It’s a New Year, and an ever evolving you, that is my wish for all!
And wow, can you believe that we are already about half way thru the 1 st month of the ew year?! Now, we all know at this point all of the new years’ resolutions are in full effect or on the flip side, even forgotten at this point?! There is incredible pressure to create the perfect "resolution", using January 1 as the “perfect” start date, and then to actually follow through with it –phew, so much pressure let alone following what many feel as a stressful/busy, yet joyous time of year, am I right?! Either way, I am fairly certain that more of us can recite those resolutions we were unsuccessful at versus those we fulfilled, at least I know I can. Reflecting on the past few years has made me realize many things, one of which is how the use of certain words can not only impact my emotional state but even set me up to either succeed or might I dare say fail (where some of my biggest ah ha moments have occurred of course when I allow myself to be open to learning, but I digress).....take the word, resolution for example, in my mind it is negative and immediately I become defensive, thinking, ugh, I can never stick to them. When actually it is not the resolution I “dislike” but how I created them for myself, historically
my resolutions tended to be vague, unrealistic and definitely not SMART*. And over the past years, I have realized that even SMART goals progress as you embark on them, that goals can always evolve, grow, change and even morph into something else, as life happens. I finally gave myself permission to soften, to be kinder to myself and to be open to change & develop my goals as life happened; that maybe what I set out with at the start worked, but now, 2 months in may not work, and most importantly, that it is ok for that to happen. (*SMART Goals= Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time bound).
One specific year comes to mind nearly five years ago, a SMART goal of mine in the Fall (notice I didn’t wait for the start of the new year) was to run a half marathon by December 31. I had gotten out of running and missed that outlet of which I could de-stress, exercise, connect with like minded individuals, and most importantly take time for myself. Well, as the Fall went on I realized I was unable/unwilling to carve out the training time, thus my running partner in crime, aka best fitness friend and I came up with a fun and different "challenge"- in a nutshell initially I was going to run a half marathon by the end of the year, however based on many things going on in my life with work, travel, etc. it was not going to happen (also I should note that I am bit picky about races, including location, theme, date, etc., and I didn't give myself too many to choose from with the end of the year looming) therefore.... my friend and I updated our SMART goal
to become a "30 day run challenge" - details were as follows: run every day for 30 days straight, minimum 1 mile per day, with a grand total goal of 100 miles covered. Well, let me just say, that was definitely a challenge, one I really was uncertain about, as it started on Nov 27 and ended on Dec 26-yes right smack dab in the middle of the holidays. Truly, when in the end, we could not have picked a better time!!! I was determined to succeed (we both were), and many times when I embarked upon my daily run, I went farther than planned, ended up setting daily mini goals, it kept me active and accountable during a time of overindulgence, I was able to run with one of my best friends when our schedules meshed, and I truly fell back into love with running, of course I could go on and on about all of the positives from that feat. Now, mind you, my body definitely fought back a little bit in terms of my knees and low back aching and I did end up not running 1 day due to: traveling back home to Michigan (at the time I was living in California), lack of sleep, much needed family time, and a snow storm, but I was honest
with myself and my friend and realized that it was my day off for "balance" and a HUGE reminder that rigidity is not always the answer. So our goal evolved once again, turning into running 101 miles in 30 days, and I am happy to say it was a success and set us both up to continue the positive momentum! I ended with 105.75 miles -14 of which I finished in Michigan with the cold, wind and snow (remember this California girl was a cold weather wimp at the time)!! Furthermore, this ever-evolving goal turned into about 4 more monthly challenges for my friend and I over the next year (always fun to have that accountability factor and a “partner in crime” to help with motivation, to share struggles and wins with!) THUS, my "challenge" to you is to create a goal, resolution, challenge or whatever your term is that creates positivity in your mind and most importantly resonates with you-be it surrounding fitness, budgeting, family, food, anything to support your mind, body and soul!
To a new year filled with fitness, fashion, fun, goal setting, self-reflection and love,
yours in gratitude,