Thứ Ba, 15 tháng 1, 2013

New Years Goals. . .with Intention

       Am I ambitious? Yes. But normally I'm not much of a "New Years Resolutions" kind of person; normally I'm not any kind of solid goals person. They scare me! I like to be flexible and things often don't work out how I plan, so instead of making structured goals I find myself with an end result in mind, and then adapting different means to get to that end according to what fits my daily life.
       Well that works to varying degrees. But this year I have come up with a plan!The best thing about this plan is that none of it, none of it, is designed to be all-or-nothing; I can get back on the wagon if I find myself drifting. I can celebrate and use getting back on the wagon as a confidence booster instead of being upset about setting myself behind schedule.

       If you're familiar with yoga, you may have heard of "intentions." The instructor will often say, "Set an intention for this workout." What does that mean?? My sister Robyn, who has practiced yoga consistently for over two years, describes setting an intention as, "something you're working towards in your practice or for your practice to do for you, but not something so important that if your practice leads you in another direction that wasn't your intention,  you can follow that instead." I love intentions because they leave room for needed adjustments!
       For 2013, I have set goals and then come up with intentions that support them. If my intentions end up not supporting my goal like I thought they would, I can change them. You are welcome to take or leave them for yourself. Ultimately, I hope you think about the principles discussed and make some uplifting New Years Intentions of your own!

Goal #1-I will better learn how to think, and speak, truth about myself and others.
Okay, great start. How am I going to do this?
Intention #1- I will not think or say derogatory things about others, even in jest.
"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."-T.H. Thompson and John Watson
        Think of the number of people you know who struggle with family relationships, financial problems, or less-than-kind people around them. Think of all the battles you fight. Remember you're not the only one fighting. 
       Wouldn't you appreciate being around someone who didn't put you down, even in jest? Wouldn't you trust someone so much more if you never heard them speak ill of others? I want to work towards being that kind of person.
Intention #2-I will not think or say derogatory things about myself, even in jest.
"That was just me being stupid, I guess!" "Get it together Grace, you're such a mess." "I hope I don't see this guy today, I don't look very good." 
       How many times a week, or even a day, do I think or say things like this?
       While I can't say for sure how much of a negative impact doing this has on a person, I can say it doesn't have  a positive impact. And what a confidence boost when I stop myself and say, "WAIT. That's not true! Grace, you are [smart/handling a lot right now/beautiful even if your jeans don't fit as well as they did before Christmas]."
       Another helpful way to combat these statements is, "Hey, don't say that about my friend!" The following experience was shared at Especially For Youth several years ago and has stuck with me--my councilor had slept in, walked into a meeting late, and apologized with something along the lines of, "Sorry, I can't be on top of things apparently!"  The meeting leader, who was also a personal friend, shot back, "Hey, don't say that about my friend!" It took my councilor aback; she realized she wouldn't ever say that to one of her friend's in that situation, so why was she saying it about herself?!

Goal #2-I will empower my body. Our bodies are not things to be conquered, but things to be cultivated.  I will cultivate my body to be the best house it can be for my spirit.
Intention #1-Exercise
       Growing up I was encouraged to be active, but didn't play organized sports.  I didn't know enough about sports to participate in conversations about them, and in my mind the people who could were the "fit" people. I never felt "part of the club". In the back of my mind I still struggle with feeling I'm not smart or disciplined enough to be "part of the fit club" because I don't remember who played in the World Series last year. 
        I projected my insecurities onto how I thought others would judge me. Do you ever find yourself doing that? I let those insecurities be my reality, but they don't have to be! I finally feel confident enough in my knowledge of how my body works, and how to work my body, to feel I can successfully change my identity mindset about fitness.
       I notice that when I strength train, I have less aches and pains in my back and joints. When I do aerobic exercise, my mood and energy levels are better. My self control around food also gets a lot better! All of these help my body be in a position to not constrain my spirit.
       I have decided I want to a)focus on strengthening my upper body (Which I have always considered my weak spot. . . not for long!) and b)run a 5k in under 30 minutes by my birthday, which is 8 weeks away.  I have always wanted to be a runner, but how was I supposed to be a runner when my knees would swell up like a prom zit after a few runs, or my arches were constantly getting sprained? I know, WHO SPRAINS THEIR ARCHES?!  Now that I've learned how to manage these anomalies, I have chosen a highly recommended training plan and have a clear goal. I haven't been so excited about a fitness goal in a long time!
Intention #2-Paying attention to how different foods affect my mind and body.
       I am excellent at paying attention to how foods taste, but as I've learned more truths about the ways food and my body interact (rather than the constantly changing touts off magazine covers), I have started to think about how foods make me feel. I'm becoming more sensitive to how different amounts of foods make me feel, but what about the foods themselves? Everyone has a different genetic make up, and what nutrients best attune my hormones to keep my mind awake and restful at the appropriate times, and what keeps my body functioning at an optimal level? What does my body functioning at its optimal level even feel like?

I am excited to experience the reality of the known blessings of my goals and see what unexpected blessings come from fulfilling my intentions.

What part of your beauty will YOUR New Years Resolutions recapture? I'd love to hear in the comments below!


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