One lesson that I hope you take away from doing My Next Thing is that we’re all capable of much more than we think. Last year I decided that I wanted to spend my free time working out, reading, talking with friends regularly, and learning a language. Because I had many priorities competing for my free time at once, I ended up not doing any of them particularly well by the end of the year.
Doing My Next THING has taught me that by picking one of those THINGS, focusing on it for a month, and then picking a new one, I’m able to manage one THING at a time extremely well. After the month, I’m rarely willing to put the old THING down. Therefore, I always find time for old THINGS while working on my new THING. This year, I’ve read more books, worked out more, talked to friends more, and learned more of a language than I ever have in my life. We’re capable of more than we think. We just have to take life one THING at a time.
When I was doing yoga as my first THING, I didn’t really know how to talk about it with others. I was really excited about yoga and felt really good about the whole idea of finding my new THING, but it never felt natural to bring it up in conversation.
If you have found the same to be true, go ahead and tell someone about your THING anyway. It's very possible that they’ve always been curious about the same THING but never knew where to start. I’ve found that to be the case for so many people, especially with yoga. If you’ve been happy with My Next Thing, you can direct them to My Next Thing and let them experience the same THING you’ve been doing for 20 days now.
Congrats! You don’t have to drink a gallon of kombucha to get a little buzz going with your yoga today. You can flash your Day 21 ID and go out and buy a bottle of champagne because the end of your THING is coming up soon. If you've done yoga most days this month, I expect that the 21-24 day mark is where you will end up when the month is over. If you've been even more consistent, you can check out the yoga for overachievers page after Day 24. When you finish an entire month of your THING, it's time to celebrate.
Why is it important to celebrate once you've accomplished a goal? For one, it boosts your self-esteem. It proves that your accomplishment is worth celebrating, even if it sounds simple, like doing yoga. By day 21 you know very well that doing yoga almost every day is not easy. You probably had to play mind games with yourself some days (or most days) to get on the yoga mat and you had to work hard to actually do the damn thing. Yoga isn't easy. So yeah, that accomplishment is worth celebrating.
In addition, celebrating gives us something to look forward to after we accomplish our next goal. After this THING is over, you get to pick your next THING. You're building the habit of doing someTHING purposeful with your free time every day, and you are also building the habit of celebrating that success when you reach a milestone (like finishing a month of yoga, for example).
If you need a boost of motivation to keep you going down the home stretch, don't forget to check out the inspiration page.
I almost called My Next Thing “Unapologetically Obsessed”. The third time I misspelled the world "unapologetically" in the same word document, I realized I needed a different name. But I think "unapologetically obsessed" gets at something at the core of the vision behind My Next Thing*.
As each month goes by, I add a new THING to my life. Not every one of these THINGS become an obsession, but many do. Now when I have free time, I have a list of obsessions to choose from and it’s growing all the time. I've gone from rarely feeling like I had anything fulfilling to do with my free time to not having enough free time to do everything that excites me. If you had to choose between those two problems, I think you'd take the latter.
On Day 22, think about the THINGS that you’ve already done this year, or the next THING that you want to do after the month is over. You don’t have to stop doing yoga at the end of the month if you don’t want to. In fact, I'm sure that you won't be able to put it down and never pick it up again. Instead, you'll add it to your list of obsessions and move on to the next THING.
*That vision is eliminating aimlessness in life. My Next Thing does that by helping people repurpose their free time. Is it working for you? Reach out and let me know. I'd love to hear your feedback.
You’ve nearly finished your THING for the month! If you have enjoyed yoga as much as I hope you have, now would be a great time to consider pushing yourself a little bit out of your comfort zone and looking for an in-person yoga class to attend. I’m not necessarily talking about paying for a weekly class at a gym (although you certainly can). I'm talking about finding a free public class.
Here are some websites that can help you find yoga classes in your area:
YogaClasses - This site allows you to filter by type of class, which is a helpful feature.
YogaFinder - This site looks like it was designed in the 90s, but it is still useful.
MindBody - This site offers many types of fitness classes, some of which include yoga.
If all else fails, you can search “free yoga class [your city name]”.
Taking your THING from something you’ve been doing from the comfort of your own home out into the world is a pretty amazing feeling. I will admit that I had some imposter syndrome when I first walked into a public yoga class, but I soon realized that I was on the same level as a lot of people there. Of course, there were some yogis who have clearly been practicing for years, but they didn’t care about me at all. As soon as I got out of my head about it, I really enjoyed my first experience and vowed that I would go every month. I plan to make good on that promise as soon as the coronavirus is under control (yep, I just dated this page with that reference).
Finish the month strong, and then think about what’s next for you and your THING.
This is Day 24. If you did your THING most days this month, you should reach this milestone with a few days to spare. If that’s the case, you can check out the Yoga for Overachievers page. And congratulations! Finishing an entire month of your THING is a huge accomplishment. I’m sincerely thrilled for you.
I hope you got a lot of satisfaction out of repurposing your free time this month with yoga. I also hope you derived equal satisfaction from the process of My Next Thing: that is choosing something that sounded interesting and doing it almost every day for a month. I believe there is power in that process.
Now you’re at a crucial point. At the beginning of next month you get to choose your next THING. I promise you, the more times you repeat this process, the more control and purpose you will feel in your free time. Don’t let the good habits you built up this month go to waste. Check out the Browse THINGS Page and start thinking about what your next THING will be.
If you are worried about not doing yoga anymore if you choose a new THING, rest assured. Yoga is not going to be something you can put on the shelf and easily forget about. It will be something you keep enjoying in your free time, even as you select and begin your next THING.
Once again, congratulations on reaching this point! I’d love to hear about your journey with this THING. Please feel free to contact me with your stories and feedback.