Hello SOTGC community,
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for a newer and richer experience.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
Here’s to a new year, a fresh start, and a clean slate. So make your list and get started.
People make resolutions and to-do lists and put themselves on schedules and regiments, diets, detoxes—many of which don’t last. What if, this year, we made a list of changes, experiences, wishes, actions, feelings … a list of what living means to you and what makes you feel alive.
Whatever your list includes, there are a few tools that can help you. All these tools have become key in my arsenal as I journey through fitness, nutrition, and life, striving to live and taste every experience and enjoy every moment and continue learning and challenging myself.
Make a Commitment – I learned this one a few years ago at a brainstorming session. If you want to truly do something—say you are going to do it. Then tell people you are going to do it … once you do that, you are held accountable to your word, which makes you committed to getting it done. Now you have to carry through (or at the very least try!) It’s a great way to take that first step.
Create New Habits – Whatever changes or goals are on your list, start with a few actions that can become habits. Do one thing, then try to do it daily, and, before you know it, it becomes a habit. For example, over the last year I was working on my handstand as well as on incorporating more vegetables into my diet, especially at breakfast time! I started out just trying to do a handstand at least once a week. I also started trying to incorporate veggies at breakfast once a week. The handstand was much easier! But the veggie habit also worked well. At first it was a challenge to include one vegetable for breakfast, but before you know it, I’m adding carrots to my oatmeal and shredding zucchini or any leftover veggie into my scrambled eggs on a regular basis. Habits make our life easier because they become an automatic action. Focus on creating habits that will bring you closer to the way you want to live your life.
Try Something New – Trying something new is an experience. The whole process of putting yourself in an unfamiliar situation provides a whole set of new emotions and lessons learned. This can be as simple as trying a new vegetable, taking a salsa class, or walking a different way to work. A new perspective is always refreshing. Anytime you can use your senses to process a new experience, you learn something different. And life is made up of experiences—even the bad and good ones become great stories.
Learn a Skill – Once you’ve created your list, learn a skill that will get you closer to your goals, actions, or feelings. If you want to climb Machu Pichu, then take a climbing class. If you want to improve your diet, then take a cooking class—you’ll be amazed how much you can learn about food by cooking. This doesn’t have to be a huge commitment—remember, every journey starts with a single step. Recently, I virtually attended a Mindfulness Summit. Although I was unable to listen to the lectures daily, I listened to five of them and learned so much about mindfulness, meditation, and being present that I’ve started incorporating the tips into my life.
Spend Time with People Who Lift you Up – To get through the items on your list, you may discover that you need to choose to spend time with people who contribute to your life in a positive way. These are the people who support you, make you laugh, share information, and want you to succeed. Take notice of who makes you feel good, who challenges you, and who helps you grow. Who lights up your smile, makes you want to do cartwheels in the sand, and who you turn to, to share the news. And then, spend your time with those people, nurture those relationships and reap the mutual benefits.
You may wonder what all this has to do with fitness … I firmly believe that fitness, health, happiness, and strength are intertwined and should be a part of your individual lifestyle not something that is forced on you. Identifying what living means to you and what makes you feel alive is all part of the process.
So here’s to living! To a year of changes, experiences, actions, wishes, and feelings. Happy New Year!