I gotta say, this past year has been challenging. I was so excited to say goodbye to 2020 and welcome in 2021, but alas, that gigantic turnabout never seemed to transpire. We are still living through a pandemic that is affecting all of our work, social, and travel plans. Additionally, this past year, my dad passed away and our youngest child, who is an adult, is struggling to make healthy choices for herself. Alas, most days were just about moving forward. Then again, a lot of wonderful events have also transpired this past year. Our oldest child got engaged, one child started her own business, another one started her Masters in social work, one has been busy with medical rotations as a fourth year med student, and the most recent college grad has landed in a ski area working the mountain, and as he says, “Living the dream!” I also completed the coursework to be an official health coach all while continuing to teach in the classroom each day. There have been many bright spots this past year!
So yes, looking back, it has been a busy, busy year filled with heartache, worry-filled sleepless nights, and moments to be cherished and celebrated. I guess that is simply what is called life. It is a roller coaster ride for sure!
As the year is coming to a close, I love to sit and reflect on the past and what the coming year might have in store. We have a wedding and medical school graduation this spring. Both huge monumental moments for our family to celebrate.
When I sit and think about all that is important to me, one of the most fundamental pillars of life is to live a life full of health and wellness. This is so much more than me wanting to lose five pounds before my son’s wedding. It is about grounding my life and lifestyle choices in habits that sustain my health and overall wellness. It is about alleviating stress; balancing life commitments; knowing when to uphold boundaries and say NO; planning time for self-care; choosing nourishing foods that give me energy and fight inflammation; moving in ways that feed my body and my soul – for me that is swimming, yoga, and getting outdoors to hike or ski; and of course, making sure that I get a good night’s sleep.
January is the perfect month to reset. The holidays have a way of throwing life out of balance. The extra food, social gatherings, year-end deadlines, and shopping, wrapping, and giving of gifts. All of this takes time. Time that most of us are already in short supply of. So January becomes the perfect month to reset lifestyle choices and behaviors.
Looking forward, my January goal is simply to bring life back into balance. I am making a recommitment to alleviate stress through meditation, journaling, managing finances, daily exercise, meal planning, and fostering the relationships and friendships that I treasure. All of the activities that I just mentioned take time. Time that needs to be planned for and honored. As a classroom teacher, most of my time is devoted to planning, prepping, and teaching my littles. It is a job that I love, but one that consumes more time than most people ever realize. Teachers and the partners of teachers get it, but most others really do not know the hours spent behind the scenes. I only mention this because like you, my “free” time is minimal.
Living a life of health and wellness takes commitment. Conveniences and time crunches make it all too easy to steer away from a focus on health. Whether that means picking up a convenient fast food meal or skipping a workout. At the end of the day, we are all exhausted and it is so much easier to flip on the TV than to sit and journal, meditate, or meal prep. Like I said, all of the activities that help me live a life of health and wellness take time. But as a main priority in my life, the time is well worth it. We all have time in our life for what is most important to us.
As you reflect back and think forward, what are your priorities? Take the time to think this through. Where do you want to place your time, focus, and energy this year? Take the time to journal your responses. Use the goodness and heartaches of the past to help fuel your tomorrows. This is your life, and you get to choose how you want to live it. Imagine your best self. What does that look like? This is your journey!
Like me, use the month of January to rebalance your life based on your goals and aspirations. You can do it!
Happy New Year to all of you, dear friends!