Happy New Year!
Hurrahhhhh, it’s here. Are you excited!? I am. The beginning of January is one of my favourite times because it feels so fresh, clean and full of possibility. As much as I know there are plenty of skeptics out there who hate the buzz of motivation levels riding high, I thrive on it. The canvas is clean and ready for whatever we decide to fill it with, and if you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve got plenty of ideas of what you’d like your 2017 goals to be.
Last year, just like many years prior, I made an old school scissors-and-glue-and-magazine-clippings-style vision board because my mind thinks in pictures. There’s something about the process that I find relaxing and energizing at the same time. However, one decision I made a few months ago in effort to pare down my possessions was to get rid of several magazine subscriptions. They were piling up in a drawer and found myself reading more blogs and online content, so it felt wasteful.
As a result, I don’t have a massive envelope full of curated images ready to be pasted onto a big piece of bristol board. Interestingly, the ritual of reflecting on 2016 and setting my goals for this year wasn’t any less great. In fact, it was actually one of my most enjoyable memories from the entire holiday season. As far as the visual inspiration goes, I’ve created Pinterest boards instead.
My intentions for 2016 were all about connecting more with people and doing what matters. Just like every year before, it turned out to be a big one. There was no cross-country move, but I changed jobs. This time, it was a shift over to a company that I truly love. To be honest, if I wasn’t working for them, or for myself, I don’t know that I could work for anyone else!
The amount of personal development, self-growth and relationship building that has been done since I started in April blows my mind. I’m grateful for every minute spent, every tear of frustration shed (because there were some), every lesson learned and every gut-busting laugh enjoyed with the amazing people on my team. I am SO excited to see what 2017 holds for my current full-time career, but more on that in a second. Back to connection and doing what matters.
While writing out my own answers to the questions in The Gorgeous Guide to Goal Conquering 2017 (which you can still download for free), I found myself thinking similar thoughts to last year about my values and vision. (I guess that’s how you know that you’re clear on what you want, right?) 2016 was about allowing more space for fun, creativity and adventure. My type-A self isn’t used to that, and I had a lot of fun playing with this intention.
Several goals were ticked off the list: I ran 3 half marathons, made many beautiful meals, expanded my personal and professional networks, and learned from mentors. I made my apartment feel like a sanctuary that I love coming home to every day. I became a certified Culinary Nutrition Expert which totally wasn’t on the radar last January, but it turned out to be an amazing decision.
I also let some goals go. Specifically, I ditched a second Ironman triathlon which I decided just wasn’t the right thing for me to be going after at the time. One of the biggest lessons I learned was that while it’s super important to be clear on what the goal is and what success looks like, it’s wise not to be too attached to a specific process or outcome.
Fostering the feeling
When thinking about 2017 goals, so much of what arises is based on figuring out what makes me feel great, then doing more things that create that feeling. If you follow Danielle LaPorte’s work, this will be a familiar concept. The last goal on my list for 2016 was to do work that truly matters: nurturing relationships and having a positive impact on the world. By positive impact, I was referring to doing this in my full-time career, and here at Eat Spin Run Repeat. I wanted to inspire you to live a fulfilling life by sweating regularly, enjoying delicious whole foods, and constantly evolving into your best self – and I still do.
It’s when I’m in the work of doing all those things that I feel truly amazing. This summer, I spent SO much time outside with friends, hiking and exploring, going on adventures and spending time in the moment. I contributed to projects at work that are having a positive global impact on young girls, and there have been accomplishments here on the blog too. Connection with people brings me energy, so I’m bringing this theme into 2017.
The next 365: Focus
Some people pick a word to assign to a new year. I’ve decided my word for 2017 is FOCUS. It resonated with me because when I think about 2016, I set out with the best of intentions but got side-tracked by a lot of distractions – comparison, worry, material things, social media and trivial tasks that weren’t worth it.
