The New Year
My fun experiences on a visit to see family recently made me think about what motivates me to be active everyday and why so many others are motivated to live life with passion, zeal, and work towards happiness. Health is not just for a New Year’s Resolution, working towards wellness is …For Your Life™. I categorized three types of motivations for your amusement and thought. What will motivate you to be healthier in the New Year?
Like millions of others, have you considered doing something healthy as a resolution in the New Year? As you approach the changing times ahead think about why you are building health and activity into your lifestyle. It is more than a New Year’s resolution- it is better health …For Your Life™.
The Big Boss
I exercise to pursue a healthy lifestyle for the big boss, who I recently learned is my one year old daughter. At the airport, the TSA agent said “ how’s the big boss doing” as she smiled and looked at our daughter. She rules our house, but it’s okay by me. I exercise and live the healthiest lifestyle possible so I can endure the good and bad in life and spend time with “The Big Boss” and my family. I want to be healthy enough to hear my daughter say “no” when I ask if she wants a hug or more milk. I live to hear the crying and screaming when she drops her pacifier or her teddy. I embrace when my daughter throws her dead weight on the floor because I didn’t give her the cracker I was eating. You may ask, “why would anyone subject themselves to such turbulence in life”? Here’s why: I live for the “Big Boss” because I want to be there for her and embrace her giggles and struggles as she goes through life. I strength train so I can squat down to pick up her pacifier and Teddy on demand. I do cardiovascular exercise so my heart is strong enough to chase my daughter when she runs away with my phone. I protect my eyes on bright days so I can see well enough to see her smile. I do balance training so I can balance long enough to hold her in one arm, carry 600 pounds of luggage in the other arm, and answer my wife’s phone call as she asks me where I am in line at the airport. I live to work towards a healthier lifestyle for the joy of life with others including “the big boss”.
I realize, it’s not always fun to have to be active and work towards a healthier lifestyle. It takes work. It’s not always fun to listen to your boss, however, you can have fun and get it done. Sometimes projects just have to have get done. Make yourself your project this new year and live life with more activity and do the things you love with those who you love in mind. Exercise and health can be a stabilizer that will help you weather the storms and still feel good throughout. Most importantly, if you are healthy and happy, the big boss and those around you will have someone to look up to; no matter how tall you are.
I work towards a healthier lifestyle to be a better negotiator and to be happier in dealings with people big or small. Better relations with people can make everyone happier, healthier, and more effective leading towards a healthier lifestyle. I recently realized this when taking time to get out and be active. It gives me time to think, reflect, and laugh about an experiences. On my last run, I reflected about how people of any age don’t like having things taken away from them. this was on my mind because I reclaimed my fork back from my daughter at dinner, much to her dismay. In commandeering it, I saw firsthand, “you can’t win them all” as my daughter screamed because I took something away. I did feel kind of bad. But, stuck to my plan and after dinner, as I put on my shoes and headed out for a run, I reflected on that experience and how it applies to everyone’s lives. I thought “what can I do next time”, and I reflected on all the people who set resolutions to remove things from their lives in the New Year without putting something else in place to substitute for the missing component. As a result, happiness suffers and people get upset. So the moral of the story is, don’t take something away without negotiating in a replacement.
From a young age, we learn that having things taken away from us stinks and it is important to provide alternatives.
The next day, when my daughter took a pencil out of my hand, I was quick to try my new technique: negotiation. This time I had an alternative offering. Yes, I am a horrible dad…I made her cry as I took the pencil away. However, I did provide a good alternative to calm her down quickly, a crackly package that had crackers inside. I realized my daughter didn’t want the pencil as much as she wanted what I was holding. She wanted what was in my hand, it was the idea, and if I took it away she was upset.
So here’s the point of this motivating factor, as you go into the New Year, don’t focus on cutting things out of life that you enjoy. Focus on replacing bad habits or unhealthy choices with healthier options or substitutions that you can appreciate. Negotiate with yourself, your friends, and those around you to find ways to a happy resolution. Find a balance between obligations, desires, and goals as well as how you can make compromises to reach happiness and feel good. Take time to exercise and while you’re at it, think about situations and negotiations in your life. Research shows that exercise is good for mental health, but this blog post shows exercise can give you time to reflect on things going on in your life and may even make you a better negotiator.
Strive towards health for you, and do your best everyday to be an example for those around you. As my 92 year old Nana always said, “be a leader, not a follower”. Strive to help yourself and your loved ones work towards a healthier and happier life not just for your “resolution” but for your life. My goal as a health professional and coach is to lead by example whenever possible and help you reach towards your goals, everyday, I won’t give up on you February 3rd or any other day, so you should’t either.
Do you exercise for you too?
I hope you take time for you. If you don’t make time for yourself to be healthier, you may slide towards a less healthy lifestyle and feel bad about yourself. Take time for yourself now and everyday to be empowered to work towards wellness. If you can’t make time for yourself each day, it’s time to prioritize. Put down the video games, get off social media, stop reading this post (and listen to the podcast), and start moving. Do something healthy for you. Your loved ones will appreciate you more and you can enjoy quality time with loved ones because you will feel great about yourself and want to be around others to make them feel great too.
Write down what motivates you and think about these things as you take a journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Live a life to listen for giggles like the ones I that I heard driving home, exhausted, from the airport after 2 weeks away with my family. Live well for the fact that you should be able to enjoy the world around you and time with the ones you love. Listen to the those around you, do things to be healthy with those around you in mind. They want to see you thrive everyday, every year. Negotiate with friends, family, and yourself to find a balance of responsibilities with healthy choices. Find time for you in the New Year, others will rarely put your health first, so you should. Being healthier is not a resolution to start January 1st, make a resolution to be healthier …For Your Life™.