Happy 2013 everyone! 2012 was a tumultuous and challenging year, but, for myself, it was full of exciting changes, new relationships, fun adventures and many situations that taught me more about myself than I have ever learned before. I had a wonderful holiday vacation and enjoyed some relaxing time off with people I love, and I’m ready to tackle 2013!
I started the year off by leading a great workshop at Gramercy Pilates Fitness on the dangers of sugar, thank you again to all who attended 🙂 I began my rehearsals with the Metropolitan Opera for the upcoming production of Parsifal this spring and am enjoying getting used to a new and challenging schedule, as well as getting to make dancing my primary job! I have been meeting with new clients and helping them begin to navigate their wellness journey and make lasting changes that will allow them to live fulfilling and healthy lives.
Even with all these great things happening in my life, I still wanted to take the time to make some resolutions and goals for the coming year. I have trouble making “New Years Resolutions” because of what that phrase seems to encapsulate: the feeling that you have to set out to make grand, sweeping changes in yourself and your life and that if you fail to achieve these goals, you’ve failed yourself. In the past, I have made the mistake that many have made, which is to try to achieve too many goals, or make goals that are too broad and challenging to meet all at once: “I’m going to get healthy!”, “I’m going to change my diet!”, “I’m going to be happy and positive!”. Sure I am.
Don’t get me wrong, I think resolutions are wonderful tools for enacting change and becoming aware of your bad habits. Just by acknowledging that you have an aspect of your life that you’d like to improve upon, you will begin to bring more awareness to your choices surrounding that area. In fact, research has shown that you are 10 times more likely to self-change if you make a resolution than if you make no promise at all. That’s the great thing about it; it’s a promise to yourself. You wouldn’t break a promise you made to your dearest friend, so it’s it’s more likely you’ll succeed if you value yourself just as much and do your best to live our that promise.
However, it’s hard to stick to our resolutions when they’re broad statements like “I’m going to get healthy!”. You need to decide what “healthy” means to you. Do you want to do more exercise that you enjoy? Do you want to eat more vegetables? Do you want to get more sleep? Specify one or two areas you’d like to work on and then dissect them even more to find your starting line. If your goal is to eat more vegetables, start by choosing a vegetable you enjoy and adding into one meal a day. Once you feel good about that, add another vegetable. Next, try adding them into two meals a day. Then maybe try a brand new vegetable you’ve never tasted before. Slowly, you’ll train your palette to enjoy eating vegetables with each meal and you’ll be more inclined to try unfamiliar foods.
If you “fall off of the wagon”, so what? Get back on! The mistake that many people make surrounding resolutions is thinking that they have to achieve the whole thing all at once, and do it rather quickly, or else they’ve failed. Lasting change can only come with time and commitment. Taking small steps, like those I’ve illustrated above with incorporating more veggies into a diet, is the way to go. Once you’ve accomplished one step, be sure to celebrate and reward yourself; go see a movie or get a mani/pedi, or any way you want to acknowledge your progress will help you stay on track. If you have a week or two where you’re stressed at work and can’t find the time to cook your greens for dinner causing you to resort to grabbing something on the go, it’s ok! Give yourself a break! Take a moment to think about where you might be able to grab something that’s more healthy, even if it’s a bit farther out of the way. Then, sit down with your schedule and see if there’s an hour you can set aside just for picking up that head of kale on the way home and steaming it right when you walk in the door. Then you can put it all in tupperware containers in the fridge and you’ve got almost a week’s worth of kale ready to grab on your way out the door!
So don’t worry about achieving perfection, you’re human! I know it’s hard to remember sometimes, especially when society demands so much of us in our jobs, social lives, relationships, personal appearance, etc. But honestly, making a resolution is something to do for you and only you. Something that will bring you joy or help you feel more energized, instead of what someone else wants you to do, is what you want to focus on. My resolution this year is two-fold: 1. Get more and better quality sleep. I plan on achieving this by giving myself an actual bed time and creating a calmer pre-sleep environment by shutting off the computer or TV at least half an hour before getting into bed. 2. Take more enjoyable dance and exercise classes. As a professional dancer, I tend to get wrapped up in making sure each class I take is serving me by forcing me to work on my technique, alignment, breaking bad habits, blah, blah, blah. I’d rather take more fun classes, like hip hop, salsa, tap, and different exercise approaches like Zumba and aerial work. I feel that if I remind myself of why I love to dance (because it’s fun!), I will go through these long days of rehearsals, teaching, and coaching with more energy and a sense of fulfillment. All in all, I want to remind myself how lucky I am for getting to do what I love and to take advantage of all the fun and exciting things that are out there! I hope you will too, happy New Year!