Our collective frustration is growing daily, I know this, yet I also know that there are positives to be found in each and every moment. And if ever an era has taught the true value of noticing the moments, this is surely it.
Welcome to 2021. Same, but different, perhaps?
This blog post has been brewing in the nooks and crannies of my thinking brain, and deeper in my heart and soul, probably since November. Every day right now, here in our third national lockdown in England, seems to last an eternity. Yet the weeks are passing-by quicker than ever. What lasting effect will this have on us for the years to come, I wonder.
I want this post to help hold me accountable for the promises I set myself for the next 12 months. But I’m really hoping it prompts you to sit yourself down in a comfy chair, or take a muddy, woody walk, and feel from a deeper spot than your rational brain, what you’d really like to accomplish this year. The answer may surprise you.
Bringing in the new
First, a brief update on my change of branding is probably needed.
This week, after a transition of several months (and a few arguments with Facebook!), I finally said farewell to ‘The Yoga PT’ and committed entirely and wholeheartedly to ‘My Slow and Simple’, across my website and socials. Let me explain.
There has been an itch that’s refused to be soothed in me, for…a very long time. You may know that I used to teach 15+ high energy fitness classes a week, deliver weekend retreats and bootcamps, coach one-to-one, and work every hour of every day (and also used to get sick a lot during that time, interestingly). I was truly happy and fulfilled…then. But this is not something I can keep up any longer. The overwhelm has been all-consuming and slow-burning. It’s snuck up on me and grabbed me on my worst days. So, in an effort to counter it, having thankfully recognised what was happening, I’ve been shrinking back over the past two years or so, dropping a class here, booking a retreat less there, leaning more fully into my employed day job running a charity gym, which I absolutely adore. And now, Covid…well. That over-productivity, that ‘success’, it’s all feeling a very, very long time ago.
But despite Covid, maybe I was never going to go back to being that person again anyway. And despite the fact that I know women across the country will be crying out for retreats and get togethers, once we are able again, there is still something in me saying its no longer for me to do. It was wonderful, and uplifting and fulfilling, and I will never forget those times, and those people. But it’s done, its ticked off the list, and whilst I am forever grateful, it’s time to release that guilt. I’m slowly moving on. And that’s okay.
The trouble is…I’m not entirely sure right now what I’m moving onto! So that is what 2021, for me, is going to be all about. Discovering and enjoying the ride.
‘My Slow and Simple’ paints the picture to the world that I want to paint. Its very feel encompasses how I want your life to feel, and how I want my own life to feel. It is both a message of accountability to myself and a message of hope, for you. And so ‘My Slow and Simple’ will continue, in place of ‘The Yoga PT’, helping me continue my healing, holding me accountable to keeping my life and my work ‘slow and simple’ as a self-promise…and of course planting me here to help you do just the same, should you find yourself wracked with overwhelm and self-doubt, as I have experienced in recent years.
Only this morning, whilst mulling over the detail of this blog post, and realising that I didn’t have to continue as I always have, doing the things I always have, I noticed an incredible three year cycle pattern. Since late 2011, when I first became a mum (and struggled immensely) my interests, energy placement and career path have taken a path for three years – and then deviated and added an additional layer. For example, until 2015 I was completely immersed in early motherhood. From 2015 I began my studies into nutrition and fitness, and began coaching and teaching in that industry. Then in 2018 I took a different fork along that road, and studied yoga, completing my teacher training and building my own garden studio. And now, here we are in 2021, three years later, and that itch has returned. No doubt that inbuilt pattern is nudging for my attention. I wonder where it will take me this time.
And so, this year, as well as setting my usual measurable goals for the 12 months to come, I’m also setting some gentle intentions. I’ve separated them in the paragraphs following, so you can see the subtle differences. Perhaps this is a way to state your wishes that you haven’t thought of before. Perhaps you’re reaching for the stars when you should be looking a little closer to home. Perhaps you need to set softer goals, and gentler intentions. Give it a try.
My Soft Goals for 2021
The key here is soft – but not a pushover. These goals have timeframes and are measurable, as goals traditionally should be (remember I’m a Personal Trainer by trade, all about the goals!) Here are my softer goals, for what could continue to be a challenging year for everyone. Maybe they’ll create a spark in you, to create your own, too:
- Continue my twice daily dog walks and daily yoga practice
- To be entirely social media-free on Saturdays and Sundays
- To read my backlog of Kindle sample books by March 2021 and to write a list of those that I want to buy from those samples
- To create for myself a 4 day working week plus a ‘creativity’ day, Monday to Friday
- To allocate a maximum of 5 spaces on my client working/teaching day each week (without any temptation to deviate or make allowances!)
- To grow my online seasonal book club from 275 to 500 engaged and interested members by December 2021
- To write or journal daily
- Continue to journal my New Moon wishes every New Moon
- Take at least 5 UK based trips in our (currently very bored!) red VW T6 campervan, ‘Rudolph’
- To hike another 75 miles of the South West Coast Path with Simply Anxious Adventures (which should just about get us to St Ives in Cornwall, so far we’ve completed Minehead to Tintagel)
- To flesh out my book writing ideas and pull them all together into a fully-formed concept, by this Summer. I’m not expecting to complete my book proposal in 2021, but, if I do, it’s a bonus! (having eventually turned my 2020 book idea into a blog series. This time I’m onto a good one though, I know it! I wasn’t ready, but now I am).
My Gentle Intentions for 2021
Gentle, meaning there is room for manoeuvre. These are more like self-pledges, desires and hopes for the year. Things that cannot be measured but that are worthy of a black and white mention, without doubt. Here are mine:
- To homeschool my children to the best of my ability for as long as this England lockdown continues, with the aim being that we all still love each other at the end (and that they still love their school work too, fingers crossed)
- to live seasonally and cyclically in my home and in my work
- to learn to read tarot
- to embody a little feeling of ‘Eat Pray Love’ in my everyday, find a hint of that concept of a self-discovery journey (whilst doing the dishes, perhaps?!)
- to share my own journey with anyone who needs it, to build community, and feel creative, without ‘selling’ anything (this is a biggie! And will probably deserve its own future blog post)
- to ignore traditional growth goals for businesses, and listen to my heart when it comes to my work, instead. Set no growth goals at all, and start nothing new. Simply nurture what I have already. (What a blessing this could be).
- to end the feeling of needing to always be ‘productive’. To learn how to be truly ‘on’ when I’m on, and truly ‘off’ when I’m off (again, this is definitely going to warrant its own blog post!)
And finally…my Word of the Year 2021
I’ve chosen a Word of the Year for the past 3 cycles of the sun. It keeps my multi-passionate, jittery focus on a more even keel and helps me focus on the projects that will actually benefit me to take on.
This year my word was chosen before December, and is ‘SPACE’.
Everything I do, every phone call I take, every one-to-one coaching request, every piece of writing work, ‘space’ will be at the forefront of my mind, guiding me (hopefully!) in the best possible direction.
This year for me is absolutely about creating for pleasure. Guilt-free. Pushing aside the ‘should dos’, the ironing pile, the accounts books. If I do less self-employed ‘work, if I’m more choosey about the projects I take on, there will be less other ‘stuff’ to do that goes with it. And there will naturally be more space, which I can fill with the things that bring me and my little family joy, and which bring us delight.
I’d love to know your Word of the Year. I’d also love to know if any of this resonates with you. And finally I’d love to know what you need to know more about, in this very strange year. How can I help? You are always welcome to email me email@example.com or come say Hello on Instagram or facebook.
Much simple love
Subscribe to emails from Luisa at ‘My Slow and Simple’