Howdy Partner, A new year is about to happen, and when a year is new everyone feels like they are too.  In celebration of that newness a lot of folks make resolutions.  The top 5 resolutions are: 1) To lose weight, 2) Getting organized, 3) Spend less, save more, 4) Enjoy life to the fullest, and 5) Staying fit and healthy.  (If you want to read 6-10 follow the link at the end of this blog)  My biggest concern is that staying fit and healthy is number 5… though spending more time with family is number 10, which I am sure has to do with the fact that resolutions come a week after Christmas and other winter holidays that push family time as the thing to do.

My second biggest concern is that while 45% of the US population makes New Year's Resolutions only 8% are successful while 24% of peeps who make resolutions never succeed and fail on their resolutions each year.  Then you have age as a factor with younger folks being more successful than older (over 50) folks.  Maybe as we age we have had too many failures around resolutions/goals so it is easier to get discouraged and give up than when we are young and still have a few shreds of hope.  :)  It seems that resolutions aren't really effective when you look at all of these stats.  Is there a point then?  Shall we just stop and let it all go?

Well, not so fast.  Resolution, or goal setting has success.  It is a fact that someone without goals never reaches their goals 100% of the time.  So setting a goal gives you a chance to reach them.  Direction leads you somewhere, at least, and usually leads you in the direction you desire.  So, giving up on goal setting may not be he way to avoid failing, instead changing the goals we set or how we set them could be the answer.

Inspiration is a beautiful thing.  Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something (Webster's Dictionary).  If we feel inspired we are more likely to act.  Your goals need to be inspired and inspirational… and the steps you take to reach them need to be inspired and inspirational as well.  So instead of losing weight this year, what is your inspiration?  Is it to wear certain brands, run a number of miles, do jumping jacks for a number of minutes, get your blood pressure down to a certain number, or feel good?  Maybe your inspiration is something else.  When your goals have meaning, a meaning you have thought out and delineated you may have a better chance of actually sticking to the steps necessary to reach them.  You may also do well to be honest, at least with yourself, about why you really want to reach a certain goal.  Know this:  whatever reason you have for setting a goal is valid.  Period.

When you put your heart into what you want to change, why you want to change it and what you will do to make it so… or rather, when you commit to a goal you no longer view it as something you can get out of.  You are in it.  You are dedicated.  You set up your world so that your goal is priority.  Maybe you have friends that encourage and hold you accountable, maybe you hire someone to help you reach your goals, maybe you stop making excuses.  However it is done, it is doable when you commit to it.

Good luck figuring out the direction you want your life to take in 2013.  It is yours to create, this future you dream of.  It starts with you, your vision, your motivation, your inspiration.



Keep On Moving

Howdy There! So the wheels may have come off during this holiday weekend.  You may have found yourself sitting in front of an empty pint container of ice cream or you may be eating more leftovers than you need to.  Studies show that you eat more in a group setting than when you are alone.  Soooo it is no wonder why we gorge ourselves during the holidays with all of the family and parties and groups of people munching away on food.  We often overdo it and then the guilt sets in.  We feel derailed from our normal workout/eating routine and we are faced with a big decision:  Stay off the tracks and off-road it for a while or get back on the rails and back to your life, your health, and your fitness.

One, two, or three days (or more) of crazy eating doesn't actually set you back, what sets you back is how you think about it.  Get over the fact that you are human, make decisions based on emotion and that you sometimes don't keep your goals at the forefront.  Get back to where you were, just do it, don't talk about it.  Move on and let the past go.  Sounds simple doesn't it?  It is.  We make things more complicated than necessary.  Usually the complication is the judgement.  Imagine your fitness goals without judgement.  Imagine your holiday feast and the next day's workout without judgement?  Imagine not letting your past dictate your future.  Imagine being absolutely supportive of the choices you make.  Imagine trusting yourself to do what is best for you.

When you trust, support and let go the ego doesn't have a lot of room to eat away at you.  You are able to make choices out of love instead of guilt.  You are able to let go of not doing something "right" and just doing what you would prefer.  When ego isn't in charge happiness has a way of surfacing and life has a way of falling into place.  So, have your cake (and mashed potatoes) and eat it too, then get on the next bike, or treadmill, or open road, or yoga mat and keep on keeping on.  You will be fine.



