Most of the friends I asked say they don’t make resolutions, but I love having goals at the start of every new year. There’s something inspiring about hanging up a new calendar and envisioning the possibilities.
At 46, I realize there is no clean slate, and having spent far too much time creating healthy habits to start anew, I wouldn’t want one. But there’s still so much I want to do (and not do), so much more I want to be (and not be), and the New Year always makes me reflect on what that is.
After many failures and a couple of successes, I know first hand you can’t just say you want to change. You have to be ready, realistic, and specific, and you need a good plan. Take “meditate daily,” the first item on my resolutions list. It doesn’t mean much without specifying how, when, and where I’ll meditate. So, to help guide me, I’ve downloaded Headspace, an app recommended by several friends (expect a follow up on this in a few weeks). First thing in the morning doesn’t work for me, so I’ve decided I’ll dedicate ten minutes after my morning workout and shower to clear my head, and I’ll likely choose to sit in my closet, because it’s the quietest dog-free space in the house. I’m prone to distractions – like really prone – so let’s see how this goes.
What’s interesting is how my goals have evolved. I no longer include the seemingly perpetual “lose 5-10 pounds” resolution that I now realize was my way of saying “you’re not good enough.” Instead, I am committed to stop the comparisons between my body and 25 year-old bodies, including my own 25-year old body. How? Short of getting rid of my mirrors, I don’t know that yet (suggestions welcome).
I want to write more – both in this blog and for this book idea that’s been on my list for years. In a Facebook post asking what you wanted to see more of in 2017, many of you requested quick and easy breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner ideas (I’m noting a theme, here). I get the quick and easy part, and my goal with this space has always been to make healthy eating and fitness approachable. I’ll continue to do that this year, but personally, I am working on learning new vegan recipes, so you will, too.
I am determined to listen to others -without interrupting. To release expectations. To practice gratitude (I’d love practical ideas for reminding me of my daily blessings, so if you have an app to recommend, please let me know).
And, because there’s always a “less wine” resolution that never works, this year I’m going with a more realistic “pass on the last glass.” Because I should define what glass number that would be, my goal is to stick to having no more than two sensible glasses of wine (sensible as in five or six ounces). I’m also striving for wine-free nights, but I need Sean to be in on this resolution to make it work.
Interestingly, there’s not much in the way of workout goals for me this year. When I asked my workout buddies on New Year’s Eve if we had any collective fitness resolutions, they said, “keep on doing what we’re doing.” I love that getting stronger is simply a given for us. Although, now that I think of it, I still haven’t mastered that handstand from my 2015 list, so that would be nice. More yoga altogether would be amazing. Oh, and I want to make time to foam roll. Truth be told, I’ve been wanting to foam roll regularly for years, so if it’s going to happen in 2017, I’ll have to put it on my schedule. If only foam rolling felt as good as that last glass of wine.
When you have a sound goal and plan that you put into action, change can happen. Three years ago, I resolved to do more hands-on volunteering. So, during the first week of January 2014, I signed up to deliver Meals on Wheels. Almost every Wednesday since, I’ve spent an hour giving back to homebound seniors. More rewarding than I imagined, it’s become a highlight of my week. If you’re interested, check out more about my experience here.
Finally, remember that just because it’s January 1st doesn’t mean change will work for you now. “Ditch the Diet Coke” was on my resolutions list for over a decade, but it finally happened when the time was right, and I was ready – and that happened to be during mid-November three years ago. ICYMI, check out how I did it.
Before you make a commitment to change ask yourself: Is my goal realistic and specific? Am I ready? Do I have a good plan? Will my calendar and schedule in January support my goal? Will my friends and family support me? These are important questions and you can find out more about making lasting change here.
Finally, if healthy cooking, wellness, and fitness gains are on your list, I hope you’ll continue to stop by. As always, I am here to guide, motivate and support you, because you inspire me!
Happy, healthy 2017, everyone!