New Year’s resolutions were never really a thing for me.
The winters have often left me wandering around with less energy, searching for sunlight, and fighting off feelings of hibernation. It’s a miracle that I ever made it out of Buffalo, New York, alive, since there’s a lot of winter up there.
Personally, my tendency has always been to set fitness goals in the late winter or early spring. My life used to revolve around my 5K and half-marathon schedule, which required planning ahead for where and when I was going to run. Then in the fall, I’d find myself readjusting to less mileage and kicking off another year of teaching, which usually meant a goal reset.
Sometimes that meant more strength training.
Sometimes it meant healing from an injury.
Sometimes it meant changing up my diet—less meat, more meat, less ice cream, more ice cream.
Sometimes it meant going to freaking bed—I’m a recovered VH1 reality series binge-watcher.
And almost always, it meant not being an asshole to myself.
Many, many, many moons ago, I used to weigh myself every day. Preferably post-morning poop—you know, so I could get the lowest possible number. I also used to have a love-hate relationship with my tape measure. I wanted to create a smaller waist and thighs so it would love me, but it hated the demands I was placing on it. I jotted down these numbers in a spiral notebook so I could track their every little move.
As a teenager, I manipulated my food intake and over-exercised in an effort to “reach my goals.” Into my 20s, I decided that my enjoyment of food was real, so I just ran and ran and ran as I tried to get to my “goal weight.”
Do you know where that notebook of numbers is now? In a landfill somewhere, dying a slow, un-recycled death. It’s numbers are fading from existence while I sit here chasing an iced coffee with water and debate whether I should have a square of mint or hazelnut dark chocolate.
If you know me personally, you know that my priorities about my health and the way that I view my body have changed. My relationship with food is healthy—I eat when I’m hungry and enjoy delicious salads as much as I love a waffle cone with cookie dough ice cream. Rice cakes are no longer a meal. Neither is a green pepper with some dry tuna. And I eat an entire avocado without ever thinking, “Is there too much fat in this?”
These days, movement is fun. And if it’s not fun, I’m not going to do it. Walks with my husband, Amol, count as movement. Swinging kettlebells counts as movement. And sometimes, cleaning the house counts as movement. (I’m a self-proclaimed “Queen of the 90-Minute Blitz Clean—pardon me while I adjust my crown.)
Sleep is a huge priority for me. Gone are the days of heading out for a beer after 8:30 p.m. The TV remains mostly off, excluding a movie once or twice a month… and “Ted Lasso” reruns, of course. Being consistent with my sleep lets my body and mind rest for seven to eight hours each night. Keeping my bedtime and wake-up time nearly the same on the weekends also helps me calmly transition into the work week.
The biggest shift in my health came when I began meditating. And I continue to observe how meditation serves as an anchor for the rest of the components of my health. There are rough days, challenging weeks, and exhausting months that can lead to eating too many chips and too much salsa, sleeping less, worrying more, scrolling social media for a cute quote that brings everything into perspective. When I go back to meditating, my awareness of habits, feelings, and emotions is clearer and that allows me to reset, refocus, and recharge.
So let’s talk about setting goals. I’m going to walk you through a quarterly goal-setting process that has nothing to do with scales or tape measures.
when I meet a new client, they tend to:
- Ask about scale-based goals
- Be nervous about getting measured
- Want to know if I write meal plans
my responses are always:
- No, so go smash your scale
- Measurements aren’t my thing; you are so much more than any number
- Nope, I’ll never tell you what to eat
The fact is this: Prioritizing your health is so much more than what you weight or how you look. And telling you to eat more broccoli or swap our rice for cauliflower isn’t going to make a bit of difference if you don’t like broccoli and really love rice. More times than not, when the scale doesn’t move or inches don’t disappear, they quit.
My desire is for people to be the best version of themselves. Creating change takes so much patience, possibly a marching band, and 1,000 pep talks during all the ups, downs, and loop-di-loops along the way. Setting goals that have nothing to do with our physical appearance can create the greatest changes of all in our health.
If you have any questions, could use a high-five, or need a reminder of how fabulous you are, let’s connect on Instagram!
hugs + high-fives,