2024 is here. What can you do to improve your year? Watch yourself!
My wonderful Iyengar teacher Genny Kapuler once said she could never be a writer, but she often has wise words that I scurry to write down when I study with her on Zoom.
Just last month she said this:
Watching yourself is how you are going to change. I am going to do the best I can and just observe that.”–Genny Kapuler, Iyengar Teacher
With that in mind, here are 5 great ways to observe change in yourself in 2024.
1. Watch yourself from a safe place
It’s not so easy to know who and how to trust people. The more I speak to people, the more I realize how much each of us is going through, so I know we all need to find an environment where we feel safe. This can be at work, in your home, or by choosing a retreat experience that helps you enter a safe space for reflection and healing.
The best reflection and self-observation comes while in a place where it’s safe to do those things.
2. Watch yourself building good habits
Habits are something people talk about changing every New Year. This year choose one positive habit that is really important to you. Commit to that habit, and believe that you can do it.
Which habit do you want to build? Whether it’s putting away a bit of money, becoming a better listener, getting more or better quality sleep, increasing your activity level for wellness, or anything else that will improve your life, commit yourself to it and watch it become a part of your life!
3. Watch yourself commit to self care
“Self care” is a big buzzword these days, and with good reason. After all, if we don’t care for ourselves, how can we ever hope to help others?
For example, while I have always had a pretty disciplined life thanks to the yoga lifestyle, I find that as I get older, my alone time is becoming more important. This often means that I must say no to invitations, because I need to prioritize my need to spend my valuable time alone. More quiet time helps my mental state immensely. That’s my version of self care.
Running around isn’t a virtue! I did it for 38 years as a teacher in New York City. Serving other people’s needs, being on their schedule, is a choice, and it may be the right choice for you, but make sure you figure out what you need, and fit some self care into your life.
4. Watch yourself from a different perspective
In yoga, one way I find different perspectives is by putting my body in positions that are not always natural for me. The big one for shifting my
perspective is headstand, which literally turns my world upside down.
The world feels very upside down these days, so if we can weather it with stability maybe we can learn and grow from what feels uncertain, and show others it’s possible too.
5. Watch yourself trying something new
When was the last time you tried something new? Travel to a new place — I, of course, suggest my beloved Sewall House retreat in Maine — learn a language, paint, write, play music.
Expand your horizons. Your brain — your self — will thank you!
As my teacher Genny said, “Watching yourself is how you are going to change. I am going to do the best I can and just observe that.” Commit to watching yourself in 2024, and observe yourself having a new year of positive growth!