Resolutions work, but maybe not how you think

There is nothing wrong with resolutions. I feel like there are two camps out there – the one screaming their resolutions out loud – life is short, get in that dress, or follow your passion…and the other one, which says resolutions fail; heck, most people stop dieting by January 7th and forget about the gym by February 1st…so why bother…if you want to change something just do it now…why wait for the start of a new year. (there is actually research that points out the new year or a new week is the best time to start…)

Yet, each year we “resolve” to do something that improves how we are in our bodies or in our lives. We just started a 90 day online reboot – supporting people to eat more mindfully, move with purpose, and recover effectively from stress. We wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t believe resolutions worked. They do. But maybe not in the way you think.

Here’s how it goes. Starting tomorrow I will eat less bread, walk more, sign up for a dance class, learn Spanish…whatever. But what happens when I stop learning with the Spanish app, and even the app starts to say: “I see these reminders aren’t working, we will stop sending them.” I actually laugh at the message the language app sends me. You know what I wouldn’t laugh at: not being able to greet my spanish friend in her native language! Now that sucks and that has consequences. Each time I see Rosa, it’s a reminder I don’t speak Spanish well enough to have a conversation. No Rosa, no reminder, no app, no Spanish.

Here’s another way it goes. Starting tomorrow, I will go to the gym. But then work hits and the kids need me at night. In a month, I am back to square one as if I never went in the first place. Why bother. But my husband says he misses me during his workouts. And that he really liked being with me and sharing about our day while we walked home from the gym. OK, here’s something that matters to me more than how my buns defy gravity. My time with him.

In each resolution that you make, there is a deep yearning and deep longing. Find that thing and make it speak to you. Then listen.

I want to get in my jeans. What I actually want is to be reminded of how it feels to be young and move freely in those jeans that I love. I wore those during our honeymoon. I danced in them after my best friends wedding. I will do more things that make me feel young and free, and little by little feeling young and free will get me close to those jeans.

I will eat more veggies. What I actually want is for my digestion to work well again, so I can feel light and energetic and so I can get more done during my day. When I skip veggies, I am hungry and distracted all the time. Nothing gets done. My skin looks better, too. Energy, skin…sold.

I will go to bed on time. What I actually want is to have some reading time before I crash. If I go to bed a bit before I am totally exhausted, this lets me read and catch up on the books that pile up on my nightstand. Books and reading make me feel fully alive – and going to bed on time will both let me enjoy books and help me have energy for my day ahead. I also really like sharing coffee with Roland when I wake up early. It would let me do that instead of snoozing away while he gets ready for work.

I will clean up my closet. What I actually want is frustration free getting ready time. I want to be excited when I dress in the morning. Instead of trying something on that doesn’t fit perfectly, then having to fold that and try on something else, everything in my closet will fit and will be my first choice – both comfortable and flattering. And this will save me time. It will probably cost me a couple of hundred dollars to replace some pieces that don’t fit me well anymore. But it’s worth it.

So with these four: feeling more free to be myself, more energetic to get work done, more alive through reading, more excited to get ready for work I resolve to go to the gym, eat veggies, get to bed on time and clean up my closet.

In a few months if  going to the gym, eating veggies, getting to bed on time and cleaning up my closet to do not get me closer to feeling young and free, energetic, alive and excited I will find some other way to get more of those in my life. In the meantime the gym, the veggies, the sleep and the closet would have done something else positive in my life. Who ever regretted moving more, eating better, sleeping more and cleaning up their space?

It’s not about the resolutions, it’s not about the things we do. It’s about who we become in the process and the choice of changing the course anytime we want.

With this, Happy new 2016 to all of you readers and students – I am excited to support you this year.

In the calf stretch – because it gives you the ability to walk with your loved ones and share stories.

In relaxing your shoulders – because that tension is there to inform you of something, and once you know what that is, we can set it free and you can lift up your arms – free to do what you want to do

In your core strength – because you are already strong, you just need to remember how to harness that strength

In your growth – because frustration and celebration are both a part of learning about the body

Support and community are a huge part of taking care of your body – I hope that you stay connected in 2016 both in exercise sessions and workshops and in our walks and events.

If you are considering working with me, but keep putting it off, come in for just one session. Use the magic word – resolution – to get 50$ off your first session. It’s my gift to you for a new beginning in 2016. Sometimes one session is all you need to jump start your health journey!

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