I will admit, I still love that feeling of the beginning of a New Year- it just feels good. I use it as a time to reflect over the past year, lessons I have learned and how I can continue on, using those lessons as building blocks to keep growing and thriving. I thought I would share my top 5 takeaways from 2017 and hopefully they give you some inspiration and guidance going into 2018.
1.Small changes over time, create the big changes.
I think it’s so easy to look at a dream or goal we have and let it overwhelm us. Whether it be losing 50 pounds, starting a new business, saving up money, paying off bills or accomplishing an athletic feat, it can seem too big to accomplish. Seeing the scale only go down a 1/2 a pound a week, your savings account only go up a dollar at a time or feeling like you are putting in a ton of man hours into something you love and not getting anything in return, can be uber discouraging at times. But if there is one thing i’ve learned, no matter how small the effort, the effort ALWAYS matters.
A fun example is a money saving strategy I have done several times. Each week of the year you put money into an envelope, week 1- $1, week 2- $2, week 3- $3 and so on for 52 weeks. At the end of the year you have $1,378 dollars saved up and while you are doing it, it really doesn’t seem like much each week and is probably money that would be wasted on unnecessarily things anyways! Those small efforts each week throughout the year, add up to a nice little stash of cash!
Of coarse, this reigns true in health and fitness. I love taking clients through their nutrition journey and watching the changes slowly happen. Starting out our clients will state their goals and many will state they feel it is a big, almost unattainable goal at that, but it is a goal none-the-less. Day in and day out, following the plan, putting in the work and going through the ups and downs, time flies by and all of the sudden they look back and are shocked at how far they have come. Even though things may not always be perfect, making the concious effort to stick to the plan and grind every day it will always, always produce results. It’s so fun and so rewarding to see those small efforts produce big change.
Never underestimate the power that those small daily efforts have over the big picture. Small changes are far less daunting when you break down your goal into obtainable, daily efforts. Make sure you can look at your big picture and then break it down so it becomes much less overwhelming and gives you small markers to hit along the way. Hitting those small goals will give a sense of accomplishment as you go!
2.Stay in your own lane.
As if it isn’t hard enough to compare our own journey to others around us, now social media makes it that make harder. Creating a picture of what we want in our lives, what steps it is going to take to get there and knowing the “why” behind it, is crucial to staying focused and on the straight and narrow. As a coach in Crossfit and in nutrition I hear time and time again, people comparing themselves to other’s accomplishments and journeys. This is probably one of the top, most frustrating challenges as a coach because when we compare ourselves to others, we are simply wasting energy we could be putting towards things that are actually going to be productive. Even if you and your bestie are on a weight loss journey together, have similar lifestyle and stats, you are still two COMPLETELY different beings. One person may need more sleep, one may need to work on hormone profile. or one may needs to work on bringing calories up in order to lose weight, while the other may need to bring them down immediately. That man or woman on social media with 6 pack abs may have been working to get there for years, or they may rebound and gain the weight back in a month because they went about it all wrong, or it could be photoshopped! You just. never. know.
Writing down your goals and the steps it takes to get there is a great way to keep you in your own lane. If you start to veer, look over your list to re-focus. This is where a coach comes in handy as well, they should be that person you can go to and know they will always help bring you back to the path that will be most fruitful for you. Knowing each day you are doing what is best for you and not comparing yourself to others is when you can truly start to enjoy the process and have fun along the way!
3.Listen to your mind and body.
Some days we have it all planned out, everything flows, we feel like rockstars in the gym and we are in a positive mindset that we feel nothing can shake. Then other days, our bodies hurt, we can’t hit weights in the gym that are well under our PR’s and we feel negative thoughts creep in. Whatever feelings your are feeling, mentally or physically, it is important to embrace those feelings and own them.
When it comes to our physical bodies, listening and learning it’s cues is a skill that is developed over time and if we stop and ask ourselves how we are feeling and why, we can continually become more and more in tune with our physical self. Often times, the very things we are doing to be healthy can be exactly what’s holding us back. Over-exercising, under-eating or eating in an innappropriate balance for given activity are common problems holding many people back from progressing forward. Know that you should NOT constantly feel worn down, exhausted, have aches and pains or have constant mood swings! Listen to your body, if you are overly sore, skip the gym and do yoga instead. Don’t feel pressure just because it’s a certain workout at the gym that day or your buddy will be mad if you don’t show, if your body is telling your to rest- listen to it! Only you can truly make the call and know what your body needs, so before you push too far take an extra minute to ask what is best for YOU.
When it comes to our minds, they need exercise and rest just like our physcial bodies. In a world where we are in a constant state of GO, make sure you are giving your mind the rest and recovery it needs. We all need time to unwind and rejuvenate. Whether it be in the middle of the day to escape for 10 minutes to get fresh air and clear your head, or a weekend away from your fast-paced schedule, make sure you are strategically planning those times daily, weekly and monthly to get the mental break you need. It is proven that taking small breaks through the day result in a more productive day overall, so just like you plan all the tasks you have to get done, plan in your breaks to recharge! When we take care of our bodies and minds, we will be able to live our lives to fullest each day.
This one is simple. Yes, we should prioritize our own health and wellness so that we can live and so we can give. Year by year, if we give in whatever way we can, it will always contribute to making this world a better place. Find your passion, use whatever you have to offer and give back. When we give back it not only enriches the lives of others but fulfills us in a way that nothing else can. When we focus on what we can do for others it allows us to keep a clear picture of what truly matters in life! I would love to hear what ways you guys give back- comment below and let us know!
The road to our goals is not linear and it isn’t always easy. Setbacks will happen, we will have highs and we have lows but you gotta stay tough. Not adhereing to the plan, making excuses and not being honest with yourself is a choice. Make the choice now that no matter what life brings, you will make the best decisions possible to continually drive you down the right path. Don’t take no for an answer, don’t let negativity or self-doubt have the power. Remember, when the going gets tough- the tough get going.
Wishing you the happiest 2018, may it bring you health and teach you lessons that can last a life time!