s resolutions before; how I wait until the chaos of the first few weeks of January are under control and how I give myself time to REALLY determine what matters most to me. 

I mean, be honest, after the holidays-don’t most of us feel the need to eat a little better, be a little more frugal in our budgets, or simplify the crazy schedules we have been keeping? It takes me a few weeks to get my bearings, clean up the mess of winter vacations, see what opportunities the new year holds, and to create a game plan for my success. 

Unlike New Years’ in the past when I don’t even think about goals until late January, I have been looking forward to 2017 since October. I usually pick ONE word that will act as my kick off for a new year- a one word intention that will keep me focused and centered, free from distraction and discouragement. Like my resolutions, I usually wait for the post-holiday calm before picking my word, but in October, I KNEW my word for 2017 would be CHANGE! 

After the past two years, I knew what I needed most was change- any change, simple change, just CHANGE!!

2015 was a year of sheer SURVIVAL, which led to 2016 being a year of RECOVERY! And if there was anything I wanted to focus my goals on after two years of NO resolutions, it would be RESOLUTIONS that brought change! 

After a day of classes yesterday, I was chatting with my students about the difference between REPORTING and JUDGING. We had worked on several variations of yoga postures; from postures designed to stretch the body to postures intended to push the limits of the body. I know from my own personal experience, it can be really easy to compare our performance to that of someone else-  on the mat, in the home, or at the gym! It is easy to make assessment statements like “I’m not that strong”, “I’m not that flexible”, “I’m not that skinny”… or any other blah, blah, blah we might utter- 

The simple truth is, it is easier to judge than simply REPORT! It’s easier to judge ourselves, to judge others, to judge our surroundings. But judgements are incredibly limiting; judgements add opinions and, often add an element of superiority or inferiority.

Reporting, on the other hand requires the simple appraisal of the who, what, where, and when of any given situation- without adding frivolous details, ideas, and opinions. Reporting states the facts, addresses the reality of the situation. Reporting offers NO correlation statement, NO limitations, and NO condemnation. Because of this, reporting allows us to learn from our mistakes, grow in our experience, and support forward movement towards hopes, goals, and desires.

We used the concept of ‘return and report’ with our children for several years as we worked through goals and resolutions. In an effort to survive and recover, I had totally forgotten some of the things that we had done to help our kiddos be accountable for their own progress towards setting goals and intentions. I confess that for the years 2015 and 2016, I worked more from “got done” lists than “to do” lists. ‘Got done’ lists work better if working from a place of reporting, rather than judging. When we state the facts, we are able to celebrate even the smallest of victories as significant and meaningful. For my crazy life, sometimes the celebration is the ONLY thing that keeps me moving into tomorrow. 

I’m so excited to get my New Year’s Resolutions settled up this week. I’ve been working on lining up a lot of dominoes and getting my ducks in a row so I can stretch myself and push my limits. Some roads of my journey that will become 2017 will be my own; some, I will need trusted allies by my side, and still others, will find me so far outside my comfort zone that hope, faith, and a lot of prayer will be the only tools in my small toolbox. But I’m grateful for the remembrance that reporting my journey will free me from harmful and stifling judgments. Simply reporting–  my journey, my thoughts, my disappointments, and my victories! 

Celebrate the simple