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To achieve a goal requires hard work and effort. This is only part of the story though. In order to grow and change, we also need to open up and make space for the new.

Being 100% driven, focused, goal-oriented and organised can actually hinder the process of opening up to change. We don’t need to give up our aims and to-do lists entirely, but we must also mindfully make way for the unexpected.

When we consciously open ourselves to new ideas, experiences, and ways of being we shift the energy in our lives. We can shake off old habits, let go of the things that don’t serve us, and stop repeating past mistakes.

Here are three ways you can Open Up in 2019 for a richer, more beautiful year.

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Opening the hips and heart

Move those hips

Opening our minds starts with our bodies. Being physically flexible and limber is essential to developing those qualities in other areas of our lives. In yoga, we pay special attention to the hips. They are a major joint in the body, and a place where we store emotional as well as physical tension. We use yoga to create flexibility in our body and mind. Often it’s easy to focus on the body, because that is the most tangible. We see results in the mirror and feel the difference in our muscles.

Try these three hip-opening poses.

Communicate clearly

One of the ways we stay in a rut is by letting misunderstandings slide. Sometimes it seems like a lot of effort to explain our point of view, so we just nod and let it go. While this may be good social graces, it keeps our communication in closed patterns. We cannot change or create new relationship dynamics if we’re repeating the same routine behaviours. Communicating clearly, by speaking with precision, listening carefully, and making the effort to follow through on conversations, opens us to a whole realm of possibilities for growth.

Learn something

Developing new skills literally expands our brain by building new neural connections. When we open ourselves to learning, we also go through a period of trial and error. We make mistakes, and in doing so, we learn that mistakes are a healthy, normal part of the growth process. Having a learner’s mindset helps us see challenges instead of problems, and helps us cultivate the confidence to face new situations.

How will you open up in 2019? Share in the comments!