2016 Non Resolutions

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Happy 2016!

So I’m a little late to the punch on the New Year wishes around here, but better late than not at all, right?

For the past eight years now, instead of joining so many of the masses and making grand statements and lists of Resolutions, I’ve marched to my own drum and made up a list of Non Resolutions.  Okay, so you might say, “but isn’t that still a different kind of pressure, one that you were trying to avoid by making a list of things you claimed to do in the new year, by making a list of things you will try not to do?”  And yeah, it is kinda/sorta the same thing, but to me, the different spin on it seems to make a little more sense.  If I don’t win on one of my Non Resolutions, then for whatever reason, to me, it doesn’t seem like as much as a big fat fail as if I don’t accomplish a big ole’ regular Resolution.

You with me?

So, here I go again.  But before I make my little list of things I resolve not to do this year, I have to say that 2015 has been good to me, and to my loved ones.  I celebrated weddings and engagements with dear friends, welcomed new babies into the world with other friends, ran a handful of races, worked to make our new house feel more like a home over the past year we have lived here, drank some really good beers on sunny patios and decks throughout the warm months, traveled a little bit here and there, nurtured friendships and my relationship, delved deeper into a meditation practice, and most recently, 2015 was the year we made little baby M&M and shared the news that he or she will be making their debut May of this year.

It’s been a good year overall, with many highs and a few lows (to keep the balance in check over here seeing as how that is the theme of this blog and all).  I feel blessed and grateful for what has passed, and excited for what’s to come.

Without further blabbing on and on, here are my 2016 Non Resolutions (some have made the list eight years going strong)…

In 2016 I resolve not to:

  • Get sucked into worry.  Every year this one has made the list.  I know, deep down the vicious cycle of worry I can get myself wrapped up in if I let myself, and I know even more, so much of worry has to do with choice.  I can choose to dwell, or I can choose to try to just be, try to live in the moment and have faith, that things will all work out as they are meant to.  Easier said than done, 95% of the time for me, but it is still something I can continually work on.  And resolve NOT to get sucked into, over and over.  I’ll share my favorite quote by Michael J. Fox as I have done in past years…

“If you get caught up in the worst case scenario and it doesn’t happen, you’ve wasted your time. And if you are caught up in the worst case scenario and it does happen, you’ve lived it twice.” 

  • Let things pile up as much.  This includes, but isn’t limited to:  laundry, junk mail, worry (ahem), chores, and clothes I need to put away.
  • Interrupt.  Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it, and truthfully, I do it more out of excitement rather than thinking what I have to say is better than what someone else is sharing.  It’s an annoying habit and it’s something I want to be better about (still- second year in a row for this one).
  • Think too much about what other people think.  (Unless it really counts.  Like it obviously matters what my boss thinks if I show up to work late every day.)  But other things- things like following my gut and being true to myself and then not overanalyzing what others think of my decisions.  This year I want to really embrace the mentality of being true to me, doing what’s best for me, and knowing in my heart that if that’s what’s ringing true to me, then what other people think shouldn’t matter.
  • Go a week without meditation, or yoga.  Both make me feel wonderful.  It’s lame to let a week go by without doing one or the other.  No excuses there.  It’s a must!
  • Go a week without exercise.  This one should be easy, as I can’t remember the last time this has happened anyway, but I know that with a little one on the way, excuses might come easy, but it will be a priority of mine to make some sort of movement on the regular.
  • Lastly, be so hard on myself.  (Again, a regular on the list.)  Life is tough, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves.  I want to be kind to myself, as kind as I would be a dear friend.  Nicer self talk.  Less judgement.  More self compassion, less comparison.

I think that’s a good start.  Would you care to join me in sharing your Non Resolutions for 2016?

Valentine’s Day HIIT Workout

With all the snow out there lately, I’ve been less inclined to get outside to run or drive to the gym, and more apt to workout at home.  Especially now that we have space in our new digs to workout at home, I find that it’s easy to get a good workout in first thing in the morning before work.

