New Year’s Resolutions

I have never been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. On one hand I should be because I am a personal trainer and what better time of year for me to gain new clients than when people resolve to lose weight. On the other hand, someone once promised to make me the happiest woman alive for the rest of my life as their resolution. So, I’m kind of in the middle when it comes to resolutions.

However, this year I have resolved to DE-clutter my life and our house. In the spirit of my yoga practice and teachings, I am trying to learn to Let Go of things I do not need. Our house is by no means full and I am not even on the verge of being a hoarder, but I need to feel some freedom from the things around me; some space from the crowding of possessions creeping toward me.

The task began yesterday by going through my children’s toys. I remember when I was young my mother trying endlessly to organize our toys this way and that to make room and tame the chaos. Thank goodness I only have two children’s things and not four to wrangle. But still, after Christmas has come and gone, and with less than a month until our oldest’s 3rd birthday, one thing I can say for sure: We do not need any more toys!

Each day this year I am going to try and eliminate one more useless thing from our house and from my care. Yesterday it was some unused toys that are headed to GCF to fulfill some other child’s hopes and dreams. Today…..the infamous New Year’s Letter goes out to rid me of the past year, bring in the next, and empty the stack of envelopes on my counter.

Inhale the good and exhale the bad….BREATHE!

Wellness Wednesday #9 – Stages of Change

Some things never change and some things around us always seem to be changing. For example: I have always been a feminist. I played basketball in a co-ed summer league as a pre-teen and constantly competed against the boys to show them that girls were just as good. As a teenager I sported my Rosie the Riveter t-shirt with pride and discounted any guy who referred to me as a “chick” (I’m not a little yellow fluffy bird). Yet, I grow older and the world around me seems to change and I with it.

Two weeks ago I wrote about the three phases of creating Health Habits. This week I’m delving more into Behavior Change to talk about the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM). Why is this important to Wellness? Learning the stages of change may help you understand a few more things about why you are or are not making changes that you set out to make. Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday #9 – Stages of Change”

2019

I haven’t written on the blog since October 20, 2018, but that doesn’t mean that I have lost my love for writing or my intention to keep this going. With each new year I learn a little more about myself and I learned A LOT last year. This year will be different (as each one also is) and I decided to wait until today to write. I am not making resolutions this year or setting outright goals. I am trying to be as “yogic” as I can and kind of just let life be. If anything, I am hoping to be more well-rounded this year. I hope to find more time for everything that I want to do and to stop doing the things that I don’t. So, while I still had 19 minutes until my planned run for the day….I wrote to you.

And, in usual OGB fashion, I will leave you with a question:

What will 2019 be for you?

Meaningful Milestones

I received this in an email from MapMyRun the other day:

Congrats On Your 1000th Workout

Apparently, in the last few years that I’ve been “tracking” my workouts (although not all of them) I’ve now achieved 1000 workouts. I think that I probably “workout” about 1000 times/year between teaching and other things. I don’t always count those things, but I’m trying to get better (this year) about actually marking down what I do and scheduling time to do it. I’ve even considered buying a fitness tracker, but mostly I still think that I get by just fine with my Timex.

This email came at an important time for me. I’m still trying to get back into a consistent routine of training again after the holidays. The semester has started back and the weather is getting better. I’m back doing sun salutations now that my leg is healed. And, just this last week, my oldest turned 7!

It all put me in the mood to make some resolutions…..but only some vaguely simple ones:

  1. Do the 10K in March that I’ve been planning to do for months…even though I’m not signed up and I haven’t done that many consistent runs in the last two months.
  2. Have a girls’ night out on every odd month this year to keep my sanity and attempt to get out of the house now and then.
  3. Keep up the pedicures.
  4. Do the 15K in September that I didn’t get to do a few years ago.
  5. Complete the 2018 MapMyRun Challenge for the first time EVER!
  6. Keep journaling.
  7. Don’t give up on myself.

This is close to the time of year when everyone gives up on their resolutions, so it’s only fitting, with as backward as I am sometimes, that I’m just now setting mine.

What about you?

Change of Priorities, Lack of Interest, Laziness?

