As we embark on a new year and are inundated with strict new year’s resolutions, have you simply thought about what you’d like to invite into your life and what you’d like to let go of? 

As we embark on a new year and are inundated with strict new year's resolutions, have you simply thought about what you'd like to invite into your life and what you'd like to let go of? | @TheFoodieDietitian

On New Year’s day, I attended a restorative yoga workshop with Ame Wren at JP Centre Yoga. The intention behind the practice was to slow down the body to, in turn, still the mind. When the mind is still, we can tap into some of our greatest insights. We began the practice with a seated meditation and Amy invited us to think about what no longer serves us from 2014 that we want to let go of in the coming year. And at the end of practice, we concluded with another seated meditation and thought about what we would like to invite into our lives in 2015.

I took this workshop a day after I sat down with my Desire Map, notebook, and pages from The Day Designer, ideating on my goals and intentions for 2015. I thought that maybe some theme or idea I had thought about this day would have resurfaced during the yoga practice. Nope. But two new words clearly surfaced and didn’t waiver.


Perfection and Acceptance.

And they came at me like a ton of bricks. As if they’d been lingering forever and were just waiting for the perfect moment to present themselves.

So, I wrote them down on note cards that we were given at the beginning of practice with the intention that I would let go of perfection and invite in acceptance this year.

For any good type A girl, perfection is a constant struggle. Not just because you’re hardwired for perfection but because perfection does NOT exist. So much of my time and energy is wasted on trying to perfect this and that when I should be saving that energy for self-care and things that bring me joy.

I’m not saying I’ll no longer try my best or work hard. I’ll always have a strong work ethic and strive for excellence. But doing your best and striving for excellence, in my opinion, is different than reaching for an unattainable ideal that only causes stress and anxiety.

I remember reading somewhere about this type A woman who committed to embracing imperfection as a healing exercise and started purposefully being imperfect. Rather than meticulously reading her emails over for edits, she would send them out with minor typos. And realized that the world didn’t come crashing down as a result.

For me, my intention is to practice acceptance as a way to let go of perfection. Accept that there will be hiccups along the journey of wedding planning. Accept that I’m still not a handstander. Accept that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be with my business, my relationship, my apartment. And none of it is perfect. And it’s not meant to be perfect.

I now invite you to take a few minutes, close your eyes, and breathe. And think about if there’s anything from last year that you could let go of this year and if there’s something else to invite in with the new space you’ve made.

This could be anything – word, a thing, a person, an abstract image. And it’s OKAY if nothing comes to mind right away. If that’s the case, come back to it later.

Ask yourself, what no longer serves you?

And ask, what will bring you light?

Write them down on note cards. Toss the card that has written on it whatever you’d like to let go of. Literally, let it go by throwing it out! And then tuck the other card away someplace safe where you’ll be reminded of it from time to time throughout the year. Hold onto it and remember to invite it in.

I plan to use these words as a mantra throughout the year. To help guide me when things get tough or I’m struggling.

What intentions or mantras will guide you during 2015?

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  1. I have been thinking a lot about how I want to stop striving so hard to do everything I think I ‘should’ do and let love define more of my life instead. I want my eating and exercise to be an act of self love rather than an attempt to live up to an unobtainable ideal and I want to allow myself to do more of what actually makes me happy. I think it will be a challenge to shift my mindset but it is one that I am really excited about. I think it could change a lot of things for me and I can’t wait!

    • Great insights, Libby! A life coach helped me recognize the difference between “I want” and “I should”. In one of our initial calls together, she called me out and said “you’re shoulding all over yourself.” And I was. I was living my life by I shoulds rather than I wants. By shifting my decision making to what I want to do rather than what I feel I should do, I’m so much happier. And I’ll be talking about letting love define your life in an upcoming Mindful Monday post!

  2. I know that this year I definitely want to work on letting go of perfection as well. I pressure myself too much in daily life– to look perfect, to keep the apartment clean, to cook delicious things every single time (silly, lol) and to keep up with all my errands. It’s small things like that, that build up over time that make me really stressed out. Work in progress! Great post!

    • Totally hear ya, Emily. Sometimes I’ll catch myself and ask myself is what I’m thinking right now doing me any good? If not, I try to make a conscious effort to let it go. Always a WIP!

  3. Love this Kara! I love the book The Gifts of Imperfection because it really helped me realize how perfection was showing up in my life. I did a similar practice of figuring out what I’m ready to let go of – mainly trying to do it ALL – and bring in doing what I can do well.