aura portrait by @moodbymoss
Aura by @moodbymoss

Last week in yoga (January goal #6) our teacher told us to do our favorite standing pose. The one that whenever we get to do it in class we go YES! on the inside. I’ve always naturally had good balance, plus I look good in standing tree, if I may say so myself.

After 5 breaths on each side in tree, our teacher asked us to do our least favorite standing pose. One that we dread, feel uncomfortable in, and can’t wait to be over. I chose chair. Chair is the worst. What’s more, there are no “sides” with chair so I had to hold the same position for 10 breaths.

And you know what I discovered? I didn’t like tree, I wobbled, I felt antsy, I wondered if I picked a too-easy pose. And I thrived in chair. It hurt, but it was the good kind of pain that I knew was making me stronger and better.

I don’t know if that was the intention of that yoga instructor, but it was a learning moment. I want to put myself in chair pose situations more this year and see what happens.

How did I do in January?

  1. Make small goals – Done on day one!
  2. Blog twice a weekAlmost. I wrote 7 blog posts in January. That’s just 1 shy.
  3. Go to sleep before midnight – This turned out to be a losing battle against my body clock. Will need to figure out a gameplan, maybe call in experts.
  4. Get coffee with 2 new people – I had 2 amazing coffee dates and I’m already signed up for 2 more in February! The photo above is a souvenir from my coffee date with @maggiegentry_ and the aura is by @moodbymoss.
  5. Juice at least 3 mornings a week – I juiced, but not 3 times a week. December 2016 Cristina was feeling really ambitious.
  6. Join CorePower Yoga – Done, and did you see how well that worked for me?
  7. Complete The Curated Closet – I made it partway through the book, but there are some exercises that take time (like writing down every outfit for two weeks).
  8. Not shop – No new clothes! I diiiid get a new pair of shoes though, does that count?
  9. Read a book – I finished Year of Yes, and highly recommend it to everyone.
  10. Get involved with Mavenly + Co – Done, and I’m already loving it.
  11. Get more involved with the Girls Empowerment Network – I’m officially a Genthusiast! (You can join the Genthusiast Society too, info here).

Getting to work on these goals has made January feel like one big month of YES! Which is funny now that I look at this list and see that I only completed about 50% of them. The high I’m on feels more like I finished 99% of them. It’s that brain-changing magic.

My February Small Goals

  1. Go see a financial advisor – Get my life.
  2. Practice gratitude – I brought Mel of Grow Your Lovespace into the office today for a Wellness in the Office session of meditation and yoga, (it was a total stress melter) and she said something that really stuck with me: Gratitude is the source of abundance. I want to practice more gratitude this month. Mel does this through posting Little Victories on Fridays, you should follow her and check them out for some light in your day.
  3. Compliment myself more, criticize myself less – I have a nasty habit of saying mean things to myself. We all do. But the good news is it’s a habit, and old habits can be replaced with new habits. My friend recently told me about a method that he’s using to be more aware of his bad habits, and while it’s a bit extreme I’m considering giving it a go myself. If I do it, I’ll blog it.
  4. Master Wunderlist – I’m a list person, and I’ve been trialing listing systems in search of the best one for years. This month I want to master Wunderlist to tackle a problem I’ve had lately: I can’t relax. Even when I’m hanging out with friends or family, I feel like I should be doing something more productive and ticking things off my list.
  5. Create an actionable plan for an idea I have, and take the first step – I’ve been getting insights from friends and colleagues on this idea all month, and I think now it’s time I take some actionable steps towards achieving it. More to come on this one, it’s really going to push me outside of my comfort zone – a real chair pose situation.

I’m going to try out a smaller number of goals this month. Every single one of my January goals are really things I want to continue doing year-round: going to coffee, blogging, yoga, continuing to volunteer with GEN and talk with Mavenly, juicing. So I want to be realistic about what I can add on top of that. Plus, it’s the shortest month of the year!


Cristina V. Cleveland

Cristina V. Cleveland is a senior beauty editor based in Austin, TX. She has been exploring personal style and decor on Fuji Files since 2009. Her work as a writer and editor has appeared in publications like Refinery29, Birchbox, TradHome Magazine, To&From Magazine, Coco+Kelley, CamilleStyles and ads in Glamour, InStyle and Lucky.

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Rather than pushing up-to-the-minute trends and products, Fuji Files is about discovering a lasting, personal aesthetic and the journey to feeling your personal best. 

Fuji Files was started by Cristina Cleveland, the Managing Editor of NaturallyCurly, the largest hair and beauty content platform. Her work as a writer and editor has appeared in publications like Refinery29, Teen Vogue, CamilleStyles, Blavity, Birchbox, TradHome Magazine, Coco+Kelley, and ads in Glamour, InStyle and Lucky.