Friday, December 30, 2011

A New Year's Motivation

Here we are again, another year starts soon... isn't it curious how we could choose to make monumental improvements to out lifestyle at any time of the year, but we often only find the motivation or inspiration to do so around the technical beginning of a new calendar year? Maybe it's the fact that we get to write "Day #1: ___" and it really will be 1/1/2012, or maybe it's that we refuse to bring a certain bad habit (or lack of a good one) into another year of our lives.

Reflection on the past is often what fuels our desire
for a change for the better in the future. 

If you were to look back at the past year, paying attention to what brought you joy... and what made you unhappy; what gave you energy... and what made you feel depleted; what empowered you... and made made you worthless; what enriched your spirit... and what corroded your character; what softened and nurtured your heart... and what broke it. What would you change?

The goal for the gift of a new year should be to focus on that which brought joy, happiness, energy, self-worth,enriched your spirit, and nurtured your heart. Why focus on your failures, faults, or shortcomings? Why not focus on the good things and do more of them! It's like going through a buffet line and filling your plate with healthy, nutritious choices and by the end of the line when you hit the deserts and mac'n'cheese you don't have any room for that crap! Fill up on good, so there's no room for the bad. Challenges have their place, and they make us stronger and better... but there's plenty of them on the road to somewhere good without looking for them "fixing" what is wrong!

"Each challenge I have encountered has made me reach higher, train harder, and escalate my mental and physical discipline to levels beyond what I had ever imagined I was capable of." ~ Jen Jewel WBFF Pro  

"Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear."  ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I encourage you to really think about what you enjoyed doing this last year and what you're proud of. Write it down! Make a list of the things that give you that same feeling of joy and you'd be proud if you accomplished them in 2012. You don't have to share this list with anyone; in fact, I encourage you not to so your dreams can be untamed: wild and seemingly unattainable to the world, but because you're not plastering them all over Facebook you don't have to keep them "realistic" Let your dreams be your goals, and then go make them reality!

I found that journaling is a great way to reflect and remember all the blessings I've had over the years. I started journaling again recently, and at the suggestion of someone I hardly know (but know they were in my life for a reason!) I started writing down my "Daily Blessings" at the end of each day. It's amazing to read back, even over a couple days, and see how many blessings I truly do have! Acknowledging them makes me so much happier, thankful, and content. That's the first good habit I'm taking into 2012... journaling my blessings daily!

My journal is filled with secret and honest
reflections on each day. Not only the good,
but the bad too, so I can do better tomorrow!
Like I said, my list of empowering and joyful activities that I plan to focus on in 2012, and dreams for the future are best kept as goals cherished in my heart... but I did write them down in my journal, so when 2013 rolls around I can look back and smile: "Check!"

One of my favorite things to do each year is to create a fitness vision board with thoughts, quotes, photos, and athletes that inspire and motivate me. Do you do this too? If so, I'd love to see it! This is something I totally recommend you share on Facebook :p Here's mine:

My board features clipings from my longtime favorites: Jamie Eason and Oxygen
magazine, and some fresh inspiration from athletes I truly admire as of late: Nicole Wilkins,
Nicole Nagrani, Steve Cook, and Mona Muresan. Who would make your board?
I have one last motivational kick in the pants for you, literally! I got new Nikes today (my last ones had definitely seen their fair share of miles, lunes, and squat jumps). I LOVE the colors and they're incredibly comfortable. I could add these to my list of things that bring me joy ;)

A new year doesn't mean a new you... You are amazing, you are exactly what God designed you to be! You will never be anyone else, and you should never try to be. Just be the best versions of YOU and let others inspire you to reach that goal. A new year can mean a new attitude, a new chance, a new hope, and a new ___ ? ....
You ARE capable of a great many things...

Let's find out!

     Ruthie xoxo

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