Aging parents, aching knees/hips/shoulders, and the daily sometimes good and often overwhelming busy-ness of life do not leave much time to take care of you.
Yet here we are facing down the New Year surrounded by the siren calls of emails offering programs, ads on our web pages touting new diet books and gurus galore with cleanses and detox programs.
The pressure builds. The deals get better and we give in and join the throngs of resolution-makers everywhere who will get to maybe February then quit.
Not this year.
Yes, the New Year is a good time to start fresh, to create new habits, and to make plans for all aspects of our lives — starting with our health. And I’m all for plans, but with a caveat. Plan in a way that makes sense for your life. Then leave your attachment to that plan at the door because life does not fall perfectly in line with our plans, does it?
This year, prepare for that.
People will get sick and need us. We will be forced to eat airport food when our plane is delayed, or hospital food when sitting with a sick friend or child. Our plans to walk every day will be stolen from us by bad weather, creaky joints, a bad night’s sleep, or any number of other real life situations.
This year, how about you set some goals and plan some new habits within the context of your life?
If you are an all-or-nothing person, this will be hard for you.
Have you ever noticed that all-or-nothing often leads to — nothing, more often than to all?
What if — and I know this is a big IF — your resolution is to prioritize your health, your strength, and your self-care in and around your real life?
What if you didn’t need another all-or-nothing program?
What if you could achieve your health goals and enjoy your food? What if moving your body throughout the day and making the most of what you already do could add strength to your muscles and whittle away at your extra middle? All of those things are possible.
What makes the difference are the following 5 keys:
- Be here next year. 14-day detoxes or 3-month programs are fine, but then what? A commitment to prioritize you and your health goals means now and forevermore, day in and day out.
- Be flexible. If you can’t get out to exercise, what can you do in the house? And before you say “I don’t have any equipment,” equipment isn’t needed if you can dance, bounce, squat, jump with an imaginary rope and more.
- Eat clean, make protein and plants your best friends. This includes adjusting portions and kinds of plants and protein to give you exactly what you need — no more, no less — for the kind of life you lead. And knowing how to adjust for those days that are not like the others; travel, hospital visits, recovery from an injury, training for a race and so on.
- Don’t know where to begin? Begin with what hurts the most. Not literally gives you pain — although that might be the starting place for you — but mentally bugs you the most, emotionally robs you of loving yourself the most.
- Start there, where it hurts or aggrieves you. Learn what will alleviate that and take action on that one thing. We most always get benefits in all areas of life/health when we take on one.
There is more to this story, but it’s the concept I want you to grasp. Resolve to make you a priority; come what may. Yes, take a class — I highly recommend mine — buy a book, join a group of like-minded changers lead by an expert you trust.
Your choice should stretch you but not feel like a burden, or you will quit.
This year, choose the things that add health to your messy, busy, exciting, exhausting, unpredictable life while it’s all happening. You don’t achieve health, weight loss, or any goal by going on and off a program.
The only program is life. And the only resolution worth making is one that starts now and ends never: “I commit to prioritizing my health, my self care, and my experience of life on my terms.”
That’s a resolution I can get behind.