Alas, December is here - the month where you'll see excess of peppermint mochas, tacky sweater parties, and all things Christmas and Hanukkah and Festivus, too! Regardless of what you might celebrate during this time of year, we can all agree that holiday cheer is displayed on every street corner in a city near you. It’s a time to celebrate LOVE with family and a time that triggers STRESS with family. It’s a time to PAUSE and enjoy the moment and a time that demands URGENCY to get everything done. It’s a time for JOY and a time that causes ANXIETY. You catchin’ my drift? We love to celebrate the good, but inevitably for some, there is always a hiccup that pops up throughout the holiday season. I hope you’re choosing to let the good outweigh the possible less-than-good of your holiday hustle. This month also marks the end of another year. A lot of people use this as a time of self-reflection – where we evaluate ourselves in our current careers, our current financial situation, and for A LOT OF US - our current pant size. We all do it. We compare ourselves to where we were last year, and the year prior, and then sometimes we go waaaaaay back to before we were married or before we had babies or before real life happened. We trap ourselves into thinking that the current “ME” is not as disciplined as the previous “ME”.
And if we’re lucky, some of us might be able to say we’re in a much better place THIS year than we were last year. Either way, January 1 brings to us the act of comparison. More times than not, the comparison that we’re experiencing is stealing from our ability to be happy with our current self.
Around this time of year the fitness advertising hype chimes in, and everybody around us convinces us that we must do “this” and “that” and “change this” and “change that” in order to make 2016 a better year. We see this REPEATEDLY in the fitness industry, an industry where the ongoing joke is that January is the busiest time of year for gyms – and then you already know what happens in February and March and thereafter.
People start the year off with GRAND, aspiring goals, and let me be clear - goals are to be commended! Often times, though, those goals don’t make it past the first month. In the past I always had a goal for a “clean slate” starting January 1. New Year’s Day arrives and I quickly abandon (every single year) my first goal of eating black eyed peas, and then more times than not, I ended up splurging with some unhealthy meal for dinner and THEN I would justify to myself, “It’s ONLY a day. I’ll start tomorrow instead.” So much for starting the New Year with success. Sound familiar? This has happened to me more times than I could ever count.
“A New Year, a NEW YOU…”
I don’t necessarily resent that phrase, but I’m going to challenge you, along with myself, to go at it thinking differently this year. Rather than giving yourself the stress of creating a whole new YOU, why not think of approaching the New Year as “moving forward”?
Moving forward. Ahhh. I kinda like that. It might not sound as glamorous or life changing or powerful – but it’s what we aim for every day, right? We want to move in a positive direction to better ourselves or give ourselves permission to experience different life events. Of course you can always set new goals – goals are encouraged, and you should most certainly always have goals for yourself.
See these photos? They are all photos of ME. As you glance from left to right you'll notice that I moved forward in age and forward in thinking and forward in my fitness journey.
Picture 1 - 18 years old / an athlete with no nutrition knowledge
Picture 2 - mid 20's / I took up marathon running, but still lacked nutrition knowledge
Picture 3 - 30 years old / underwent several month calorie deficit in preparing for wedding day / still a runner
Picture 4 - 32 years old / taken after participation in new workout regimen and restrictive meal plan
THIS IS ME TODAY - 32 years old / living a life of moderation and no restriction
These photos all reflect ME. Not an "old me", not a "new me". Just.... ME.
Another phrase I often hear: “I can’t wait for the New Year to get here – I’m leaving this year far behind and never looking back.”
I try to avoid this phrase. Do you want to know why? Because every single life experience – the good, the bad, and the ugly – that happened throughout the past year has completely shaped me (literally and figuratively) to be who and where I am today. I’ve put myself in a position to grow and learn from every life experience. Life is not always peachy – we all know that. Things happen to us. We hurt, we grieve, we cry, we lose, we gain, we suffer, we live – and through all of those emotions, I try to create a stepping stone to move forward to the next life experience. That doesn’t mean that you have to drag things with you from the past. You can LET GO of things from your past. Letting go is different, and we can all agree that not everything from last year will travel with you into next year. But avoid running from last year – instead, position yourself to learn and grow from last year’s life situations. See the difference? It’s more of a mindset shift.
So now you might be thinking, “Hey, I do have goals for 2016. I want to be different. I want to start working out, get in shape, look better. I WANT a new ME.”
Those goals are ON POINT! But you don’t honestly need a new YOU to start said goals. You can still love YOU and be YOU and still incorporate new goals and challenges that will transform you. And we transform by simply moving forward – one step at a time. (And honestly, if you still want to refer to each year as a "New YOU", then so be it. I'm just here to challenge your thinking and get the wheels a turnin').
So in this time of holiday hustle, reflection, and goal setting, I challenge you to think of moving forward. I want you to be okay with your CURRENT YOU. A NEW version of yourself is not needed in order to create and achieve goals. YOU, in this moment, are enough. And - - - - wait for it. You DON’T have to start your goals in January. Start NOW. Be it a new career, a different nutrition plan, committing to a workout regimen – move forward with the confidence that your current YOU is good enough to achieve those goals.
Speaking of moving forward – if you are in the Oklahoma City area and you’re looking to commit to the goal of working out, please take a moment to check out (em)POWERHOUSE Gym. During my own personal time of reflection, I have the BIGGEST amount of gratitude for so many wonderful things that happened in 2015. Owning a business with a constant mission of giving back to the community has allowed me to move forward in a multitude of ways, and it’s given me the strength and confidence to create and pursue additional goals. Every day I’m humbled to get the opportunity to coach this #EEEtribe. Whether you decide to come visit us OR you decide to partake in another fitness route, I sincerely wish you the best as you move forward with your 2016 goals.
Go find your best version of YOU – not necessarily a new you – just the BEST VERSION OF YOU!
engage. empower. elevate.