So confession time.
I know that us Personal Trainers and Fitness Professional types are supposed to be sprouting messages about New Year, New You and make 2016 your year and the best year yet!
But I'm strangely lacking in messages of inspiration and motivation this year and I'll admit it's had me puzzled for a while.
For many, many years I have undertaken the yearly ritual of making resolutions to lose weight, get fitter, drink less, etc. etc. And like the vast majority, by March these resolutions have been abandoned with the accompanying feelings of failure and despair.
And then I had a little epiphany on New Year's Eve.
I had been anxious and wracking my brain for words to inspire and motivate. I felt really burdened down by the need to come up with some awesome resolutions and commitments to a new and improved version of myself in 2016 that might inspire others to make changes also and that I might, for once, stick to myself.
And then sometime around noon I had a complete Elsa moment (if you have young daughters you know exactly what I mean).
I felt the need to throw my hands in to the air, twirl my ice-blue ball gown around my body and sing from the top of my lungs - Let it Go! Let it Go!
And so I did just that.
I let go of the NEED to make a resolution that I knew would be really, really hard to stick to.
I let go of the notion that I could motivate someone else into action simply by stating my own resolution.
I let go of the idea that I actually needed to make any resolutions at all.
I let it go!
And when I did let it go, the feeling of relief and peace was almost overwhelming.
The pressure had lifted, the anxiety dissipated and the stress melted away.
And during that moment of clarity I realised something that will help organically shape and carve my path forward into 2016.
I came to an understanding that I'm actually pretty happy with my lot.
I realised that the reason I was finding it so hard to come up with something to CHANGE in 2016 was because I'm really happy and content with the way things are.
This understanding in itself served to deepen and strengthen the feeling of peace and contentment that I was starting to experience.
Finally at age 45, I was confident, content and at peace with my looks, my body, my relationships and my life to resolve NOT to put myself through the agony of making and breaking resolutions!
I'm actually pretty damn happy with things the way they are....so why SHOULD I want to change?
Why do we feel the need to always be better, do better, experience more, perfect ourselves, aim higher, and on and on and ON!?
What if you are pretty happy with where you are, who you are and where you're going?
Can that not be enough?
Now don't get me wrong.
I naturally set myself pretty high standards in terms of health, fitness, strength and even how I like to look.
These standards are not going to suddenly change.
It is these standards after all, that have led me to this place of contentment and satisfaction with where I'm at.
But, what it does mean is that I am not going to start this year with ambitious goals that will require me to extend and push myself outside this place of happiness that I find myself in at the start of the year.
I'm happy to allow my year to unfold organically and naturally without placing any pressure on myself to have achieved a certain goal by a certain time.....and I'm more than ok with that.
I accept that by nature I will keep myself fit, active and strong without feeling the need to over-commit my time and energy to take it to the next level for a body that is unrealistic to maintain and really no one else could give a stuff about!
I accept that I have built a good little business here on the Gold Coast that helps put food on my family's plates and a roof over their head without feeling the need to over-commit my time and energy to build an empire or business that takes too much time away from my family.
I accept that while I won't actively pursue new opportunities this year, the work that I have put in to date may mean that new ones will come along this year. And I'll be happy if they do because it will validate all my decisions and hard work to date. But if they don't, no point worrying about it.....I will continue to believe that good things come to those who work bloody hard for them.
Goals are good.
I'm all for them.
But when you spend your life chasing a goal and forget to live in the moment, then you have a problem.
So, rather than make resolutions for 2016, I am going to make suggestions to myself which might contribute to an even happier and fulfilling life.
Gentle suggestions that I will sit on my shoulder and use to nudge me in the right direction when I need a little motivation.
If I do them, great!
I'll give myself a mental high 5 and feel a little smug that I've managed to achieve something this year.
But, what is more important in this whole getting-in-touch-with-your-inner-Elsa deal is that if I don't do them, I can learn to LET IT GO!
It's not the end of the world.
It does not mean I'm a failure at humaning.
It does not mean I go on a self-indulgent, punish-myself marathon.
And it does not mean that I give up on myself!
It just means I keep on chipping away and working on moving forwards rather than spiralling backwards into yester-year in a cloud of doom and despair because I failed yet again!
So here are my gentle & loving suggestions to myself in 2016:
1. Do more activities that make me happy rather than what I think I SHOULD do. Numero Uno on this list is running. 2016 will be the year that I start running again. But not running to complete 10km or a Half Marathon. Just running because I LOVE it. Running for my own personal meditation. Running for me.
2. Live more in the moment. I started this on New Year’s Eve when I made the decision to go 'off grid' for the night. I went to a great fancy dress party with beautiful friends and I had FUN just being! I made the conscious decision prior to going to turn my phone off and just be in the moment! I experienced moments instead of feeling the need to document every one of them. I laughed with my friends, I danced with my daughters and I hugged and kissed my Husband as the clock struck 12. It actually saddened me the next morning as I flicked through Insta and FB to see the number of friends who had posted AT MIDNIGHT instead of being IN the moment. So I'm suggesting to myself to switch OFF from Social Media more often and switch ON to my family, friends and life more.
3. Show my body love and respect and take the best care of my loved ones by continuing my commitment to clean and healthy nutrition (even when they fight me on it!) This will mean continuing my weekly ritual of Farmers Market shops. As I age I am more and more aware of the need for us to take responsibility of our bodies and health in order to prevent lifestyle disease and illness and ensure a long, happy life. The statistic that 70% of all disease and illness is lifestyle related is more than enough reason for me to make this one of my top priorities in life. I will use tools to keep me accountable in my own health (I just started using my Believe|Fit|Love 12 week lifestyle journal by Lindy Olsen today). And I will continue to post my food pics, recipes, market shops etc. for people to enjoy which helps keep me motivated to shop right and prepare and cook interesting and healthy foods.
4. And finally, I suggest to myself that I need to focus more this year on DOING rather than just KNOWING. I have done the study, I know what works, I know what it takes and I know how to do it......this year is more about DOING rather than simply knowing. And that my friends is the bottom line when it comes to health....there is no point knowing it all if you then don't DO anything about it!
This pic below pretty much sums it all up for me. I’m suggesting more time spent focusing on the positive, the good, the amazing in my life which will leave no room for dwelling on the have nots.
Whatever suggestions you make to yourself this year,
remember to be kind to yourself,
be gentle and
never punish yourself if you drop the ball - you are human afterall.
Love yourself unconditionally and the world will love you right back.
Happy New Year everyone,