It’s late-December already. Where has 2015 gone?
There’s already pressure to figure out New Year’s resolutions and offers to sign up for a “New Year, New YOU!” program.
> What if I don’t want a new me?
> What if I want the old me and I just want to make big strides in major areas of my life?
I don’t know why we all feel so much need to create these goals that are totally ridiculous, knowing we’ll likely “fail” by mid-January and feel terrible that one more year has passed that we let ourselves down again. Do we really think that something will be so different in the New Year that we will finally drop those 15/20/50/maybe more pounds, lose that bad habit, find an extra couple of hours in our day to hit the gym or change our health without putting in the work?
I used to fall into that trap and beat myself up all the time about not doing the things I PROMISED myself I would. Now, when I am looking at a New Year, I try to set intentions for several different areas of my life.
The areas I focus on include:
I have three main intentions in each of these categories and some of them are as relaxed, like “pick one event to do each month to challenge myself physically,” and some are more rigid, like specific financial goals for my business and myself. I did this last year as well and I found that I made some big, positive changes in many areas of my life, but without a specific “lose 20 pounds by January 15th” goal, I never felt like I failed at anything (although let’s be honest, I would have loved to have lost 20 pounds in the first few weeks of the year!).
Ladies: Ease Up on Yourselves!
Why do I bring all this up?
It’s not because I have it all figured out, or because I think that New Year’s resolutions are crap. It’s because I work with people all day, every day who have these unrealistic expectations of themselves and their body pays the price. Ladies: I’m especially talking to YOU! You work hard, play hard, many of you have a family or are working on it, you are trying to keep your friends/family and significant other happy, you push and go and run … and then you feel like you’re still sucking at life and you beat yourself up.
You are doing great.
I meet women every day who I admire and think if they could only see themselves through my eyes or the eyes of the people who care about them, they might lighten up a little bit, slow down and squeeze a little more joy or fun out of life. And now, this time of year, these same busy, amazing, already stressed-to-the-max women are gearing up to put even more pressure on themselves with resolutions that they are unlikely to see come true.
I saw a woman last week who came in and told me how rotten she had been feeling. She was having severe back pain, feeling pretty blue, and experiencing struggles with family life. She then went on to tell me that a friend of hers had decided that if she just went on an extreme diet and cut out all the dairy, wheat, soy and sugar out of her meals, she would feel better. This friend is coming from a place of love and is no doubt trying to help fix her friend. And in many cases, cleaning up our diet brings massive, positive change to our health, so I am not suggesting this kind of plan wouldn’t be appropriate at some point.
However, I looked this woman straight in the eye, and as her health care provider, I told her that my personal feeling is that this is NOT the time to do something so extreme and add even more pressure to herself on top of everything else she is feeling and dealing with. She burst into tears. She told me she was so relieved to have somebody tell her that it was OK to not be so strict with herself right now and add one more intense thing to her plate. I told her to tell her friend she needs a rain check, but for now, we would see if we can get her feeling better. We talked about weekly acupuncture visits for a while and I made a gentle suggestion of some basic things that would likely help such as moving her body daily, finding something that brings her joy, being creative and/or cutting down or out sugar. All pretty basic and realistic things.
Would everybody agree with this soft, coddling approach? Probably not. But I see so many women who are stressed to the max and run down, and maybe they just need to hear (and believe) they are already enough and doing enough — even without the perfect diet, the weight loss, the perfect house, etc.
Make 2016 An Inspired Year
SOOOOO … where am I going with all of this? There is a point and not just a rant, I promise! As I was thinking of my own areas for improvement in 2016, I thought that maybe that’s a way I can help you all. Perhaps I bring you some awesome experts with some amazing tips/tricks for making change in several key areas of your life. Maybe we all join in and make it an Inspired Year! I want to support you in every way I can and sometimes that means using more than just needles.
Starting with January 2016, we are all going to say HELL NO to the dumb New Year’s resolutions that leave us feeling like failures by the third week of the year and we going to practice some self-love and acceptance, all while making some fun, but impactful, changes in several of our BIG areas.
I will host a 21-day challenge where you will get 11 emails containing tips from some of my favorite people and myself, a daily question to ask yourself, and an accountability plan to make inspired change this year in these key areas:
- Relationships with our significant other
- Family life
- Foundations of health
- And a few surprise tricks just for fun!
Stay tuned for more details! Lets all make 2016 our best year yet!