Setting intentions, manifesting the life you want, a new you in this new year, it can be a bit much. Personally, when January arrives, I’m just in the middle of winter, post holiday break, trying to tie up the year end for my business, and back to the mix of my kindergartner’s social activity calendar. Waking up on time for school has been our new year goal. The ability to goal setting, forms positive habits and proactively reflect on your life, are all basically an art form in themselves. The way you go about doing so and when, can make all the difference. As a business owner this reflection is constant. As a dancer and mover, I rely heavily on my positive habits; as an instructor, goal setting for my students is a constant theme.
But let’s boil all “goals” down. What is the goal of a goal? The goal of a goal, habit or reflection is: Happiness.
What is the goal of writing this and how do I articulate what I am trying to say? I want to share what works for me and the difference between my students that go this route vs the ones that don’t. Develop processes that make you happy! There is a consistent focus on “how” instead of “what.” It allows me to accept my flaws and truly bring me joy in what otherwise and often would be mundane. It can sometimes delay the final product but I assure you the long term effect is that there will be one and you will be happier with new ways of doing things. If you can shift the goal to a creative processes that allows you to enjoy “how” you accomplish anything- the success will then be in the process and joy will be in how you are actually living, working, and moving.
Some examples for me:
- In Business: Create a positive work flow and work space
For most of us in business, the list is seemingly endless. Specifically for me, it has been introducing digital content and getting our virtual site running properly while creating a catalog of specific on demand videos that has taken me longer than I planned. However, it has been more important to me to create a work flow of ‘how’. I create content that feels good in my body and made sense to my mind logistically. Nothing brings me greater connectivity than movement. I love my career path because bodies are the instruments and it is not digital. It was imperative that if I were to enter the digital/tech world, it had to be in balance to real life, and the process had to make me happy. Or else I would just go into investment banking. The result is that I am enjoying what I am creating for you and our community at Physio Logic / BPA – NYC, rather than just putting more on my plate and feeling like I was taking on too much. Just doing it because it was a “goal” would have lead to burn out and then no more consistent creativity.
2. In Pilates, Sports, Movement Arts, or going through a Teacher Training Course: Don’t just go with the flow.
No exercise or exercise regime is going to change you just by doing it. To see results you have to do three things.
- Make it feel good. Hard work and pushing yourself should feel good. Try many things with many teachers and coaches until you find it. Choose movement that feels good. I don’t mean that it feels like a massage while you are doing it but that it feels good mentally and physically afterward.
- Technique matters. Not having perfect technique, but the act of knowing and trying is where the benefits are held. How do you move? What is your positioning? How do your hands and feet connect to the floor or space around you? How are you carrying your head? Is your lower back supported? Is your mind focused on the body? Is your body active that it can divert the mind away from the outside world? Can you do all of these things simultaneously so you don’t have to think about it when you move?! When people ask me how much they need to exercise, in my mind I always think, well “how” do you exercise? I assure you that if you are fully engaged mind and body, the answer is half of the time for double the benefit. If you are all in mentally and physically then you will want to do it all the time.
- How can you work exercise into your life in a way that makes you happy? I added in 4 days a week of taking my daughter to after school activities and in order to make it joyful, I started biking her everywhere. Honestly, half the joy for both of us has become the commute. It’s not schlepping, it’s how we schlep.
3. Healthy Eating Habits: Food prep and stock for nutrients, energy, and anti-inflammatory properties.
This is always a big one for people and I divert to my colleagues to give serious nutrition advice regarding the ideals on what you consume. While this is very important, it is important to create a flow or routine for yourself regarding when you prepare your food, the quantity you consume, and your consistency with your healthiest habits. I am a big foodie, and love a nice big dinner. Three things I am passionate about in the food department is:
- Consuming nutrient rich foods to avoid the midday lull and a spiral into unhealthy patterns.
- Preparing healthy comfort food. I am also passionate about gluten and pizza so I have to make an effort to balance this out throughout the week.
- Anti/inflammatory diet choices included in meals or as supplementation. Awareness in this department has been a game changer for me. (Balancing out my love of gluten for almond and chick peas flour products.)
For me, I recognize that it is making time to food prep or cook and not waiting until “everything else is done” to allow myself the luxury of “cooking”. I do enjoy being in the kitchen prepping or cooking if I do a list all at once. Often on a Thursday when I feel the week unwinding or on a weekend morning. Having groceries delivered has been a game changer, handing me hours each month to put into activating better habits for my family. But more home cooked meals is still a major goal.
Start with three things you can have on hand that keep you energized and/or that have anti-inflammatory properties. Try to accumulate habits that can be maintained and which feel good.Some examples for me:
- I’ll blend and press enough ginger to last a month by making ginger ice cubes.
- The freezer is always stocked with fruits and greens for midday smoothies.
- Creating an accessible space with jars of chia, flax, hemp seeds, ghee butter, powders, honey, and different oils to add to drinks and food rather than a dozen bags piled in my pantry, has been helpful to actually follow through with incorporating these powerful foods.
- We make homemade pancakes or waffles with almond flour that can be eaten sweet or savory.
- I’ll also make a pot of grass fed beef and bean chili to be used in tacos, or yummy nachos. I could be a much healthier eater in many ways, but the habits I choose to accumulate are feasible for consistency, they taste good, and feel good to me.
I am by far a chef, but I think this theme might be my one of my next blogs.
Until then embrace the winter, get outside to feel the sun on your face, and when you are inside, try Phase 2 of my “Don’t Go Downhill Unless iI’s Skiing” series, “Black Diamond”.
View two 50 min on demand workouts on virtualogic.earth. This site is currently open without subscription and accepting donations. All proceeds go to in house scholarships to bring Pilates and mindful movement to those who may not otherwise have access to it.
And here is Part 2 of the “Ski” inspired exercises that can be done on the mat or on the Pilates apparatus. Remember to focus on high quality movement and make it feel good!