I have set many goals in my short lifetime and some of them I have met with great success where other goals continue to elude achievement.  When we approach a new year, there is often a renewed sense of wanting to change for the better, to improve on what is or even realize something that has only lived in our thoughts or dreams.  Unfortunately, there is this tendency to set the goal and be willing to be unhappy all along the way toward achieving the goal and only find happiness when we arrive.  What a way to live! 

There is another way I’ve learned which is to set an intention for how to live moving toward an end goal, but being  present and accepting of what is all along the way.  Thus, being happy each day, regardless of success or failure.  This idea of intentions vs. goals is one that I have thought alot about and even developed a 6-week workshop which I teach in relationship to yoga. 

Along these lines I have revisted one of my failed goals which makes the new year’s resolution list over and over each year for the past several years.  Whenever I set out to optimize my physical body by becoming more lean and strong, I make a great plan which includes daily regimes and weekly classes and strict eating plans.  It all looks very doable on paper and believe me I have done a mountain of research and self reflection and trial and error to determine just what plan is going to be the most successful.  I am VERY disciplined.  For two weeks.  Then something comes up to distract me physically, emotionally, logistically, oh they are all valid excuses, but excuses nonetheless.

This year I have taken a new tack.  Do something the same way over and over and you will yeild the same results, right?  So, switching it up, I have decided to scrap the plans, abandon the goal weight date and focus on today.  I awake each morning and sit at the edge of my bed and thank who I like to thank for this healthy body that woke up, and in honor of this gift, decide JUST FOR TODAY, I will focus on eating certain foods and exercise one time.  Just for today.  Tomorrow, I might eat feduccini alfredo and hot fudge sundaes and lay in bed (not bloody likely, but one never knows).  I do not spend time in remorse over what transpired the day before.  It is only today that matters.  My mind, greedy and needy as it is, seems to relax with this plan.  A great burden of responsibility seems to have been lifted.  The ominous future goal, gone, I can now concentrate on a single moment in time that is manageable and meaningful and real. 

As I have come to understand through this practice of yoga, the past is dead; the future nonexistent; the only Truth we have is right now.  This moment, in fact, is the only reality there is.  So I have expanded this understanding from one moment to one day in an effort toward living my intention of healthy living and letting go of achieving anything at all.  I feel free.  I have had more quiet success in the last week than I ever had struggling through a master health plan in the past.

Just for today.  This can obviously apply to anyone’s intention in anything in life, release from addiciton, improvement in personal relationships, spiritual connection… I realize, this is not an original idea and many have succeeded with this discovery for many years, but how beautiful to realize how blind I have been to the obvious, to that which I already practice on a much more acute level of living moment to moment in awareness (I said practice).  So for those who are beating themselves up for cheating on their diets, not even able to get through the first month.  Don’t sweat it.  Sit on the edge of your bed and start right now.  Just for today.

We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it. ~John Newton