It's very easy to get caught up in the noise isn't it? It's loud. It's constant. And it's everywhere today. Every marketing campaign, every article on your social media feed, celebrities, your neighbours or family members.... They are in our face always telling us "the best things" to do to be healthy right?
How can we avoid this?
It's really tough to be honest.
How can we do what's best for ourselves as individuals?
Take the time to LEARN about YOURSELF.
Referring back to my previous post I like to take this time of year (the start of a new year) to look back at what worked, what didn't, what I want and what I don't want for the upcoming year. That simple act of time with your own thoughts, is an incredibly powerful and overlooked tool in our health and lifestyle goals. It also can be a little intimidating at times can't it? It's ok though - it's all how you look at it.
Failure is just learning
Societal views and mainstream media have done wonderful jobs at making us feel like failures. Yet, "failing" is simply LEARNING. We NEED to fail sometimes. That's what helps us LEARN, ADAPT AND CREATE POSITIVE CHANGE. If everything was perfect, we wouldn't grow as a person. Think about as a kid when you started to learn to write, walk, colour, read, count, play a sport... You didn't get it right away. You "failed" didn't you?? But wait! No one called it that (at least I sure hope you not). Almost everyone reading this would've had at least someone saying, "good try", perhaps guiding / teaching you a little bit more at a time, and encouraging you to try again.
THAT IS NOT FAILURE - IT'S LEARNING!
And because you're reading this, I'd say you progressed and learned just fine.
2022 was another stressful year for many of us. For myself, it was another challenging year (mentally, spiritually and emotionally in particular). However, moving into 2023, I've learned and discovered a lot! I get excited about those "ah-ha" moments, don't you?
Here's where we come to a fork in the road. We can LEARN from our experiences, and be honest with ourselves about how we want to progress in the coming months (personally, professionally etc...). OR we can beat ourselves down with negative self-talk and call it a failure of a year. I personally like the first option.
What did you learn about yourself in 2022?
Take a few minutes to make yourself a coffee, tea or grab a nice glass of water, along with a paper and pen and jot down the things you learned about yourself in 2022. Anything and everything. It all can help guide you to a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Here's a few of mine for example:
The variety in activity again is awesome!! Since my soccer retirement (and then the pandemic) the variety in my activity has been limited. However, 2022 brought a ton of variety and I love it! What's enjoyable is that it's my preferred way to be healthy and active; Playing, having fun and often with friends. I move into 2023 with things like tennis, hockey and pickup soccer in my weekly activity schedule and it gives me even more to look forward to every week, while keeping active. It's not just the idea of playing a variety of sports again, it's also the company, laughter and fun that feeds the soul.
My other movement practices are more direct again. Following on the previous point, with the variety in my activities during the week, my other movement practices fall into place more naturally I find. The days I'm not playing sports, I can focus on strength work and hikes/walks primarily. My strength work becomes a prominent tool for helping me perform well and enjoy my sports, and my hikes/walks work as a form of active recovery during my weeks.
The love of simply DOING is important to me. Low-intensity, but consistent daily movement activities feel awesome to me. Those types of activities continue to become more enjoyable and important to me to ensure they are part of my everyday;
-A walk with NO INTENTIONS of distance, time etc
-A wander into the woods to discover new areas, trails or do some bushcraft projects
-Gardening (I hope to get better at this so I don't kill so many things...)
-Yard work, cutting and stacking wood at the cottage
-A walk into nature to find a quiet spot to sit, look around and simply breathe
-Bird watching while out for a walk (or sometimes just at home)
Especially with the busy weeks I had this past summer with my role as Club Head Referee at our local soccer club, these activities became that much more important for so many reasons.
MY time is important to me. I learned that in 2022 as I was pulled in many directions in my soccer role. 4-5 nights per week I was on the field, which was WAY more than I had hoped or planned. It took away my own time and time from family, friends and experiences. When I was home, I was wiped. That's not ok. And it's not a healthy, sustainable way to go about your days either. What is ok, is that I learned from it and stuck to what is important for my health and for my own personal/family time and I chose to step away from the role. This will allow me to do the things that GIVE me energy more often than things that TAKE my energy from me.
These are just a few examples of many from my end of what I learned in 2022. What are some of yours?? How are you going to approach those things (or change some of those things) moving into 2023?
Whatever you choose, CHOOSE ONE thing to start with and put your energy and time into that ONE target. After 4, 5 or even 6 weeks if things are going well and you're happy with the outcome, add a new target while you maintain your original one. Do what's important to you, not what is important to someone else that you read about on Facebook or saw on TikTok. Make informed decisions that pertain to YOU.
Take your time.
ENJOY the process.
Don't beat yourself down, but rather lift yourself UP!