What causes you to quit things?

It’s New Year’s Resolution time and it’s almost quitting time for many people around the world. We all have been guilty of making them and dropping them and remaking them and the cycle continues. Some people make the same resolution year after year and fail at it year after year. There’s a lot of articles out there about how to stick with it and lots more about why we fail or why we shouldn’t make them in the first place.

I’ve been thinking about this since last Friday. I’ve been debating what to write….if anything on here. Am I too lazy to post? Have I lost interest in blogging? Or are my priorities changing? And if the latter, is it temporary or permanent?

For me, though, the blog problem is two fold.

First, it’s hard to maintain readership on a blog if you don’t regularly write relevant material. When I was posting more about yoga I found that I had a lot more readers and clicks and views and all that jazz. However, the blog has never been just about yoga. It’s been about my fitness and yoga journey. It’s been about my desire to build a community to share that experience with much as I feel I build small communities each semester I teach….but this would extend beyond the semester. It would foster real connections.

And that brings me to the second problem. My own journey. I put a lot of myself out here on the blog. My successes and my failures. But, I don’t share my whole life here and currently my whole life needs a different outlet than the blog. I love that I have started this Year of Wellness and I intend to follow through with it. It’s been very enlightening to read the articles on the Wellness Inventory and to journal my feelings around the material in my scribbled little notes here and there. I want so much to share that with you all on here……but that brings me back to my first problem.

I feel that I can’t regularly commit to writing about something substantial without feedback and involvement. So, for the time being, I am taking my journey off the blog. I don’t currently feel the urge to write openly for the world that doesn’t connect back. I feel like my journey has reached a point of personal vs. communal. I cannot determine how long this feeling will last, but it’s here for now.

This past week I read a piece by John W. Travis, MD, MPH entitled Become a Beginner – Simplify and it said:

Wellness is……..unburdening yourself of all that prevents a natural state of basic healthiness.

So, I have to decide what is preventing me from being well in all aspects and ditch it. I have decided to allocate that “space in my planner” that was reserved for blogging to something else at the moment. I am leaving the blog up and I will be back at some point, I just don’t know when.

I intend to write when the mood strikes me, to keep reading other blogs, and to keep on my journey for the whole year. Who knows where it will take me…..

Be well. Namaste.

My Assessment Results – Wellness Inventory

Another New Start?

I’ve written almost every January 2 since I started this blog 4 years ago on this same day. Usually my first post of the year is all about resolutions and starting over etc. This year is different….it’s about continuing my progress of self-discovery and journey of wellness.

I’ve chosen, this year, to work with a tool that I use for my students called the Wellness Inventory. While I can’t say that this is the right tool for everyone, it’s the one at my disposal and I plan to use it to its fullest this year.

Last year, in prep for teaching with the WI, I took a Wellness Assessment. I didn’t think to keep those results and now can’t seem to find them. I barely used the WI and all of the resources available and just skimmed over everything. Because of this, I don’t think I got the best experience I possibly could have had in learning all that there is to know. I’m sure many of my students did the same thing…….

But, I decided that 2018 will be my Year of Wellness, so today (while my kids are at school) I sat down and re-evaluated where I am at. I have chosen a simple plan for this year…..work the program for all 12 months taking it a little at a time. This will benefit me as a person and as an instructor. I have the time and I want to learn. Plus, life is ticking by and there’s no better time than the present to make sure your wellness (basically your whole self) is aligned.

The Results Are In…..

So, I’m only going to give the highlights here as I’m sure I’ll spend much more time on the results in the future. Basically you answer several questions for each of the 12 dimensions of wellness and within those answers you choose how well the statement reflects who you are at this moment as well as your current motivation to change. At the end you are given a total wellness score (mine was 62.2%) as well as a ranking of your greatest to least areas of wellness:

  • Greatest was a tie: Self Responsibility/Love, Moving, Intimacy, and Finding Meaning all hit 69%
  • Lowest was also a tie: Feeling and Playing/Working at 47%

and finally a ranking of your motivation to change:

  • My greatest was Playing/Working
  • My least was Eating
The First Step

So, that brings me to the first steps…..I will be working this month on the Playing/Working dimension. It’s an element of life balance that I have always struggled with and a great place for me to start. As I go through the WI I’ll post about what I learn and my progress. I’m scheduling time to do WI work for myself each week (part of my habits in my new calendar) and I’ve chosen the word BALANCE as my first word of the year; to remind myself of the need for both in my life.

