A Free Gift Worth Having

A Free Gift Worth Having

by Alex Reed, Good Life Yoga

For many of us our New Year’s resolutions roll over from year to year with very little change in between. The same to do list appears with the faint hope that this time we might actually achieve some of it. It’s a negative pattern and it’s time to break it.

Instead of making a to do list, give yourself a free gift – compassion.

It starts with compassion for others – be kind, don’t judge. When you give this gift to others, a little miracle happens, you become kinder to yourself. A little less internal criticism, less judgement, less comparison with others, all things that make us feel bad about ourselves. When you let go of judgement of others, it frees you from self judgement. Now you are free. Free to be whatever it is you want to be in 2024.

Make a new list, a list of positive thoughts that will help you to be happier, healthier, and kinder. Choose one to focus on at a time, repeat it to yourself silently in the quiet moments of your day, as often as you can. These new thoughts work like a seed, growing inside you; silently changing the way you perceive yourself. They have the potential to affect your whole life and those around you.

In the practice of yoga these positive affirmations are called Sankalpa. They can be anything as long as it’s formed in a positive statement. Choose something that resonates with you and could affect change in your life. Here are a few examples:

  • I am calm.
  • I am loved.
  • I feel joy.
  • I look for the positive in others / situations.
  • I nourish my body with healthy food.
  • I move my body with care and kindness often.
  • I take time to rest when I need it.
  • I see beyond my own needs to those around me.
  • I take care of my own well-being, so I have more strength and energy to help others.
  • I prioritise the things that make me happy (spending time with people I love).

Wishing you a joy filled 2024.


Alex Reed is a yoga teacher based in Wimbledon Village.  Her group classes have been running for the last ten years offering students the opportunity to build a regular asana practice and time for self nurture. New students always welcome.