I’ve set around 8 bigger goals that cover the important areas of my life – things like health, fitness, nutrition, social/relationships, spirituality, travel, and career. Then, in a notebook (because sometimes writing things down like it’s the 90s just makes them more real) are sub-goals, a bunch of mini actions and by-whens that ladder up to each big one. Here’s a look at a few bigger goals on the list:
1. Be the strongest, healthiest version of myself yet
Those of you who have followed along for several years have heard all about my adventures with anemia and how that has affected my athletic goals. Then, back in September I pulled an adductor muscle (or something like that) which meant I couldn’t run for about 3 months without pain. In the process, I did more strength training than I ever have and can actually say I really enjoy it now.
In the past I’ve been all about endurance sports. I don’t regret any of that for a second because it’s a huge part of what I’m all about. But… watching how my body has responded this year, plus the last 4 months of training changes has made me think it’s time to switch things up. I don’t have specific running goals for 2017 (other than Seawheeze, of course), but I do have plans to be my strongest yet. This includes giving Crossfit a try. I’m not sure why I haven’t yet, but there’s a first time for everything.
Outside of fitness in the sweaty sense, I’m working with my naturopath to get my iron back up to a more ideal place – not merely inside the bottom of the ‘normal range’. This has been a struggle ever since I found out I was anemic in 2013, and we’re pretty sure there’s a link to cortisol and adrenal stress. It’s been a learning experience and I’m looking forward to making some solid progress on this.
2. Build and nurture stronger relationships
The above goal speaks mainly to physical health, but there’s no denying that mental health is just as important. I’ve said it before, but there are some remarkable people in my life. Some days – most days – I feel like I don’t tell them enough about how great they really are.
As someone who has a side hustle outside of my full-time career, it’s very easy to let work become a priority while letting relationship building take a back seat. But not any more! My eyes were very much opened to the power of community in 2016, and as a result I’ll be making these people know how much I love them, while bringing plenty of new friends into the circles too.
3. More experiences, less things
Continuing on from the theme of connection and community, 2016 was also a reminder that things don’t make memories – experiences with people do. Things can be beautiful and provide temporary excitement, but what I really remember about the days, weeks, months and years of my life are the random, spontaneous, and sometimes unexpected adventures and conversations.
You can only fit so many things into a 475 square foot apartment, but there’s no limit to the memories you can make. I lived life a heck of a lot more fully in 2016 than I did in 2015, and I’m looking to take that a step further this year. Weekend trips, staycations, walks to nowhere in particular and just doing life with other people – it’s all on the agenda.
4. Stretch and/or meditate daily
This is actually something I’ve been doing for the entire past month (more stretching, not quite as much meditating) and it really does help. Not only has my range of motion improved in my hip flexors and hamstrings, but the meditation has led to noticeable improvements in my patience. I don’t know about you, but I can get really annoyed in situations where I feel my time is being wasted. Traffic and waiting in lines are both examples of this. Since starting to meditate and stretch regularly (which I consider moving meditation) I’ve noticed I’m not nearly as irritable, and it takes more to really set me off. This goal is also something that contributes to the whole cortisol/adrenal thing discussed earlier, which is another reason I see it as being a priority.
5. Write down 5 things I’m grateful for every day
If you read a bit of self-help content around the internet you’ve probably heard people report that expressing gratitude does wonders for their happiness. I consider myself a happy person, but why not be even more happy – for free!? I’m sold.
This was something I said I’d do last year, but totally fell off the wagon. It sounds like such an easy concept because I/we have SO much to be thankful for, but it’s also so easily forgotten. I’m looking forward to making this a regular practice and have set a daily reminder on my phone to get me in the habit.
6. Prioritize the activities in my business that have the greatest return
By business, I mean this blog, and by return, I don’t just mean financial because that’s never what this has been about. When I think about return, I think about the opportunities for connection and making a difference for the better. As I said earlier, my biggest goal is to inspire you to live a fulfilled life through movement and nutrition, and evolve into the best version of yourself. You can expect to see projects that align with that this year.
7. Go to Hawaii this fall
Hawaii has been at the top of my list of must-see places for years now, and I’m finally putting it in my 2017 goals because… why not?? Right now the plan is to see as much of Maui as possible, relax on the beach, hike and eat plenty of poke and pineapples, but I’ve just scratched the surface of building my itinerary. I’m almost as excited to plan this trip as I am to go on it, and if anyone has any Hawaii travel advice to share, I’d love to hear!
Right, it’s your turn! Tell me…