Reflections. Not Resolutions.

resolution

Ok, I’m not perfect. But I’m pretty damn close.

In our busy lives, the new year can be a great time to pause and reflect on the previous year.  For many people, resolutions tend to follow those reflections.  Every year however, my resolution continues to be to not make resolutions.  I’ve been not making resolutions for a long time now and things seem to be working fine for me.  For me, if I wanted to change something badly enough, I put it in place as soon as I realize I want change to happen.  I feel like you are setting yourself up for failure by assigning an arbitrary date to create goals – why is it that so many resolutions don’t make it make it past February?  Or why is it that the resolutions tend to be same year after year?

I’m not suggesting that you never make resolutions again but perhaps think about the types of goals you are setting for yourself, especially those health related ones.  Are they too broad/generic (“I want to lose weight”)?  Do you share your goals with those around to keep you accountable?  Does the goal make sense for you (I know people that say they should start running to lose weight but they hate running!?)?  I think many people are familiar with the concept of a S.M.A.R.T. goal and if you are not, here is a pretty good guide to create S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself.  So if you do have resolutions, hopefully this will help you be more successful in reaching them!  Also if you have health related resolutions, be sure to check out local deals with fitness centers, groupon, living social, etc. to help you financially in reaching those goals!

Since I don’t make resolutions, I like to reflect.  Here are some of my health reflections for this past year:

  • I’m incredibly grateful for the support of my fiance this past year.  Without his patience, love, and encouragement, I would not have experienced yoga teacher training.  It was amazing to be able to dive deeper into my practice and be given the basic skill sets to share my love of yoga with others.  My friends have been the most wonderful and patient guinea pigs and after a few months of moving to SF, I am now teaching yoga at 24 Hour Fitness (look me up if you are reading from the city!).
  • I’m also incredibly grateful for yoga teacher training since it has helped me check my ego!  I used to over exert myself in class and try every single pose and do everything that was asked of me to prove something to myself, even if my body wasn’t feeling it.  I definitely paid for that with injuries that sidelined my practice.  Yoga teacher training has made me more mindful and aware of what my body needs and what I personally need to do to take care of it.  I don’t always have to be the best at every pose or be the fastest runner or run the longest distances.  I need to do what works for me.
  • Through running, I am reminding myself that where I am in my life is exactly where I need to be.  I took over a year off from running to focus on yoga.  Now that I’m getting back into it, I’ve been hard on myself at times and have been frustrated that I’m not as fast or I can’t run as far with the ease I used to have.  It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others or to past experiences but this struggle is where I’m at and the easier I can accept this, the easier it will be for me to move beyond the frustration and actually enjoy running again.
  • I have always believed that exercise is good for your mental health.  And this past year, I experienced those benefits when I needed it the most.  Being unemployed put me in a terrible, dark place and I was severely depressed.  Of all the times in my life when I could have used therapy, this was it.  Yoga probably saved me from losing it completely, even if it was just for a couple of hours each day.  No matter how I felt going into a class, I always left feeling a little lighter.  A lot of extra gratitude for the amazing yoga teachers/friends in San Diego!

This past year has helped me grow in so many ways and I’m grateful for everything that contributed to that (Damn it, I’m lying.  I’m not so grateful for the unemployment part but I’m thankful for the experiences and people that added to my resiliency).  So here we go – another year, another opportunity to experience everything life throws at you.  Cheers to a year full of budget-friendly health adventures!

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