I’ve always been a big fan of exercise DVD’s, T25, PiYo, Turbo Fire being a handful of my go-to’s. Sometimes I hit up You Tube for some workout inspiration as well; there’s so many great ideas on there!

I’m also a huge fan of HIIT workouts.

If you aren’t familiar with HIIT, it stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and it’s a great way to burn fat, in a short amount of time.  Different than steady cardio like running for thirty minutes straight or hopping on a machine at the gym that works your aerobic endurance, HIIT works both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance.

Both cardio and HIIT have their different benefits.  Cardio has it’s time and place- it’s easy to do, sometimes a little mindless (can be good or bad?!), can be low impact, and it’s something that can performed on a daily basis (though I wouldn’t recommend it).  Usually cardio is done at a moderate intensity, and is done for at least twenty minutes.

HIIT on the other hand, like it’s name, is an intense, shorter workout, typically no longer than twenty minutes, of all out intensity.  HIIT alternates short bursts of hard core exercise with periods of rest. Another sweet benefit of HIIT workouts is the that your body continues burning calories after your workout!  Sitting on the couch watching the Bachelor and still burning calories and fat?  How can you go wrong?  Your metabolism stays revved up for several hours post workout, and that’s pretty cool if you ask me.  HIIT workouts shouldn’t be done on back to back days; I usually do about three or four a week, combined with weight training and running (steady state cardio).

HIIT is not for the faint of heart.  These workouts are supposed to be pretty grueling, and the expectation is that you go all out, giving it 110% of effort and then recover in between exercises.

Here’s a recent HIIT workout I’ve been doing, just in time for Valentine’s Day!  I don’t know about you guys, but try as I might, I haven’t been able to totally avoid the chocolate and other treats hanging around lately, and frankly I don’t really want to!

Let me know if you try this one out and tell me what you think!  If you don’t have a jump rope, just wing it and fake it.  No stairs?  No toe taps on a box or something.  Just get moving and make it intense!

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The thing about balance…

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So this idea about balance?  With post number one on this site, I’m here to admit: finding balance is not always easy.

There are many types of balance.  The actual, physical kind of balance that helps us stand up straight, take a nice, brisk, fall walk, or run a PR in a half marathon.  There’s the physical kind of balance that helps us to invert upside down, engage our core, and rock an unassisted headstand without totally wiping out and ending up with a permanent bruise (not that I would know anything about that!).

There’s emotional balance, the kind that helps to keep our highs and lows in check, aiding us to getting in touch with what makes us feel good, what freaks us the heck out and causes anxiety, and points out how much of something we can handle before feeling like we are reaching our emotional tipping point.

Then there’s the balance we can have in the health and wellness realms.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating the kinds of foods that energize you, steering clear of too much of a good (or bad) thing, and finding the healthy middle ground of “just right.”

This balance thing, it’s tricky.  Some days, it takes actual, serious, put your mind and your thoughts and your conscious efforts into it hard work. But sometimes when you’re lucky, and you’re in a good place, stars align and things work in a such a way that balance just comes as second nature. Some days, you are able to get right up into that handstand, and actually stay there for several long, deep breaths, without smashing your body into a coffee table.  Lots of times, you get in a good groove, eating what feels good inside your body, and it in turn responds in a happy way, giving us the energy and stamina to make it through a long run or a killer kickboxing class.  And then, there are many times during our hectic work days where we are able to find small moments or frames of time where we can take a deep inhale, think about your full emotional plates, the big decisions and small ones too that we are dealing with, and we can find a way to feel (mostly) at peace with the here and now, gently reminding ourselves that things usually have a way of working out as they should at the end of the day.

I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t have the whole balance thing mastered by any means. I do, however, try to find a semblance of balance in each day.  Some days are wins and I hardly have to think about it; other days end up being not so much of pretty picture of balance, and I realize I feel a bit off inside.

My goal is to find small ways to nurture myself each day, to capture small doses of balance that help me to feel grounded, give me energy, make me feel healthy and positive, all that ultimately make the best version of myself shine on.

How do you win at finding balance in your everyday, and where do you struggle?