(Here’s my latest for Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/01/how-yoga-cured-my-anxiety-laziness-intense-cynicism-rob-pollak/)
Three small ways Yoga helped me set attainable new year’s resolutions.
Before we get started, there are three things you should probably know:
- My name is Rob (it’s nice to meet you);
- Elephant Journal recently asked me to be a recurring contributor (I said yes); and
- Today is January 11th (which, if you’re scoring at home, is a little late for a blog post about New Year’s resolutions).
Why do I care that you know three tidbits of information that on their face are completely uninteresting and mind-numbingly boring?
Because these three little statements represent a whole lot more. They represent a way for me to bring you inside this insane little head of mine. Only then can you start to understand how a few simple new year’s resolutions will help make 2013 epic, and how my new sense of yogic calm will provide me with tools to stick with them.
Resolutions used to be those stupid deals I made with myself at the beginning of the year but forgot by – oh, I don’t know – January 10th. But this year, when I say I’m bringing a yogic calm to my resolutions, what I mean is that I plan to do things that are meaningful to me, but also attainable. It means stepping out of my comfort zone but not so far that my goals become derailed by those inevitable little slip ups.
To start the year on the right foot, I’m throwing my old resolutions out the window.
Good bye, “lose 100 pounds.”
See ya later, “eat healthy.”
Suck it, “read the newspaper every day.”
Rot in hell “quit watching reruns of The Biggest Loser while binging on a
scoop bowl pint gallon of Haagen Dazs” (Note – I didn’t even have to look up the spelling of that. Terrifying!).
This year, My resolutions all help make me a little more pleasant to be around. You’re welcome world!
Here are three of the goals that I’ve set and how I hope to meet them.
Resolution 1: Introduce myself more.
I sometimes describe myself as an outgoing introvert. When I feel comfortable in an environment, I don’t shut up. I’ll annoy you until you hate me. Kind of like I’m doing right now. Then, I’ll try so hard to win you over that eventually you’ll come around and start rooting for me. I’m like the kid from the movie Rudy — except without determination, athletic ability, or an overly jowl-y smile. My mixed level of confidence was apparent from a very young age:
But the truth is that despite that outgoing bravado, on the inside I am anxious and meek when confronted with a new group of people. I hope and pray that someone else will step up and take that first step of introduction.
Practicing yoga helped me realize this trait. When I first went to classes, I’d huddle in the back of the room, timidly balled up in the corner. There, I’d hope that the teachers would introduce themselves to me and relieve my nervousness. With my big ol’ belly, a cotton shirt, and a puddle of sweat at my feet, I felt like an outsider to the Lululemon catalogue occupying the other mats in the room.
But that’s a pretty bad way of living Who wants to talk to a timid sweatball? Exactly!
So I resolved to get better at introductions. You can’t introduce yourself to someone if you’re shy or timid. It might mean faking it, or playing out the conversation 1400 times in my head before it happens, but chances are, other people hate introductions too. By stepping up and taking initiative, I can not only make my life better, but I can also relive the anxiety and lameness of others.
Resolution 2: Say yes to more things.
A few ways I have been described:
- a hater
- Mr. negative
- Mr. negativity
- Senor Negativo
- super lame
- an a$$hole
- a glass half empty kind of guy
- a glass totally empty kind of guy
- a glassless guy
- A fun-hater
- a mega-fun-hater
If you haven’t figured it out by now, sometimes I have a bad attitude:
Well that’s all about to change! It’s time to get over those fun-hating, lazy, anxious ways. The anticipation of doing things is often worse than the actual doing of those things.
One way to get over my anxiety is to just start saying yes to more challenges and opportunities. By being more agreeable, I hope that taking possibilities into my own hands and trying to not let great opportunities slip through the cracks.
This actually reminds me of a yoga teacher who once shared an amazing inspirational quote. It was perfectly on point about this topic and completely changed my life and outlook on the world. If I remembered it, I would totally share it with you right now.
Oh! Got it:
“Every time an opportunity presents itself, take it; Otherwise, greatness will pass you by.”
- Some Famous Yoga Philospher
Okay, fine. I just made that up. But aren’t those great words to live by? I say yes.
Resolution 3: Commit to things and then finish them.
[note to self - insert paragraph explaining how I want to get better at finishing things that I commit to].