2012 came and went and the world didn’t end. In the absence of apocalyptic chaos, our lives continued on, same as it ever was.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
For some people, same as it ever was is a great state. My dad likes to say, “Nothing new is a good thing.” I can see his point, but at the same time, where is the sense of adventure? No newness. No shiny, sparkly fun and daring risk. For those like my dad, those words are mostly meaningless. As long as things continue on as normal, as long as this uncertain equilibrium we have somehow attained stays precariously balanced, everything will be just dandy. And when it tips in one direction or the other, well, then we’ll deal with that when we get there.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I happen to be a fan of new. Of shiny and sparkly and adventure. My dad likes to go to work, come home from work and follow his daily routine to a tee, day after day, year after year.
Routine is important. It helps habituate our actions so that we can spend less time thinking about all the things we do every day. But there are certain things that happen to be hard to routine.
Most of us are making or have already made resolutions for the New Year. While it can be fun to make a resolution, we normally never put the thinking and planning into it that we absolutely need to make the resolution last. And frankly, we just don’t have the time to plan and think so far in advance.
A few years ago, I started making a list of all my resolutions. I had a lot of things I wanted to try and do. It was a mish-mash of bucket list-esque type items, fitness and health-related shoulds and random acts of challenge. Could I drink more water for a week? Could I meditate every day for a month? That sort of thing.
I found that making small commitments helped me try new things and ways of being so that I could decide for myself after a short time whether or not these actions were necessary to my enjoyment of life. Like most people, I admit, I stopped trying after a few months. But over the years, I’ve continued to compile a list of things I want to try.
That’s why this year, I’m enlisting your help to hold me accountable, to sustain my interest and to keep me inspired. When I’m doing this for the benefit of others and with a community, I’m 500% more likely to follow through, and that’s a fact (based on my own personal experience).
I’m calling this my 2013 Wellness Challenge and I want you to be a part of it.
I’ve noticed that wellness is a luxury category (for me at least). Massages are nice, but they are a reward or once-in-awhile treat, even though they should occur regularly to keep us balanced and healthy. Any activity related to taking care of our body has no chance of becoming routine if we keep associating it with a once-in-awhile splurge. These activities have to become priorities, even if they are only able to occur once in a while because of price or location restrictions.
I want to find out the things that work for me, that make me feel so great and healthy that I have to make them part of my regular routine on a daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis. Plus, by investing time, energy and money into wellness, I should be feeling pretty darn good by the end of 2013.
Wellness can be defined in a lot of ways. I like to think of it as a complete system of all the fragmented categories assigned to healthy living. Wellness isn’t just about fitness and maintaining a nice physique, although that is certainly part of it. It isn’t just about eating good, whole foods and avoiding fats, sugar and carbs, but that’s part of it too. Wellness for me is a way of life dependent upon a certain state of happiness that can only be attained by focusing on all areas of body, mind and soul simultaneously. Because it seems impossible to break down into manageable component parts, it can quickly become overwhelming and get thrown into the junk drawer, only to be unearthed…every once in awhile.
Yet, I’ve convinced myself it is possible to take control and construct a working order of wellness activities that can remain present at all times in my daily life. That wellness can become my work, my life and my legacy. That wellness is no luxury, but in fact a necessary need to produce, create and survive optimally in today’s hyperactive world.
So here is how my 2013 Wellness Challenge is going to work. Every week, I’ll be trying something new. By breaking down my year into 52 weeks, I get to experience that sense of adventure and constant change, plus tick off all those want-to-trys off my list. I’ll also figure out what I enjoy, what is hard to do and what needs to absolutely be a part of my life. At the end of the year, I should have a go-to wellness plan to figure out how I can truly find balance between life, work and play.
To get started, I’m going to subtract rather than add. Instead of adding more stress by forcing myself to do something different to enhance my quality life, I’m going to do nothing.
My New Year’s Resolution for the first week of 2013 is to take 10 minutes each day to do absolutely nothing.
Nothing means no tv, no internet, no phone, no talking, no technology, literally nothing. I can stare into space or take a walk in nature or sit on the front stoop. Sounds simple, but I’ve tried it before and it may be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
I invite you to be a part of this project. Each week I’ll post a new challenge. Along the way, I’ll be tracking my energy levels, productivity, creative output and overall wellbeing (feeling good/bad).
By the end of the year, I hope to have found the perfect balance of wellness activities that keep me healthy, energized, youthful and happy for most hours of the day.
Here’s to 2013 – the year of embracing wholistic wellness – body, mind and soul. To trying new things, from traditional to alternative and reporting from the trenches the breakthroughs, obstacles and triumphs that ensue.
To be a part of the 2013 Wellness Challenge, join me on my Facebook page for daily updates. I invite you to do nothing with me for this first week – consider it the Slow Food Movement for productivity; the more we slow down the more we get done, or so they say. We’ll see!
To keep updated on the progress of my 2013 Wellness Challenge, sign up to receive email updates!
Here’s to a fantabulous and well 2013!