I’m not typically a “resolution” person – but I do work in the fitness industry, and I suppose that has afforded me some positive influence for goal setting at the start of every New Year. The fitness industry is, naturally, abuzz with hope and promise each January – it’s our busiest month for new and returning members, who collectively agree that January is akin to a new beginning and a fresh start for new fitness goals.
I much prefer “goal setting” to making a “resolution” – as it allows you to constantly re-evaluate, change, and even add things you want to accomplish during the year, at any given time, instead of keeping one singular focus for the entire year, and feeling defeated if you didn’t reach it as planned.
This year, I had a few new things to consider whilst pondering what I might attempt to work on in 2016. Among other things, becoming a new mom has significantly shifted my focus – and considering one of the most common New Years resolutions is centred around weight loss, one might assume working off the baby weight (of which there was plenty!) would be a good place to start. It’s certainly something I’m working on, but I’m also working on not obsessing over every pound, (+ or -) and the ultimate quest for the “perfect” body (or, at this point, having a body that even slightly resembles the best version of my pre-pregnancy body…) Somehow, my goal setting plans do not include weight loss this year.
A friend of mine does a really cool version of a “resolution” each year, where she picks one word to be her focus or intention for the upcoming year. (You can read about hers here – and I encourage you to!) Her blog post this year was my inspiration for posting my own “One Little Word” for 2016, instead of planning to lose X amount of weight. I feel this carries much more weight for me this year, (no pun intended!) and will allow me to stay focused on my intention and consistently check-in with myself and adjust whenever necessary. In 2016, my “One Little Word” is:
This is as multi-faceted a word as any, so let me clarify what my intentions are with being more AWARE in 2016:
Being aware of how I treat others, regardless of how they treat me.
Being aware of how I prioritize my life.
Being aware of how I balance husband, baby, family, friends, and work relationships and responsibilities.
Being aware of how I react to situations.
Being aware of how I communicate with my husband, in any kind of conversation.
Being aware of what I put into my body.
Being aware of how, and how often, I make my body move.
Being aware of the people around me in public spaces.
Being aware of my purpose and intention in any situation.
Being present, everywhere, but especially in the company of others.
Being aware of learning and growing opportunities, using any teachable moments to my advantage.
Living “aware” reminds me of a really great story with a solid message, maybe you’ve heard it before. I’m not sure where this story comes from, but the short version goes something like this:
A college professor stands in front of his class with a big empty jar. He takes out many large rocks and stacks them into the jar until there is no more space for any rocks. He asks the class if the jar is full. They agree that yes, the jar is full. He then takes out a jar of pebbles, and allows them to fall into the rock-filled jar, filling the empty spaces where the large rocks do not. He asks again – is the jar full? Again, the class says yes, the jar is full. He then takes out a pail of sand, and pours the sand into the jar, which obviously takes up the last bit of space between rock and pebble. Again – “Is the jar full?” One student stands up and says that it does actually appear full this time, but the answer must be no. The professor smiles and takes out two cups of coffee, and pours the liquid into the jar, finally filling it.
I think there are multiple interpretations of this story – one theory is that no matter how “full” or “busy” your life is, there is always room for a couple cups of coffee with a friend. The other, I think, is that you should be careful to fill your plate (or jar) with “big rocks first” – things that are top priority in your life – namely family, friends, and health – before the smaller pebbles and sand that fill your existence.
Either way – I think that being aware of how you are living your life can afford you some great benefits – building relationships with those who are close to you; creating opportunities for new relationships; allowing you to focus on things that matter most to you, and working on being the best version of you that you can be, today. Not tomorrow, or yesterday. Today, and in this moment.
So, will I be working on my overall health and fitness this year? Well, of course! Health is a top priority of mine, and is also a really big part of my career. (Read: a big rock!) Will I be counting pounds or tracking meals? Probably not, at least not right now. I am focused on being aware of how I build and maintain the relationships around me, and especially on navigating the waters of my family dynamic and relationships with a new baby – both with my amazing spouse and as a new mom to my beautiful new baby. I’ve come to realize that my happiness does not depend on what number the scale spits out at me – I am much more fulfilled when I am happy and content with my life as-is, instead of always hoping or wishing I looked like someone or something else. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum, and I was no happier at a size 6 (…which is small for me!) than I am at a size 12.
2016 – AWARENESS
(Oh, there is one more thing though… a technicality, I guess. I do “resolve” one thing: to take more pictures… and to stop worrying if I look skinny or fat in them. After all, life is about enjoying the moments… and, you know, being aware in them!)
Thank you Ellie for inspiring me to select “One Little Word” for 2016, instead of picking a traditional resolution!