The New Year is my favorite time of the year. It’s like a clean slate, a fresh start (and I know I need that after the holidays)! It’s like everything that happened during the rest of the year doesn’t count and I can start all over. I’ve always been guilty of setting New Year’s resolutions like “I’m going to work out 5 days a week,” “I’m gonna get my front splits,” or “I’m going to run a 5k this year for real!” It never happens. Life gets in the way and I forget about them after a month, give up entirely, and I’m back to working out once a month, never running, and eating cookies for breakfast. Who else is with me on this one?
We’ve all heard of SMART goals, right? That goals should be S-Specific, M-Measurable, A-Attainable, R-Relevant, and T-Time-Bound. I think this is helpful when setting business and career goals, but when it comes to my body it just doesn’t really work for me. As a yoga teacher, someone once told me not to have my students set goals because goals have a deadline and when you don’t reach your goal you become disappointed. Instead we should work on setting intentions or promises to ourselves. This was geared towards teaching children, but I think it works for adults too. I know when I set a goal at the new year to run a 5k in the summer and then I don’t do it, I instantly think to myself, “Wow, you failed again for the tenth year in a row. Good job, Wanida.” And what good did that do? Now I just feel bad about myself and I probably will set the same goal next year only to fail again.
So I say let’s move away from the New Year’s resolutions and set intentions for ourselves. Set intentions that have meaning and a purpose. What’s my intention for 2019? To feel happy and comfortable in my body. I hate running; that’s why my goal has always been to run a 5k because I want to prove to myself that I can do it. I want to feel stronger and do something I didn’t think I could do. Cardio gives me anxiety and I want to prove to myself that I’m not going to die when I reach my max effort heart rate. Running a 5k just always felt like the moment when I would know I achieved something. But maybe what I should be striving for is just that level of comfort in my workouts. I don’t need a finish line, I just need to show up consistently without the weight of some made up deadline. This gives me the space to just show up as I am. Maybe today I only jogged for 3 minutes, but I still showed up and felt good for those 3 minutes. Because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if I lost weight, if I ran a marathon, or if I climbed to the top of the pole for the first time. What matters is that I truly love myself and enjoy my time here on earth.
So let’s all stop with these weight loss and fitness goals and focus this year on feeling empowered, feeling strong, and really appreciating what our bodies can do. And anything that happens along the way is just icing on the cake. Working out should be about appreciating and getting to know your body and mind, not punishment for enjoying the finer things in life, like cake and ice cream. This year is all about self care and loving me. I hope you’ll join me for the ride.