Welcome to a new year with me. Though it does not feel like a typical beginning of a new year I have set forth goals and milestones to reach. I haven’t done this out of feeling the need to become a new person or to set a resolution to forget in a few weeks. I am continuing a lifestyle. A day-to-day commitment to remember and act on the memory of what I desire to achieve each day. I am committed to building and keeping the lifestyle I want.
I used to get caught up in the sparkle of a new year and make list of what I would do and how I would be. The truth is, only about one of my good intentions would actually make it off the paper. I am not sure of the exact year I stopped being so absurd in my plans and became more honest with myself about how to take the steps that were realistic for me to get the results I wanted in life, but it is a better way for me.
This year some of the things I am focusing on include strength, endurance, and being able to conquer what I set out to do each month. I want to become stronger in my physical body, but I see no limits to wellness and will also work on strengthening my total being. I can visualize my body taking on the movements and distances that will bring strength and endurance to every muscles and organ that is affected. Although I can see these things in my mind, I do not believe they will happen without action and commitment. If there isn’t a plan or guide to follow and a get up and do attitude the strength will not enter my body and the endurance will not show up.
I can envision steps and goals being conquer day by day. Fitness and social goals, intellectual and spiritual ambitions are lined up in my mind ready to be swiped off the list and noted as accomplished. I feel empowered by seeing these things happen in my mind. The empowerment feeling is a motivating force for me. It gives me the energy to get out of the blocks and run toward the path that leads to an end I desire. The good feeling about what is ahead and the change I envision will remain a picture in my mind and not a reality unless there is a plan and execution. There will not be a conquering without a beginning and a follow through for each step I have planned.
I encourage you to be excited about your life, your desires and the change you envision for yourself. There is usually a spark of excitement and energy in the beginning of anything new. As time goes by the excitement and energy that was present in the beginning can fade or completely disappear. When this occurs, it is helpful to evaluate the kind of change you have set to accomplish and see if it is still in line with what you truly desire. If they don’t line up, make your needed adjustments. If they line up the same, then you may want to consider why you aren’t acting on those desires. It can then get into a lack of planning and follow through, lack of inspiration or motivation, or the will to do is absent. Self-reflect and find out what is holding you back.
If you have started this year with a plan to continue or begin your total wellness lifestyle and adjust as your life changes you are likely on the path that will keep you from extreme pitfalls that can accompany some resolutions and vows to become this or that. As you go from week to week determine the action that is needed for the steps you want to take towards your goals. Remember whatever you desire or see yourself having or doing only happens with action.
After weeks of my walking slower and finding ways to adjust my exercise plans to suit my foot injury I am back to normal. I am feeling good about being able to intensify my workouts and take on more miles while walking and running once again. I did not know that I would miss being active and unlimited as much I did during my down time. I have experienced feeling constricted by circumstances, but for some reason this time it affected me differently.
The difference was in the type of things I thought about while I was down with this injury. I thought about how many times I didn’t run, walk or do some other form of exercise while I was feeling good and able. Not being able to do what I wanted to do hit me really hard. I thought about the days I slacked for no reason at all. I remembered the days I ignored my will to get up and take care of my physical health and thought, now I really did not have that choice. I couldn’t even walk a few blocks at a slow pace without feeling a pain that caused me to shake and retreat into a limp.
I did not want to dwell on the past and what I did not do, but I couldn’t ignore the thoughts I was having. I needed to acknowledge my thoughts and feelings and use them for the future. They would be a new momentum to cease the day and the moment while I could. During the time I was down I did not sit around idle waiting for a chance to get back to normal. I was able to read a couple of books, get some needed research in and plan for January. Although I sat down more than usually, I made adjustments and did what I could to keep my health journey on track as a lifestyle and not a moment. I opted to do seated exercises and combinations of movements that I could achieve while lying on a mat to keep me moving forward and over the hump of feeling constrained.
There are always challenges in anything that must be done or experienced. You will not always be affected in the same way as your siblings, friends, parents, spouse or even co-workers, but how you are affected is still important and relevant. Any part of your wellness dimensions can change abruptly for the good or bad and you have to be prepared for the impact or at least willing to adjust if you desire to thrive. To obtain the lifestyle you envision or to maintain the lifestyle you are currently living you must take on the difficult and undesirable tasks along with the simple ones. You also need to have a tolerance for unwanted change and the ability to know when a change should happen.
I have learned from this experience and that is something I strive to do in all of life whether it is a situation that causes me to feel pain or joy, anger or excitement, I want to learn and have a take-away. I am understanding more and more to take the moments as they come and not to sit on time, it will not be there when you get up.
I am going for another round of daily leg workouts to fire up my muscles again. I really like doing a vigorous routine of side shuffles, jumping squats, forward lunge, and jumping jacks in combination for about twenty minutes and then finish with a brisk walk for 10 to 20 minutes. I go for a high number of reps during each set when I am not using weights to keep the workout in resemblance of a HIIT routine. It is difficult and I definitely take a ten second break to breathe during the moments I feel like I am not going to make it through another set, maybe even 15 seconds. The walk keeps me from getting stiff afterwards and gets me to my 30-minute minimum of daily exercise.
Doing these kinds of vigorous routines and switching up the type of exercise I choose to include throughout each month has been beneficial for the building of muscles and keeping the motivation when I think about passing on the strength training. My flexibility and balance are increasing as I perform the various movements required for the different types of cardio and weightlifting, I am doing. I feel my body being healed and I am doing the things I once felt were beyond my limits.
It is amazing what the body is capable of doing and becoming. We may sit around suffering from one complication to the next and not be aware that exercise can change those complications we wake up to everyday. Becoming stronger can change or eliminate the pain we have in different parts of our body. Sometimes we see exercise or diet being pushed on us as a way to look good or to get back into a piece of clothing from five years ago and ignore the real reason to get moving.
The more important part of exercise is the healing of the body and mind that can take place with each day that we give our bodies a chance. Whether it is by way of a short hike, a long run, or weight machines however you choose must be right for you and where you are in your relationship with exercise and better health.
I encourage you today to get to know your body and understand why you feel certain pains or limits. How do you feel about your body and health? Ask yourself why you feel the way you do about your body, about exercise and your total health. I hope the clarity you find will bring the change and motivation you desire into your journey.