Over the years, I’ve gotten increasingly skeptical about New Year’s resolutions. I used to like the idea of a fresh start, of making a list of everything I didn’t like about myself and making the commitment and a plan to change. Cut out sugar! Get up at 6 every morning to exercise! Meditate for an hour a day! And on and on. I’d begin motivated and optimistic, following through with my new routine for about a week before things began to slide. A few years ago, I realized I needed a new game plan. I made smaller and fewer goals, integrated into my existing schedule. I accepted that failures are part of the process, and focused on consistency of effort rather than perfection. I try to think of myself and my life as whole and happy, and of these goals as merely reminders of my existing priorities.
I guess that gets to the crux of my beef with New Year’s resolutions. There’s the sense that we’re all fundamentally not good enough, that we’ve each inherited the lifelong self-improvement projects that are our bodies and minds. So this year I’ve quite literally taken a page from Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (which, if you haven’t read it, I completely recommend!). Her guiding principle is that of joy, and so I’ve been thinking lately about what things in my life bring me that joy, and which don’t. Blogging, for example, is something I want to make more time for – expect to see me more frequently than you have over the past few months! And yoga. I love yoga. I love the way I feel after I do a really tough class, full of backbends and hip openers and sun salutations. I recently joined a great studio in my neighbourhood, and have been enjoying spending more time on the mat in 2016.
My mat itself, however, had been getting dirty and scuffed from being awkwardly hauled back and forth to class without a proper carrier. I had some extra fabric left over from a make-up bag I had made as a stocking stuffer for my mom over the holidays, and I found an ingenius DIY tutorial from Sewaholic. For directions, check out her awesome blog post here.
My fabric was thin, so I reinforced it with interfacing where the button holes were sewn in. Otherwise, I followed Sewaholic’s lead very closely. I’m so happy with my new bag – it definitely adds a little extra joy to my yoga routine!
How are your New Year’s resolutions faring this February?