We all start the year with some kind of goal right? I say that I don’t really care, but I do. It’s the perfect opportunity to pause and reflect and think about the unattainable life you could have at the end of the year, if only you were a totally different person. (haha)
But I do kind of loathe the #newyearnewyou thing. There’s something about it that makes me cringe. Maybe it’s all the advertising telling me who I am is not enough, or the over-aspirational social media moguls who pretend they can actually achieve the ridiculous goals they’re setting themselves. I think it’s so much pressure, and it glorifies the underlying problem society has, of making us feel discontent with ourselves. Like, we aren’t enough, and if we could only do X Y and Z then we’d be happy. You know the stuff.
BUT I do actually believe in setting…not goals - but a direction. I believe in setting direction. And I believe it’s not massive changes that make the difference, it’s small decisions every day that really help you get where you want to go.
I want to talk about an area of my life I’ve struggled with SO much. And I know others do too.
I’m not sporty. I’m not one for going to the gym. My natural inclination is to avoid lifting heavy things or running to no specific destination. But last year, I knew I needed to do something. Not just for my physical health, but for my mental health, and to prove that I could be disciplined. It needed to be different to what I’d tried before. I needed a new approach. So I came up with a very simple, gentle word to guide my direction to better wellbeing.
That word is MOVE.
I haven’t set out to run a marathon, benchpress my own weight, or anything of the like.
I’ve set out to just simply “move my body”. Get the chi flowing, activate my muscles and systems, and start the day by shifting what’s stagnated in my sleep.
And it’s been AMAZING. I know, I know, people tout this shit all the time - I did this, and look at me now! My before and after photos are impressive if I select the right ones. So I did, because it makes me feel a sense of achievement to share what I’ve managed to build into my life. I’m just wearing the same top, and no make up. It’s not like I got dressed up for the occasion.
My appearance is not the most important part of this. The important part, is that I have changed my habits, and that has built confidence in me. I feel good about who I am now that I’ve managed a year of this. The fact that I can get up in the morning and do a quick routine is a mystery to me, and I can only attribute it to the simplicity of my directional mantra.
“I move my body in the morning.”
(That even sounds a bit wanky - “Oh, I don’t set goals, I create directional mantras.” haha)
Sometimes the movement just involves some stretching, a bit of yoga, but I mostly use an app called 8Fit which guides my workouts. You can use it for meal planning too, but I haven’t maximised that. The thing I love about it, is the workouts are short. Its achievable to commit to 20 minutes (or less) of movement in the morning. Really, it is. Some people have no issue with it, and run for an hour or some crazy shit. I’ve always admired that. I think I just talked myself into not being a person who exercises, I still don’t really feel like a person who exercises, I’m a bit lazy on the number of reps, and sometimes it’s a very half assed effort, all I say to myself is…move girl! Now that I’ve experienced benefits of confidence, better mental health and feeling healthier, it’s easier to just do it.
Side note: it’s really hard to talk about this without sounding like a fitness wanker.
But if you are struggling, trust me on this, you’ll feel better in your mind and get stronger in your body, and have shown yourself that you CAN do it. Good luck. Let me know how you go!