Family Time

Howdy!!! During a time when family comes together we are sometimes reminded of why they spend time apart.  When you are close to people they know you.  They know you so well in some ways… especially the parts of you that you don't enjoy and they seem to have a knack for bringing those parts to the surface.  We may not want to have times with our families that are stressful, especially when the focus is giving thanks.  However, it isn't by accident that we are triggered by our loved ones.  It is because of the closeness, the connection, that we are shown the things that we must work on within ourselves if we so choose.  Being around your family is a gift, even if it doesn't come with a bow tied around it.

It is more the case than not judgement will be made when families come together.  Either you will be judged or you will judge.  It might seem innocent, you may feel like you are helping or giving an answer to some question or another.  But, as I told a friend earlier today, if you are giving information to your family and it isn't about sharing then you may be guided by ego.  You may be telling them what to do without actually getting permission to do so.  For some reason we believe that we have the right to say whatever we want to our families.  Everyone feels judgement and everyone (healthy) resists it.  So be careful, know why you are saying what you are saying.  Operate out of love, curiosity and a desire to give.  Your family won't feel so resistant to you if so.  Additionally, know that everyone is doing their best… it may not be what you want, but it is where they are and it is their best in that moment."

Know that you are where you are also.  Give thanks for you being you, knowing that without them you wouldn't be who you are.  Who you are is precious, beautiful, deliberate.  Since this is true for you, this is true for your family too.  Remember how hard it is to change yourself… not imagining trying to change someone else.  Use your holiday time as a time for healing, for crossing over the stream of life and learning what things you never ever leave behind.  You just cross it at different grades on the ascent to wisdom.  Life is a never-ending, ever-changing, momentary thing.  Take the time you have with the ones you love and love them.  Love the parts you don't enjoy and love the parts you love even more.

Happy Thanks Be Given :)



Happy Birthday!

Helloooooo! I have a birthday coming up in less than a week and am very excited about it. I will be 38 and feel like I am only getting better in every way. It is pretty fantastic. So I am thinking about my special day and what I plan on doing. Not sure yet, but I will keep you posted. One thing is for sure, I won't do anything I don't really want to do. It is something that I learned from my dad. I have never seen him on his actual birthday. A week before and maybe a week after, but never on the actual day. He is almost always in the Caribbean somewhere. I don't know if I ever asked him about his birthday ritual or not but I got the picture. Celebrate yourself! It is your special day.

Now, so many people get freaked out at the thought of aging. Stressed that they aren't where they want to be or doing what the should be doing. Does a baby ever feel stressed that it isn't doing what it is supposed to be doing? Why do we grow up to decide where we should or shouldn't be instead of loving what is and being where we are? What happens that keeps us from being ok with the fact that years come and go, our age increases, and, at some point we will all kick the bucket. It is just the way it is. Now, the quality of all of the in-between is up to us. How we live our lives and how we take care of ourselves is our responsibility. But to worry about the number, well, I think taking your body's needs seriously will help the number be a blip on your radar. You don't have to buy into aging as pure deterioration. I can honestly say that I look and feel better now than I did 10 years ago and I plan on keeping up that trend for some time.

So now, here I am, turning 38, feeling great, wanting to celebrate (yes, I rhymed on purpose). I asked a group of my cyclists if they too celebrated themselves by taking a trip or a day off of work (or away from the kids) and all but one said NO! What the frak??? Look people, this is your holiday. Your special day. It was the day you came into the world. It was a celebrated day, a big friggin deal! How can we NOT celebrate the anniversary of our arrival? It is awesome, you are awesome!

Try it. Think of your birthday as a holiday. Take time to do whatever it is you want to do. Make it a day that you are celebrated by you (if by no one else). We celebrate children's birthdays all of the time. I think it is a lot harder to make it to 38 than to make it to 5. Seriously, no one is taking care of this lady here anymore… I am doing most of the work and I deserve a day to celebrate my hard work! So do you. So take it! Happy Birthday to you!

xoxox a