Like so many of you, the New Year brings a certain sense of renewed willingness to try and be disciplined. Some take this more seriously than others and I typically have not. I was never big on New Year’s Resolutions, probably because I didn’t see the value in them but more likely, I was a bit lazy. But one thing I’m trying to do this year is encourage myself to be more mindful of my choices. I’m trying to be more aware and more conscious of what I consume: whether it is food or literature.
On Tuesday I wrote about the importance of reading books. For many this is a natural and enjoyable pleasure and others have no interest in reading. I challenged you to give reading a try. It will require some effort on your part but maybe it is time to put effort into something that can be very valuable. But, there are other things that I think require a little of my focus and maybe yours too. The new year can be a good time to add some other disciplines. Why not join me and focus on eating better and exercising more. Let’s start with food.
It’s 4 p.m. and I was in the mood for something to snack on. I didn’t want to eat something unhealthy, well I did but I grabbed a pear. It was a bosc pear. I think it was the best pear I ever ate. It was the right firmness and so very sweet. I wish eating something healthy always brought such satisfaction but at least for now-it really satisfied my tastebuds. Perhaps, once in awhile, a simple deliberate decision to eat something healthier can start you on a track towards an improved habit. So much of what we do is void of intentional thought. We fail to consider the consequences of our actions. If we think before we eat, maybe, just maybe we’ll make a more reasonable effort to eat the right food or eat a little less. At least this is my hopeful intention.
My husband and I did not exchange Christmas gifts this year but decided to join the local YMCA. This may not sound too appealing to some, but here in North Carolina, YMCA’s are quite nice. The YMCA near our home was just renovated so the equipment is new and the space is lovely. While at the “Y” I worked on a few machines. What was revealed to me and confirmed what has been proven- it’s a lot easier to lose weight by consuming less calories compared to burning them through physical activity. I rowed 2000 meters on the rowing machine and burned not much more than 100 calories! It would have been much easier to not eat something versus rowing 2000 meters. Again, the mental discipline comes into play, if I am able to consume less and exercise more, hopefully some positive outcomes are part of my future. I am notorious for excuses. Again, usually it’s due to a lack of discipline or motivation, but if I’m honest, I’m just being a bit lazy. However, one does not have to join a gym or the YMCA to exercise. There are endless possibilities that are affordable or even free.
You can go outside and walk or download an app on your phone, tablet or computer. I started doing this recently. Social media is a provider of information that we never knew we needed. It was on Instagram that I came across an app called 8fit. I downloaded the app for free and started a new exercise program right in the comfort of my home. The app offers phone reminders, which I find is helpful, and you don’t need any equipment other than a mat, a chair and a wall. I assume most of us have those items. It’s all rather doable, and if I did not join the YMCA, I think this would be a good option. I will continue to follow this app because I know I won’t be going to the YMCA everyday. If I can set aside a few minutes each day at home, hopefully a new habit will form and this new tendency will be profitable.
So there you have some mindful decisions I’m working on this New Year! Not a big deal but something to recognize and to try.
Try to be more mindful of your choices. Actually stop and think before you pick out something to eat. (think of how many miles you have to walk or meters to row to burn those calories)
Try simple disciplines like reading a book. You’ll find the more you read, the more you’ll enjoy reading
Exercise doesn’t have to be costly or difficult. Use what you have. If you have sneakers-you can walk. If you have a cell phone or a TV, you can find an exercise program. Send yourself reminders, put exercise on your schedule, you’re more likely to follow through if you plan for it.
These truly are simple tasks that we all can accomplish which will add real value to our lives. Why not make this the year of some disciplinary action? I know I haven’t been overly motivated in the past but I hope to have some success in 2019. I think it is important to be purposeful in our actions. I know I need to stop and think before I consume and try and be more mindful of the decisions I make. Deliberate actions.