Create Your Routine in 2015: Daily Yoga Challenge with Daniel Wallen

The New Year is a wonderful time to pause and reflect. What are your priorities? What needs to change? What do you want to accomplish and how can you make it happen? All of this reflection can be super exciting for self-improvement junkies like me.

I have bad news, though. While an estimated 40% of Americans make New Year's Resolutions, only 8% of them actually succeed. Most people get so intoxicated by the idea of transformation that they forget to make a plan. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” as Benjamin Franklin put it.

Indeed, most people try to force an exercise routine on themselves without stopping to consider how they can make it convenient for their schedule and lifestyle. Or, even worse, they tell themselves they will go to yoga class “whenever they feel like it” (Spoiler Alert: that will probably end up being never).

This would be a good place to introduce myself. Hi, my name is Daniel. I am a yoga enthusiast, personal trainer, freelance writer, and self-published author from Bristol. You can find my writings on popular blogs such as Lifehack, Livestrong, and the Personal Trainer Development Center.

I've been practicing yoga for a few years now, and I still have a lot to learn. I will be getting certified at Bristol Yoga's teacher training program, which is very exciting. I like to be ahead of the curve, so I am beginning my preparation process right now. That means going to a class every morning and writing a short journal entry about what I learned in each one.

Every week, I will compile these journal entries and send them to Shelly of Bristol Yoga. She will pick out the most revealing sections and offer some advice that will help you. In other words, you will get to benefit by having a bird's eye view of my experience. These posts will be published twice a week. If you'd like to be notified when they are available, subscribe to Bristol Yoga blog. Want to join me? Email and let them know you are wanting to be on this journey in 2015! You can find details of the challenge in the previous blog post. You have options to make this challenge work for you!

Let's bring this chat back to you and your New Year's Resolution. Most people will inevitably sabotage their success by rushing into 2015 without a plan. I'd like to help you avoid that common mistake by sharing how I am preparing for my daily yoga challenge.

First, I considered my learning style. Some people might like to take lots of different classes to keep things interesting, but I'm not one of them. I thrive with a consistent class schedule. I believe it takes practice and patience to become excellent at anything.

Second, I analyzed my daily schedule. It's impossible to commit to something that isn't convenient for your lifestyle.  Afternoons and evenings tend to be busy, so that eliminated a lot of class offerings. Bristol Yoga offers a sunrise class at 6 a.m. every weekday morning, though, so I signed up for those. 

Third, I solidified my commitment. I did so by sharing my goal in a Facebook status and writing this blog post. Nothing lights a fire under your butt like making your goal public knowledge. You don't have to take it that far if you don't want to. Simply tell a friend about your goal. They will check up on your progress every now and then, which should encourage you to stay accountable.

If you'd like to learn about more ways people sabotage their success, click here to check out my recent Lifehack post on the subject. Don't be afraid to say “hi” if we cross paths in yoga class, okay? It's fun to make new friends. If you found this post helpful, please share it in a thoughtful email or Facebook share.