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What about those goals and resolutions?

Happy new year!

Even though it’s just another moment in our lives, it’s hard to avoid getting excited about the change of calendar year, and all of the fresh new possibilities we can hope for. What are you aiming for this year? And what are you going to do about it?

From the ancient wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra to modern psychology and coaching of all sorts, it’s pretty clear that setting goals will help bring us to a higher level of accomplishment. Even if they have to be adjusted over time, meeting your goals also boosts self-esteem, which is an important factor in personal happiness and contentment as well as harmony in relationships.

The Ayurvedic concept of dinacharya – literally, mastery of the day – supports us in reaching our aims and finding peace of mind. The principle is to follow a regular (and health-supporting) daily schedule as much as possible; having constructive habits will lead you to your goals.

When we operate from our (consciously chosen) habits, we know exactly what to do to move forward in our day and, by extension, our life. Brush your teeth, take a shower, do your exercise, eat a healthy meal at regular times, go to bed and wake up at regular times – all of these little things help to add structure to the unexpected demands that are bound to come up each day.

This calms Vata and contributes to your spiritual and physical well being – the mornings I don’t follow my routine start out as an amorphous blur, and usually end up as my least productive days. But when I wake up at my usual time and accomplish my little routine as expected, the rest of the day seems more straightforward, and I don’t have the vague feeling that there is some unfinished business hanging over me. Here are some more helpful tips on how to instill good habits for success, and you’ll be happy to know it’s not all about willpower!

Interestingly, it seems that studies have shown that a sense of achievement combined with living your life with gratitude and compassion will give you a better chance of adhering to your goals and resolutions over the long run. Hmmm… certainly sounds like living a yogic life, non?

Once you have established your goals and ambitions write them down to clarify them, and you might even want to make a schedule (remember the bit about habits, above?) giving yourself deadlines to work with. Personally, if I don’t have a deadline I don’t get much done – something else always seems to be far more interesting to do! Importantly, depending on your entourage, you would be best to keep your ideas to yourself until they are fully developed so nobody can talk you out of them! If you aren’t surrounded by uplifting and supportive people, just keep your head down and keep ploughing through on your own. Or, better yet, find uplifting and supportive people to hang out with while you are ploughing through!

How about a specific aim for this year? Can you make more decisions based on long-term goals? If everything you do is in reaction to what is coming up day to day, you are likely to feel overwhelmed by your life. Look as far ahead into your life as you can to visualise what you want for your future legacy, and work your way back to this point. You can listen to my guided meditation on encountering your future self to try this for yourself.

Questions to ask yourself every day: How can I grow?Β  What can I give? What can I celebrate? ~ Michael Beckwith

For help winning the battle of getting out of bed and finding your mojo in these cold, dark mornings (we in Brussels haven’t even been able to see today’s Full Moon in Cancer!) you might like to listen to my new personal favourite pep talk which I found on You Tube to help keep me on track with my best intentions!

If you’re looking for some inspiration on what direction to take, here are some areas that are likely to be prominent in 2018 according to the zodiac sign of your Sun or Ascendant. Read for both if you know them, as they will each give you elements to work with this year and up to 2020. If you want more personal inspiration, book your 2018 transit reading with me now!

Aries
There are BIG changes in store for Aries types. Look at setting goals regarding how you create wealth/income, explore what values are important to you at this stage in your life, as well as how you want to build your career over the long term. There is something new coming in your career and public status/recognition – are you ready to go for it? Issues around marriage and/or other people’s money are likely to need attention (loans, inheritance, your partner’s income). Anticipate what might need adjustment – you already know what that is; pretend otherwise at your peril!

Taurus
Like your Aries friends, this is an important year of transformation for Taurus. 2018 will mark the year when you started changing who and what you are in the wider world. What new path do you want to forge in your life? New partnerships are also supported – who do you want to join you on your path? Who do you want to leave behind? Your philosophy of life will be changed or expanded, or perhaps you have new plans to study or teach? Look into fresh ways of sharing your spritiual and creative sides in new group endeavours. Traveling for work, or going on a pilgrimage, with bring you great rewards. Where do you want to go?

Gemini
This year brings you a lot of inner change, with a sense that your spiritual and personal development is becoming a priority now. Create a good health routine – it will be easier to do this successfully in 2018! Make the necessary changes to your day-to-day work or habits so you can feel more passionate about what you are doing. You might need to restructure finances or debt, or plan for longer term financial self-reliance.Β  How can you align what you do with how you feel about your life?

