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Happy New Year!

2014! This New Year I have a whole new perspective on resolutions. I am focusing on the journey of NOW! Looking back over the past I remember many New Years resolutions that ended in disappointment and shame for not reaching the goals I had set for myself. I’ve decided I have all I need to have a wonderful and successful year without adding more pressure to my plate. This new perspective was gained through many soul-searching moments over the past 10 weeks.

This past 10 weeks I have been part of a fitness challenge with Shelly Gonzalez. She has been an amazing coach on this journey. She opened a private group on Facebook with about 15 other people. We hold each other accountable; share our hearts vulnerably (both the celebrations and the disastrous days). The constant encouragement is transformational.

Although I am not even close to the goal I set at the beginning of this challenge the transformation in me has been pretty profound. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the past 10 weeks of this journey.

1. Self-Talk either gives me that extra boost to success or derails me completely! The words I say to myself are just as important as the words I say to other people. Sometimes I can be ruthless and downright mean when I talk to myself. I am so much more successful when my words are loving and encouraging inside my head, just like I hope to be to the people around me. Using a reverse “Golden Rule” on myself is essential!

2. Whether I think I can or I think I can’t…I am right. Throughout the challenge I worried that the most challenging workouts would be too hard or if I worked out too hard I would hurt myself. In the final week of the challenge I did the most challenging ones and even though they were a little hard, I totally nailed it!

3. Perfection is over rated! Life is so much better when grace for myself abounds. I so often strive for the perfect day; perfect choices, perfect workout, perfect hair…the list goes on. But truly, life happens and contentment can be achieved when we accept that only one person who walked this earth was perfect…and I’m not HIM! But I can have the grace that He gives me, and accept that I am not perfect. Falling into the arms of grace is so much better than the prickly place I find myself when I strive for perfection!

4. I am not a number on the scale! I will feel healthiest when the number on the scale is lower but it has nothing to do with my worth or even with feeling healthy today. A number has nothing to do with who I am as a person! It doesn’t determine my success. It is simply scientific information that informs my choices.

5. Sweating EVERYDAY is really good…although sometimes a little inconvenient! Timing is everything, but even if my time gets away from me and I have just enough time to workout and shower before I start seeing clients, that is OK! In fact, a fellow traveler on this journey reminded me, it is even a good example of healthy choices I am making when my first client asks why my face is so red and I’m still sweating a tiny bit! I get to share my healthy journey with them.

6. Me First! Balancing my life with lots of people and responsibilities means I need to put my needs first and then everything else falls into place. I am the only one who can take care of me and just like the flight attendants always say, “Put your own oxygen mask on first and then attend to others in your care.” It isn’t selfish, it is actually compassionate, because when I care for myself first and make sure my life is in balance with healthy habits, everyone else benefits.

7. Healthy Choices = Feeling Great! When I make good choices, I feel so good; when I don’t I have to pay the price. But there is always another day to practice good choices. Sometimes a bowl of pasta, a chocolate treat or a day off of exercise is exactly what I want and it isn’t the end of the world, in fact it is probably what I need!

8. Encouragement is essential! The support from people along the way who are on this road has been so helpful. Also, the opportunity to give some encouragement and wisdom has been rewarding as well.

9. Success is measured in many ways! When I focus on numbers, whether on a scale, on the waistband or tape measure I can feel like a failure. When I focus on energy, flexibility, strength, new perspective, clarity of thought and new friends I have gain, I realize I am a complete success.

10. This is a life-long journey. I tend to want to please people and make it about accomplishing the goals I set, but when I hold those goals a little more lightly, and know the ultimate goal is being healthy for a lifetime, it all comes into focus.

Again, I would like to thank Shelly and all my Challenge Teammates for the support and encouragement you have given me. You each have helped me gain this new perspective and have had a part in getting me back on the path to the best life I can live! If you have read this and want to experience something like what I have these past 10 weeks, I encourage you to get hold of Shelly and find out when her next group starts. You won’t regret your decision. I’m taking all I’ve learned and NOT making any resolutions of change, just continuing this grand journey I am on NOW.
(This is one of the Many “Sweaty Face” pictures we posted through out the challenge…always my best shot! Don’t you think?)