My hope is that by the end of 2018 I have a greater understanding of my own personal wellness. By the end of January I hope to find greater contentment in my Work/Play life. I look forward to sharing those results then and the journey along the way with you!

Will you join us?

Click this link to sign-up for the Wellness Inventory yourself.

Take the assessment and share your results. What’s your greatest dimension of wellness? Your greatest motivation to improve? Link to your posts on the topic in the comments section below.

Here’s to a Year of Wellness for us all!

Getting Started

It’s Monday! I say that with enthusiasm and vigor and overall happiness today. I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before and it’s making a huge impact on the way that I approach things. This is something she calls the Lightning Bolt effect….when something just happens out of the blue because of something you read/watched/heard/saw or even just because you make a decision that you don’t normally make. It’s kind of like when I watched What the Health?….it wasn’t anything I didn’t already know, but it prompted me to change….right then (more on that progress later.

In the section I read over the weekend Rubin describes strategies for when to begin a new habit….much like New Year’s Resolutions. The time to act is now. How often should you do it? Regularly enough for it to stick. And a third factor (for me especially) is to find someway to be accountable/track/monitor your progress.

Some people have the approach to new habits called the Clean Slate approach. They wait for a significant event/day to get started like the beginning of the month, their birthday, or the start of the new year. I have tried all of those approaches and fall into what she describes as a “tomorrow” effect. It’s easy to say I will start tomorrow and then…..I don’t. I put it off or I make excuses or I give myself free passes to change what I had committed to. For me, the time is now. I did this with buying my new planner (which I cannot wait to use….whole other post). Instead of my usual wavering and procrastinating, I did it when I found one I liked. I didn’t worry about finding a better one; I bought it and now I have it and I don’t regret my decision.

I needed to use the Do It Now approach this weekend also. In my NETA PT workshop at Wingate University I was talking to the students about the goal of doing 108 sun salutations. When I left the workshop that day and started reading Better Than Before I thought to myself:

When can I start doing them?

The answer was NOW. So I got up and I did 10 sun salutations. They were hard to do because I was wearing shoes, in my hotel room, very stiff from standing all day, and had no mat to grip my hands. But I did them. Then I wrote them on my calendar for next Saturday. After further consideration (on Sunday) I decided to take the step to make the habit more regular. What would happen if I wrote sun salutations on every day of my calendar? I ended up choosing almost every day (because there were days where there were no lines left to write anything) and it made me feel satisfied.

The danger to this approach is that it’s what Rubin refers to as a Blast Start. Blast starts are great for some people, but at the end of their self-imposed “streak” they sometimes are giving themselves permission to quit what they’ve decided to do. This leads to a lapse effect. It’s always harder to come back to something the second time around. Why? I don’t know the exact answer, but I think it has something to do with the novelty of the experience being worn off. I feel like this has happened to me a little with running at the moment. I put on my calendar for this next weekend to pick my new race. That always perks me back up!

And that’s the third and most important component for me…..accountability. I’m not great at being accountable to myself. I think that’s the habit I want to change the most. My follow through. So, here’s what I’m doing to be more accountable about things:

  1. Writing it down in the planner
  2. Checking it off and doing each thing NOW instead of looking for “The Best Time” to do it
  3. Tracking all of my exercise in MapMyRun (even Sun Salutations)
  4. Telling you and everyone I can about what I’m going to do (I find it hard to disappoint others even if they’re not invested)
  5. Being ME

The last one means that I’m only committing to do the things that I know will make me happy. My word for today is SMILE and each time I look in my planner and read it, it makes me smile. It’s a reinforcement of how I want to be and who I truly am.

How do you go about starting a new project or habit?

Which strategies are most successful for you?

What is your longest streak on something?