With the New Year comes the inevitable desire to set new goals.
As we begin the journey of recuperating from the holidays, it is worthwhile to revisit health and wellness goals.
As a mother of three young girls ages 3, 7 and 8, I find it challenging, yet also imperative, to schedule my “workout” times in the week. If I don’t prioritize those “fitness moments,” they will surely go by the wayside as the busy activities of the week take over. However, the older I get, the more I have recognized that if I get stuck in a fitness rut, the less joy I find in taking that time for me. Therefore, I’d like to suggest that instead of setting fitness or health goals this year that sound like: “I’d like to go to the gym four times per week,” or “I’d like to lose those last ten pounds this year,” we change our mindsets.
I offer that our new mantra of health should sound something like:
“I’d like to find joy in my journey of overall well-being.”
I’m not going to lie—much of this new-found focus of mine has come about in the last three years. After the birth of my last daughter, I sincerely started a hot yoga practice which found me at the studio about 4-5 times per week. Two years ago, I tried to join a gym, and lasted for about 10 months before suffering from a back injury—because I wasn’t listening to what my body needed and tried to push myself until I couldn’t physically do any more. Shortly after that, I found barre3 and began training to be an instructor. I was encouraged (even by a master trainer herself!) to balance my desire to begin teaching right away with my desire to promote healing within my body. Learning about myself through my yoga practice and through training for barre3 has opened my mind to what my body and mind really need as I age—I NEED TO ADD JOY TO MY FITNESS JOURNEY.
The last few years have taught me that if I don’t enjoy the workout and if it doesn’t feel good for my body—I SHOULD NOT DO IT, and I should feel no guilt about it. For me, I have found that I need a variety of movement each week in order to really enjoy what I’m doing for myself. That includes teaching dance, teaching barre3, hiking, and hot yoga. I do those things because they bring my mind and body the joy I seek.
Let us take a moment in the New Year to truly reflect on what we enjoy doing that promotes wellness for our bodies and minds.
Here are some questions that may prompt you to determine what you’d like to focus on this year:
1. What do I enjoy doing outside?
2. What physical activities make me feel good (both during and after the workout)?
3. When can I schedule these activities so I ensure I will find the time to incorporate them into our life?
After answering those questions, try to begin your weekly plan. See if you TRULY have fun with them. If you don’t—or if you do initially, and then start dreading it—ditch it. Set it aside for a while, and begin finding another avenue that brings you happiness. See if a variety of activities helps you bring the fun back to your routine. Most importantly, allow yourself the room and freedom this New Year to find joy in your fitness journey. You will not be disappointed as you keep that goal in mind throughout the year!