In 2011, I pledged to renew my practice of yoga. By year’s end I would effortlessly get into Feathered Peacock Pose and Handstand, flowing into Eight Angle Pose from Crow Pose.
It’s 12:30 am January, 2012 and I just got home from the annual New Year’s Eve yoga class at Élan Yoga. I fell out of Tree Pose twice and my right knee still resists any height in Dancer’s Pose. I did Headstand once in 2011 and I still Tweet about it. If you didn’t understand any of that, it means that I’m barely out of beginner’s class.
But I attend at least five yoga classes a week and I feel great. I may not have achieved my impossible standards but I stuck to my commitment despite the temptation to stay home and stretch on the floor with my dogs while watching Jeopardy.
It’s a good lesson. Dream big but realistically. Stay committed even when distractions beckon. Use course corrections when a goal only becomes attainable at too much of a personal (insert financial, emotional, or physical, etc.) cost. Reassess at least once a month. Be honest about your commitment instead of making excuses.
Most importantly, create ambitious goals and make sure those goals have a meaning beyond the superficial. Less fat, more money, new car (I covet the 2012 Subaru Outback) tend to dominate our immediate desires. Take some time and re-think and re-dream. What compels you? What do you keep putting off because there’s just not enough time? And the most irritating question of all, “What would you do if money was not a factor?”
I’m a writer so if money was not an issue with me, I would sit and write in between yoga classes and taking my dogs for a run. I would quickly lose the ability to make polite conversation. (Some say that I already have.)
Driving around with clients and seeing houses, and asking about their dreams would no longer fill my week. Phone calls to inspectors, agents, lenders, and Title people would be a thing of the past and no one would take my call with a cheery, “Hey, Mary, how the heck are you?” I would no longer walk into a classroom full of agents preparing for another FHA Loan Changes class and recognize at least 75% of them. And I would never see what my clients have done to their homes or take their calls when they want to know if adding a sun room would be financially unwise if they were planning on selling in a couple of years. (Um, yes.)
I would miss the business and pleasure of practicing real estate.
So, I make a list of realistic goals for the New Year – most having to do with real estate, some with fitness (Handstand this year!), and quite a few with writing (finish that book!). Topping the list is to call all my clients and ask about their dreams again. I’ve discovered that dreaming is sometimes better done in the company of others.
My advice? Dream big with a clear-eyed optimism. Take chances that are rooted in the earth and reach towards the heavens. Dream passionately and often.