Well, it’s that time of year again. My spam mail is inundated with ads for gyms, debt consolidators, health shakes, vitamin supplements, exercise equipment, fitness gear and even compression garments! Not gonna lie, I do love a good sale when it comes to Spanx or Skims but…it’s all too much. I’ve been shopping and indulging in every baked good, every carb, every libation since late November and now my individualized algorithm has dictated that it’s time to cut the crap and get back to what’s most important: being trim and beautiful…but is that really all I should care about? Is that really going to bring the whole me growth and happiness?
What’s happened in our society that we’re programmed to think that a number on a scale is the most important resolution of all? Aren’t there greater goals to reach in our lives? What’s so wrong with me that my daily dose of technology has now turned into a source of guilt for enjoying life? Don’t I already have a grouchy Cuban Grandmother for that kind of realness? Why do we feel we need to make ourselves over again each year? Do I even honestly feel this way or am I being programmed to feel this way?
To be completely transparent, I’ve been a fitness fanatic for my entire adult life and have an embarrassingly extensive collection of sports bras and leggings. Seriously, its bananas. However, I learned long ago that true health and wellness is less about a clothing size and more about strength, happiness and mental health. Through guidance and discovery I’ve made through therapy I’ve learned to embrace myself right where I am and to love myself in spite of any “flaws” projected onto me by society. I’ve learned that without a complete balance of nutrition, fitness, emotional support, self-love and yes, a little indulgence, there will never be any way I could feel completely whole and comfortable with myself.
I’ve never been a fan of resolutions and while I completely understand the temptation to gain quick results I try to trust the process and allow myself to treat life as a marathon rather than a sprint. When I look back on who I was 5, 10, 20 years ago I know I’ve changed greatly as a human being both inside and out. However, that change took years to achieve and rather than obsessing over an outcome I choose to focus on a positive behavior or activity that will bring me closer to those goals. For example, rather than focusing on weight loss I’ve focused on eating a diet that would help lower my cholesterol. Rather than put too much pressure on myself for a financial end goal I chose to set smaller monthly challenges to get to where I’d like to be and build better habits.
We are not static beings we are dynamic individuals constantly changing and our goals need to reflect that. We need to learn not to value ourselves by our bank accounts or our waistlines but by the richness of the lives we’ve lived and the love we’ve been able to share with others. There is no deadline for greatness and while I appreciate a good deadline to keep things on track (you’d never have this article to read without one, haha) they can also become a slippery slope. The way I see it if you have a deadline then what happens when you arrive? Are you actually “done” or do you have to make a decision to either keep it going or walk away?
There should never be a finish line, we are all works in progress and in the spirit of this essay I’d like to bare my soul a bit and share some goals I’ve set for myself for 2022:
- Get away with my husband (no kids or friends) a couple this year.
- Stay on track with a lower cholesterol diet.
- Find ways to dance more with my husband, kids and friends.
- Take time each week to go on special adventures with each of my kids individually.
- Try to go out with my girlfriends at least a couple times a month for as much laughter as possible.
- Play 9 holes of golf at least once a week.
- Finally master a respectable tennis serve.
- Make the time to write more in 2022. At least two articles a month, even if they’re not going to be published.
- Complete my Level 2 Sommelier certification.
- Take the time to travel with my husband, family and friends as often as possible.
2022 may be a new year but it’s still going to be the same me, just with a little more experience under my belt. As I continue to knock these goals off my list there will always be new behaviors to master. That will forever be my focus.