From the Editor’s Desk: Do Just One Thing for Yourself this New Year

Photo by Tyler Nix

By Kavita Chandran

So much happens over a year—birthdays, celebrations, holidays, work schedules, school routines, exams, visitors, medical hiccups, fitness plans, diet flops, good news, bad news—and poof, before we know, the year comes to an end. During the holiday season, we start all over with resolutions and plans for the new year, and the whole cycle begins yet again.

We also find ourselves pondering over what was done and what could have been done differently in the year that passed by. So immersed are we in routine chores and daily duties that we regret the loss of a whole year, one that had been kicked off with promises and plans.

How can you change this vicious cycle?

How about starting small by promising just one thing to yourself? It could be anything – from signing up for a diet plan (and sticking to it), writing a book (and finishing it), or joining a course (and getting a certificate for it). At the end of the year, if you can talk about one thing that gave you a sense of achievement or accomplishment that year—then you’ve done your bit in making that whole year worthwhile for yourself.

This thought occurred to me eight years ago when I turned 40. There was so much on my list of things to do, and I realized life was just passing me by. So, I vowed that every December when I sit with family, I will tell them of one thing that I accomplished that year. In other words, I wanted to make sure I did something for myself every year. Not for the family or my work or the world, just for myself.

Photo by Gargi Mazumdar

And so I did. It began with getting a tattoo on my arm the first year to cover a scar that had bothered me since childhood. The second year, I went away to spend a month in Mysore to get a yoga teacher training certificate. I did scuba diving in the Gold Coast the third year, and I started teaching yoga on a regular basis on the fourth year. I finished writing my book (published by Wisdom Tree) in the fifth year. In the sixth year, I launched Yoga Journal in Singapore. I got certified in Reiki level 1 and 2, and learned the art of healing with touch in the seventh year. In 2018, my eighth year, I took a breathtaking trip to Rishikesh, which was on my bucket list. For 2019, I want to learn yoga therapy so I can include it in my teachings and go deeper with my practice of natural healing.

Focusing on yourself and your accomplishments is a reiteration to your body, mind and spirit that they are valued. It shows that you love yourself. In the 365 days that you spend taking care of others’ needs, do just one thing for yourself.

Send me a note ( if you want to share it with me. I will save it, remind you about it, and hope to receive a message at the end of the year telling me you checked it off. And then, we celebrate together!

First make yourself happy, and share it with the world. All else will fall into place.

Happy New Year!