Cancer
Changes in your social networks will open you up to new people and places, helping to align you to who you have become in both your personal and professional life over the past seven years. You might need to make more of an effort around important relationships, as there can be a separation from a bad one or a new one could require a fair bit of compromise, patience, or even a deeper commitment. After a few challenging ones, this is a good year to expand your enjoyment of life through romance, fun or perhaps a much-needed spiritual retreat. When did you stop singing and dancing?

Leo
Your big changes are coming in your public life, afecting your status, career or life purpose. Some hard work will be required to accomplish your goals. It’s a good year to set up pragmatic work and health routines to build a solid foundation for your life as you are likely to take on extra responsibilities. This could involve a new home or property (or renovation) that brings a sense of expansion, or you might find that members of your family give you a boost. Your outer identity is changing – who are you now?

Virgo
Foreign places or changing philosophies will focus your attention this year. Are you planning to start a new enterprise? This year supports entrepreneurship and new business development. There can be a sense of restriction around children or perhaps your own creative capacity, but the investment in effort and time will pay off later. What partnerships would you like to deepen? If there isn’t one yet, envisage how you would like to be in your next one!

Libra
This is your year to expand your resources in every sense of the word. This year’s boost to your sense of self-worth is the best way to tap into doing that! Business partnerships and – why not? – intimate partners can be very beneficial to you now. Your home and family might need more of your attention and support. Or maybe the increased responsibility comes from a new mortgage – it’s a good year to move house or downsize. There are likely to be some unexpected changes in your shared resources as well as your most significant relationships in the next few years – both ups and downs. What will you do about that? Adaptability and resilience will serve you well!

Scorpio
You are in an inspiring cycle of personal growth and expansion of your self concept – you only get this boon every 12 years, so enjoy stretching yourself this year! This will bring a change to your worldly role, perhaps making you more visible and increasing your personal magnetism (or repulsion, depending on your default way of relating – Scorpios can be quite intense that way!). You can attract new people into your life, and deepen your relationships with your family. If you are called to take on roles in your community then jump in, you’ll be great! It’s also a good year to learn new skills or even a language, and develop your communication skills in other ways too – have you considered blogging? Share what you know!

Sagittarius
After an extended period of personal renewal and restructuring, earnings and financial stability are important themes for the next couple of years, perhaps through a new source of revenue, savings or a big investment. Beware of any unhealthy habits that might be undermining you – improve your daily routine and follow up on any niggly health issues to prevent them from taking root. Your day-to-day routines will also change after the spring, so be your usual flexible self, but avoid the trap of dispersing yourself through taking on too much at a time… you know how you can be! Re-read the passages about goals and habits above! πŸ˜‰

Capricorn
Your development potential is at it’s most powerful for the next couple of years, for the first time since 1989-92! You are being asked to become your own authority, especially as you restructure your career or public status and reputation, your family and home. It’s not so much a new identity as a recognition of what you can be – milk it for all it’s worth and show the world your great leadership skills! You will also have opportunities to develop your personal creativity, which is changing in innovative ways. Your relationship to your children or new developments in their lives will also bring changes. How can you balance building new structures with a heightened responsiveness to change? Enjoy the challenge (I know you will)!

Aquarius
You might feel like shape-shifting again, especially after May. Perhaps you will decide to move, or to change your life’s direction and discover a deeper sense of purpose to your life. Your inner experience can be quite challenging, as there might be a sense of being stuck despite lots of new ideas. Use this energy to dig deep inside, go on retreats and filter through anything that seems to be coming to a close as you approach the end of a 29-year cycle from now until 2020. This shedding of the old self, ideas, friendships or ways of being will help you to regenerate when you are asked to do so in 3 years’ time. What do you want to drop already, and how can you streamline the rest? New career opportunities are beckoning – which direction do you want to explore?

Pisces
You are accustomed to changing in response to your environment, but this year you might find even greater opportunities to expand into new or more profound beliefs, enrich yourself through higher education or foreign travel, or share your wisdom through publishing and teaching. Create a supportive network of friends and lovingly let go of any that no longer serve you where you are or want to be in life; some solid and enduring friendships can be formed in the next few years and you might even feel you have found your “people”. How can you communicate in new and innovative ways? Where do you need to release yourself from lingering blockages? Keep swimming or risk stagnation!

Well, there you have it. If you’ve read along this far you are clearly committed to your own process of transformation, and I wish you well as you morph onward. May this year bring you every blessing and wish you have hoped for… and the determination to make it all happen!

Much love and light,

Susan