The New Year is here, and many people think of all the changes they are going to make this year. Resolutions are talked about for most of the month of January. This is the time when gyms get crowded…for the first three weeks of January, then it thins out again. I believe this is indicative of many people with great motivation, but then “real life” gets in the way. Either they do too much too fast and get sore or hurt, or realize it just doesn’t fit into their lives. Congratulations to all of those who know they need to make a change, and attempt to make it. There is nothing wrong with trying to “jump into something with both feet”, but most of the time what we know is difficult is really just too much to do all at once.
So this is my year of transition. I will be transitioning to the changes I want to make in my life, which means taking steps in the direction I want to go, but not jumping in full force. For example, I would like to be able to do a pull up, but I can’t just spend an hour a day doing shoulder work, because I will do damage to my body. So I have a hang up bar in my hallway, and when I go past it, I hang from it. A little hanging many times a day will be a gentler transition than the painful way.
Some of the goals I have are:
—Transition to more movement in my daily life. (Inspired by Katy Bowman, of NutritiousMovement.com) This includes more long walks, maybe some camping and some hikes.
—Transition to more “all body” flexibility.
—Transition away from snacks, toward a larger lunch and a lighter dinner, (Yes, the goal is to lean out my body, slowly and naturally; we will see if it works!)
—Transition to less “stuff” in my house. (i.e.: clear out the junk of 18 years of living in the same house)
—Do a better job of having an “online presence”, to support a health minded community, especially the local community
For each of my goals, I will have more specific actions, such as taking longer walks at least once a week, and increase the distance of my daily dog walks. Doing some more specific stretch work in my calves, to allow me to do a flat footed squat. Also not buying those protein bars I really enjoyed when I was doing more of a Paleo diet. Clearing out stuff is just a constant struggle, unless you do the Marie Kondo "art of tidying up".
Beyond that, I have been working on my Personal Mission Statement, figuring out what is most important to me. The idea is to focus on the goals that specifically support my Personal Mission. Looking at my goals, I obviously want to be physically healthy, leaner in body, a less cluttered environment, and improve my work on creating a healthy community. So, maybe I did that backwards! Except my family is what is most important to me, so obviously I still have a lot of work to so on my Personal Mission Statement. Any ideas? Has anyone done one?
If I keep in mind that it is about transition, then I don’t have to be upset if I “blow it”. I know it is a transition, and I am not there yet. Of course, I also have to be sure not use that as an excuse. So I will need some more specific goals, or some “rules”. For example, I can’t really expect myself to do a pull up in six months if my body is not capable of it. However, I can give myself a sort of “rule” that I have to hang on my pull up bar every time I walk down the hall.
For other goals, such as not having snacks, I can just figure out what I need to do to not need a snack during the day. Making sure I eat breakfast, and having a larger lunch can really help. So it can make me plan around these things. For a lighter dinner, I can plan on having simple dinners, such as soups. In the spring, I can plan on salads.
One personal comment about the leaning out goal that most of us have: yes, it is a great goal to release the excess weight that many of us carry around, however, the bigger goal may be to figure out WHY we carry that excess weight. The simple answer that we just eat too much may be true, but WHY do we eat too much? And is that actually the issue? Maybe the problem is that we sit too much, or feel we are missing something in our lives, such as creativity or exitement. Often we “beat ourselves up” for not having perfect willpower, or not doing enough workouts, or hard enough workouts. I’m not sure that attitude is what works for many of us.
Here is an idea. Perhaps we just need to eat in a more relaxed setting and chew our food more. Then we can actually derive the nutrients from our food. What many of us do is gulp our food down in a stressful situation, and two hours later we feel like we never ate. Well, we never got a chance to honestly taste our food. I have heard of someone losing 20 pounds in a year simply by chewing their food into a liquid paste at every meal. It was hard to get used to, and she had to schedule time to eat, and her family had to get used to her taking so long to finish her meals; but she stuck with it and finally lost those 20 pounds she had struggled with for years. This is yet another goal of mine for this year, to chew my food thoroughly and see if that makes a difference. Just a thought.
What are your goals this year? Are you striving to reach a goal, or transitioning to a permanent change in your life? Or do you have a different strategy? Different things work for different people; we are so unique. Feel free to share your thoughts on my Facebook page, or share this post.