I have a confession: I am not perfect. I do not have all the answers. I am not super mom. My house can be quite messy at times. I do not work faster than the speed of light. I am constrained to the same 24-hour day as every other mom in the world. I am a 100% normal, average mom.
I do believe that we make time for the things we value most. I also know that putting that into practice is easier said than done. Between teaching our children strong values, paying the bills, placing a healthy meal on the table, and saving the planet, it can be difficult to prioritize between so many worthy desires and intentions. And yet that same 24-hour day looms over all of us, forcing us to prioritize, select, and let go of what we cannot make room for.
With the New Year, many of us are trying to refocus our lives upon the goals we desire most. Many of us are making health-related resolutions. I want to lose weight. I want to eat less sugar. I want to eat more vegetables. I want to work out more. Even though we may value our health, we allow other things to take precedence over maintaining and promoting our health. The threat of lifestyle-caused chronic diseases is an intangible nuisance that we tell ourselves we will deal with next week when this big project or that big event is passed and we have more time. But next week is just as busy, as is the next after that, and before we know it, another year has passed. Our health is theoretically important to all of us. But we all have to find our own reasons and motivations to sincerely commit ourselves to promoting our own personal health each and every day.
I have a confession: I am not a runner. Looking at my Pinterest boards, you wouldn’t know it. I have hundreds of pins to inspire me to run, in a vain attempt to convince myself that I like running. In theory, I love the idea of running. I love the idea of the solitude, getting lost in my music on my iPod, or getting lost in nature, and burning away all my stress and worries, just free.
But when I actually put it in to practice, I am slow. I am short of breath. I am clumsy and awkward and out of shape. After what feels like an hour, I finally reach the end of the block panting and with a stitch in my side, and glance at my watch. Five minutes. You have got to be kidding me.
I hate every second of running.
So why do I try so hard to make myself get into running? I do it for myself, I do it for my husband, I do it for my daughters. I do it for my future, and I do it to be here and present in this day. This is the only body I’ve got, and I’ve got to make it last me a life time.
First and foremost, I want to run for myself. I choose to show myself love and respect in the ways that I care for my body. Every decision we make today about what we put into our bodies and how we care for and treat our bodies will impact our health and quality of life for years to come. The countless benefits of exercise are no secret. You can find endless articles about how regular exercise can afford you better sleep, better focus, better energy. I want this for me. I want this for me, so I can better enjoy the things in life that make me happy. And like laundry and dishes, maintaining our health is one of those things that has to be done every day, even though it was just done yesterday.
I want to run for my husband. Although we made vows to each other in sickness and in health, I would much prefer to offer my husband a life time together of health, if it is at all within my power. I imagine one day, after our children are grown and on their own, traveling every corner of the globe with my husband. I intend to have the health and energy to make that a reality for us.
I want to run for my girls, and this purpose is two-fold. First, I want to demonstrate healthy lifestyle habits for my girls; children learn by our example. Every parent wishes health for their children, even before they are born. How many of you have heard or even said the words, “I don’t care if it’s a boy or girl, as long as they’re healthy.” What more could we actively do on a daily basis to inspire and teach our children life-long, healthy habits from a young age? And secondly, I want to run for my girls so I can actively be there for them when they celebrate, when they struggle, when they embark on new adventures, and when their hearts ache. I want to be there at all their great milestones in life, in full health and vigor.
I want to run to be present here and now. I want to run to forget about the traffic I was caught in earlier, or to shake off the frustration of the broken dishwasher. I want to run to release the stress of my day. I find that I am so much more patient with my family when I find time for myself, to clear my mind. And when my mind is clear, I am also more present and attentive with them.
So this year, I resolve to love and respect myself through running. I intend to run at least twice a week, and I intend to participate in a fun run or obstacle course this fall. I have my resolution taped inside my daily planner. I will hold myself accountable to all of you, my readers, and will keep you updated quarterly on my progress.
I am also going to keep a bullet journal to track my progress and keep me focused, which seems like a win-win in multiple ways for me. First, they just look like fun! I am by no means an artist, but who doesn’t enjoy doodling? Second, although I may not be an artist, my girls are. It would make them ecstatic to have me doodling by their side while they create their masterpieces. Quality time spent doing something my girls love, while I keep my eyes on the prize. Win-win.
A kind and wise individual once told me, don’t say you should do something; say you will do something. I would love to hear from you, what resolutions you’re making this year and how you intend to keep them!
For further inspiration on making and keeping resolutions, check out my post Why I Make New Year’s Resolutions.