Hooray! It’s New Year’s Eve! You’ve done it! You made it through another year. For a lot of people, a new year feels like a reset button. It’s a time to celebrate and set some new goals. People make resolutions to lose weight, get more fit, quit smoking, save more, spend less, be more productive…and the list goes on. From working as a trainer, I know firsthand that the gym is about to get mobbed on January 2. Personally, I think that’s great. Whatever positive motivation people have to make positive changes, I’m all for.
While I’m a fan of all that, I think it is important to reflect on the past year as well–the ups and downs. There is already much to celebrate and much to be thankful for. Sometimes we spend so much time focusing on what we want to improve on and accomplish in the future that we forget to live in the present.
For me, 2016 was an exciting and terrifying year. I made the move from NYC to California, did some international travel, finished my psychology degree, and met Jeff, who I’m especially grateful for. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone by moving and by taking swimming lessons to conquer my fear of drowning. On the down side, my health has been a struggle this year. Dealing with a bunch of mysterious bloating from random food allergies while working as a trainer and going to lingerie castings for modeling was a pain in the ass and not ideal. I’ve been tired–so incredibly tired and brain fogged sometimes that it overwhelms and frightens me, and trying to get my body balanced from Hashimoto’s, adrenal issues, hormonal dysfunctions from my hysterectomy, and healing my gut were not on my list of things I wanted to do for 2016 (or ever), but they’re part of my journey and are continuing to teach me and shape me.
Shifting my focus from what bothers me to what I’m grateful for has been healing in and of itself. I wholeheartedly believe in the mind/body connection, and I think that practicing an attitude of gratitude, as cheesy as it might sound, is vital to happiness and all aspects of health. Many factors lie outside of our control, but we can decide how we process those and what we do with them. One of my favorite quotes is from Viktor E. Frankl, a neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor– “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”.
So as you anticipate what lies ahead in 2017 and all of the things that you want, take some time to reflect on all that you already have. Even in the bad times, there are lessons to be learned, and sometimes we find our purpose and our passion from our miseries. Take some time to think about the people you’ve spent time with and the experiences you’ve had in 2016 and celebrate the victories you’ve had, even if they seem small to you. They’re not. They’re huge. Be proud of them. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. All that good positive stuff.
Here’s to 2017. I’m determined to quit slacking on Protein Pants, to continue healing, to be grateful, to continue facing my fears, and to add to my fanny pack collection.
Photo by David Potter
What are you grateful for this year?