Happy New Year!  Despite the title, I really love this time of year.  I love the feel of new beginnings, a fresh start and the idea of a whole new year in front of us to accomplish our goals or dreams,  have new adventures, create new memories and so much more!

Though many people hate on resolutions because they think they are made to be broken, I like resolutions or what I deem as my yearly goals.  For the past many, many years my sister and I have exchanged goal lists at the beginning of the year.  We both set very specific goals in a variety of categories from health to finances to career goals.  We exchange these lists not to necessarily hold each other accountable (though research shows that sharing goals does help the likeliness of success) but more so we both know what we are working towards throughout the year.  We often check back in throughout the year and see how we are both doing.  This has become a ritual that I love.

But what I do not like about this time of year is so much of the “new year, new you” crap.  Why?  Well, because I do not think there is anything wrong with the old me or the old you.  Am I game for self-improvement?  Hell yes!  Hence, why I set goals every year but we are bombarded with messages (especially women) that we are broken and need to be fixed or changed and it is so exhausting.   I do not care if you have crazy daunting goals such as losing large amounts of weight or totally changing careers or traveling the world.  You do not have to become a new you.  You are magnificent as is.  We probably all have some qualities that we might feel are less than ideal (for me, patience is not my strong suit in any capacity) or could use some improvement  but I do not think I need to be a new me.  I can work on becoming a better version of myself or improving areas but I just cannot stand that just because the calendar says January, we need to be a totally different person.

With that being said, I also want to offer words of encouragement for anyone working towards health/fitness goals this year.  I encourage you to embrace the process and journey.  As a fitness professional, I cannot stand cleanse, detoxes, magic pills, magic shakes, magic supplements, which are also heavily promoted this time of year.  I have been on plenty of meal plans, tried a kajillion supplements and though sure, there are a few things out there that might help, nothing beats consistency of movement and eating whole, nutritious foods most of the time.   Here are a few of the headlines on the covers of a few of the most popular health/fitness magazines for this month that literally make my skin crawl.

Slim in 5 Days!

14-Day Fat Burn Plan!

Shed 5kg and Get Fit Fast!

With headlines like these how do we not become discouraged when we are not slim in 5 days? Losing weight takes time, getting fit takes some time.  Do not berate yourself if you do not lose a pound one week.  Did you exercise and eat well?  Then you made steps towards those goals and did something for you and your body.  I know it is so hard to keep going when you are possibly not seeing the results you want  as fast as you want.   If you feel that you are not moving forward,  then, take action.  What is not working?  Are you eating enough?  Are you allowing ample recovery?  Are you sleeping enough and well?  Do you need to play around with you nutrition a bit?  There is no one size fits all approach to fitness or nutrition. Find out what works for you.  This might take awhile but keep moving forward.  Keep going.  You are worth it.

Timely words from You are a Badass, How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero (which is literally one of the best books I have read lately and highly recommend it) that can really be applied to any goal you are working towards this year:

“Keep moving, keep growing, keep pushing through obstacles, keep evolving.  You break through at one level, arrive at the next, and take another step up.  Each time you grow, you get to learn something new, which basically means you have to get uncomfortable again.  Because when you arrive at a level you’ve never been at before, you’re faced with challenges you’ve never experienced before. It’s the willingness to keep pushing through new challenges, not shrink from them back into your comfort zone, that separates the successful from the unsuccessful.”

Be kind and love yourself always along the way.

Happy, Happy New Year! Here is to an awesome 2017!