Let's be real, the day after December 31 is just another day. The pandemic will not magically vanish and our stress and anxiety won't fade into the inky darkness of night. BUT we have managed to survive the chaos of 2020. We have also learned a lot more about ourselves in the process, and that's a big deal, don't forget that. So, let's clear out the past and set our intentions for a happy, healthy, strong and harmonious new year. This is a moment to be grateful for what we have, to remember what we have lost, and to consider our weaknesses and work just a little harder on strengthening ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually.
I will begin my new year with Gratitude.
It's unfortunate that practicing gratitude has been co-opted by "influencers" and wellness gurus who in many ways cheapen the meaning and practice of being grateful. Gratitude, in its simplest form is appreciating what we receive, tangible or intangible. With gratitude, we can acknowledge all the good things in our lives. Practice long enough and you will recognize that the source of all those good things live mostly outside ourselves. This often results in connection to something larger than ourselves — other people, nature, higher power, etc. Starting 2021 off with making gratitude lists here and there (starting a practice) will change your life for the better. Promise.
I will also continue to Just Sit.
Just sit? Yes, just sit. I am not going to call it meditation because if you're reading this and don't already have a meditation practice and see that word instead, you might skim over it. So, just sit. One of the hardest things to do for many of us is to just sit without a phone or television or iPad or book or snack or *fill in the blank*. The once common act of just sitting quietly with ourselves has been destroyed by the world of distractions that are always calling out to us. You don't need to worry, that email will still be there, and Instagram won't go anywhere. And you can save that doom scroll for another time. You'll find after you do this for a while that your day goes a little more smoothly. You might just be a bit more calm and have better focus, too.
Start with 1 minute then add on a minute or 2 each week. Get comfortable, close your eyes if you wish, breathe deeply. If you want to actually start a meditation practice? I can't wait to start providing guided meditations and meditation instruction when we launch our new services on January 11!
I will Keep Going.
There will always be good times and bad times. For many of us 2020 was a bad year that we just want to end, and that's okay. Making it through such a trying time on earth is nothing short of heroic. You might have lost friends or loved ones. You might be struggling with money. You might have relapsed... but you are still here, so keep going. Be good to yourself and others and reach out for help if needed.
I promise you that you are stronger than you think.
-- Chris Hostetler, founder, Do Not Die Young
The DNDY team has made a selection of smart, doable suggestions for diving deeper into the new year resolution cycle. We wanted to make our suggestions easy and accessible, without any "challenges" or "new year, new you" short-term, unsustainable goal-chasing tips.
Jess Bernal, MA, LMFT, Do Not Die Young's Mental Wellness Consultant, provides their expert input: Year after year, many of us have big plans come January 1st. Exercise every day, start using that treadmill, read 50 pages of a book a day, quit smoking. Then these big plans fizzle out after a few weeks. More often than not, part of the reason we have trouble keeping “New Year Resolutions” is because we are not SMART about it. If you make your goals SMART, you will increase your chances of success:
Specific + Measurable + Achievable + Relevant + Timely
Specific: Make your goal well-defined and clear so you know when you are meeting it.
Timely: Set time frames for yourself. Part of the reason that “New Year Resolutions” are unsuccessful is because 365 days is a long time to wait to feel the accomplishment of meeting your goal. Try to set small and obtainable goals.
Michael Anderson, CSCS, Do Not Die Young's Strength, Conditioning and Fitness Coach (and new papa) brings us home with some simple and sage advice: Like you read above, create tangible goals for yourself. Remember that they don't have to be insane goals. My personal goal is to train 3x a week, a doable goal to begin the new year. I will also take time to assess how last year went. Obviously, 2020 presented some barriers we didn’t expect, but how can we plan and work around them in ‘21?
Don't put off getting some assistance! Social media is littered with fitness professionals, some are amazing and some are hot garbage. Find someone who seems like they jive with you and pick their brain or employ them for some training. And most importantly, Don’t forget that the gym and exercise is supposed to be a place/time to blow off some steam.
Wishing you the absolute best in the new year!
- The DNDY team
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Don't forget, our new coaching opens January 11, 2021!