Archives for January 2018

Achieve your goals in 2018 and beyond – Why doing less may mean achieving more

I love setting goals and I know I achieve a lot more when I set them. Goals help me move my life in the direction that I want it to go, rather than letting circumstance or other people decide what I am prioritizing. It seems like there is more and more to do, and with these wonderful possibilities more choices to make. That said I have in the past had a bad habit when it comes to goal setting. I sometimes used to set too many goals. There are only so many hours in the day after all and my sleep and health are top priorities for me.

Although I set and achieve goals year round, I tend to review my goals and get lots of ideas about changes I want to make around Christmas/New Year time. This is because I have some time off from teaching at this time, and I find a break from my regular routine really helps me get perspective and come up with lots of ideas. It’s really exciting and inspiring to have lots of ideas, and the New Year is always full of potential and possibilities.

What do you want to do with your time in 2018? Picture of diary and a coffee with the aforementioned text at the top.This year I knew I had to commit to less to achieve more. I have always done this to some extent. Yoga is the made focus of my life, I practice it I read about, I talk about, I teach about, I keep learning and I keep sharing. I know even with this immense dedication to yoga I will never know everything but I also know that I am someone who likes to know a few things really well than lots of things a little bit. As yoga is my full time job this is an appropriate level of dedication for me, each person it will be different and of course we all have more than one thing to focus on. Our job, our hobbies and our families are 3 key areas of focus, each important and requiring time and attention. As you say yes to one thing you may have to say no to others. You want to go to a yoga class in the evening but you usually watch TV in the evenings, which will help you the most? I know which I would choose ;-).

When we say yes we are also saying no, what you say, “no too will help you to achieve your goals because goals require action and action requires time. Most new years resolutions fail. Does this mean we shouldn’t set them? I don’t think so but once you have set your goals you need to work out what you need to do to achieve them. By the way my husband Marc, who is a certified NLP Trainer, has taught me a lot about how to write down my goals in the last year. It has been a big game changer for me. He has written a great blog post about how to write smart goals here. Once you have set your goals you need to work out what the most important things to do in order to achieve your goals are. Then you need to do them. It sounds simple but this is perhaps the most challenging part. Most goals require more than one action and sometimes the actions are less exciting than the end goal. Often they are things you don’t want to do, or have struggled to do in the past, or else why would you need to set it as a goal?

If you want to do more of something this year, what are you willing to do less of, even if it is procrastinate less. If you can commit to just one goal and really focus on that I think you will achieve amazing things. I have managed to narrow my goals down to five, which is still a lot, but they are all essential to me in some way. My process at the start of each week is to look at each goal and commit to what I can realistically do to move that goal forward. I will review what I have achieved the week prior and work out what is realistic and attainable whilst still moving things forward.

essentialism book coverOver the Christmas period I listened to an audiobook called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeon also available as a good old-fashioned book. This book is about decluttering your life to focus on what is most important to you. Often we do things out of habit or because we have already committed to doing them or done them in the past. He uses the metaphor of cleaning out your wardrobe as you look at the things you do in your life, ask yourself how much effort would I make in order to get this into my life if it wasn’t already there. It’s a really good book, I recommend it.

Whatever your dreams and goals are for this year I wish you lots of actions in the pursuit of your dreams. Do you set goals? What has helped you achieve them?


Liverpool Yoga Book Club – Join in and Help us Choose or Next Book

Helen Aldred and Ashley Bromilow

Helen Aldred and Ashley Bromilow

Last year I started Liverpool Yoga Book Club with the help of one of my senior students Ashley Bromilow. The aim of the club is to encourage reading and discussion of yoga books within the city of Liverpool. We discuss our reading online on our Facebook page and meet up in person every 2 months. Our first event will be on January 12th where we will discuss our first book Bringing Yoga to Life by Donna Fahri. This is a great book and I have really enjoyed re-reading it as well as discussing it with the community both online and in person. Ashley and I are really excited about our first event. We are meeting this week to plan it and will announce more details on the Facebook page this week. If you are not on Facebook and would like to come, email me and I will keep you updated.

picture with all 6 of the yoga books you can vote for, with the text what shall we read next.Choosing our next book

We thought we would open the decision of our next book to the community so I have created a poll, you can vote here. I have written this post to give you a bit more information about the books you can choose from. They all sound great, I will do my best to be impartial and give you a brief summary of each with a link to find out more.

Moving into Stillness by Erich Schiffman

A practical guidebook to yoga and meditation by World renowned yoga teacher Erich Schiffman. Useful regardless of the style of yoga you practice.

Find out more

Yoga and the quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope

A psychotherapist and yoga teacher, Stephen’s book explains the philosophy, psychology, and practice of yoga, and how it applies to our most human dilemmas.

Find out more

Autobiography of A Yogi by Paramahabsa Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda autobiography, shares his encounters with many saints and sages during his youthful search around India for a teacher, ten years of training in the hermitage of a revered yoga master, and the thirty years that he lived and taught in America.

Find out more

Heart of Yoga- Developing a Personal Practice by TKV Desikachar

An exploration of yoga philosophy and practice, includes a translation of the yoga sutras at the end.

Find out more

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda

The yoga sutras compiled prior to 400 CE by Sage Patanjali are one of if not the most important text on yoga. Sri Swami Satchidananda’s book has the original Sanskrit followed by a translation, transliteration and commentary.

Find out more

Yoga for A World Out of Balance by Michael Stone

Using the five yamas described in the Yoga-Sutra’s of Patanjali, Michael Stone explores ethical action and the spiritual path in the modern world.

Find out more

You can vote for the next book here. Let me know if you have any other thoughts about the yoga book club, thanks to everyone who has contributed so far you can join our Facebook Group here.