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A Reflection of 2023

Dec 15, 2023

It's wrap up time. Time to look back and reflect on my year, my choices, and my trajectory for the year to come. When I do this, I do it objectively. I do not judge, shame, or ridicule. I was not always this way and so this is why working on your mindset, I believe, is actually more important.

Let's get physical though.

In January 2023, I set a quarterly goal. I wanted to consistently lift 4 days a week. I wanted to be able to walk on the treadmill uphill for 30 minutes at level 15 incline (which is the highest level) wearing two sets of ankle weights and a weighted vest. I couldn't do this in January when I set the goal.

By the first quarter, I had achieved my goal of lifting 4 days a week and I walked uphill at level 15 incline with the added weight for one hour three times a week. I surprised myself.

The second quarter I added on, since now these things have become habitual. That's a clue. I didn't start and stop. I didn't say I was doing everything and not stay consistent and then complain. I honestly committed to the work I set out to do and made it habitual, and then it was time to tweak my goals for the second quarter.

Goal setting has to be like this. You cannot add on until the first thing has become your foundation. And if the first goal hasn't become a foundation, then you have to scale that goal back until it does. This is where most clients go wrong. They set a goal they truly aren't committed to or one that is too high and then fall short. Then they shame themselves and wonder why nothing is changing. Nothing changes if you keep doing the same thing and expect different results. I wrote about this on another blog earlier this year. ( If you aren't hitting your first goal, then it has to be scaled back into smaller steps.

Years ago, when I had a horrible mindset, I set a goal to change my relationship with the word commitment. I decided for 60 days I would commit to a tiny baby goal just to begin to change my relationship with that word. That word used to cause me anxiety. And so small steps were where I needed to be. If you aren't able to achieve goals, then the first place to look is what your relationship to the word commitment looks and feels like. And then you MUST scale back to smaller goals. Otherwise, it's like trying to jump to step 7 when you are on step one. And doing this cause overwhelm and anxiety.

By the second quarter, I was ready to add on to my new foundation. I switched from butter to ghee. I started reading ALL the labels and really looking at condiments and sauces that were loaded with sugar that I didn't realize were loaded with sugar. And I switched out all of my dressings and so forth. I committed to getting 100 grams of protein per day. And then I continued to lift 4 days a week and kept up with my cardio.

By the third quarter, the new sauces, dressings, and 100 grams of protein had become my new foundation. And therefore, I was ready to tweak and add on. I bumped my protein up from 100 to 200 grams. This quarter I also wanted to up my cardio. What better way to do that than to sign up for a 10-mile race. (I'm not suggesting anyone run who isn't into running here). But I am suggesting that you stretch yourself beyond what you are doing. Add a walk in the morning. Add steps before/after your workout. Add a lunchtime walk. Add a dance class, pickleball, swimming, hiking, something must happen. You can't keep getting results by doing the same thing as you progress. It requires more. It always requires MORE.

I trained for the race, and it was a great reminder of why I gave up running a while back. It was a bit too consuming for me. It hurt my joints. Was it good for me to experience it? Yes. But I learned that other forms of cardio are better for me for where I am at now in my life. Other forms of cardio I enjoy much more than running. I learned what to tweak and so then it was time to look towards the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, I bumped my lifting up to 5 days a week and decided I wanted to get 10k steps per day. Those steps don't have to be actual steps from walking. You can use Google and convert all forms of cardio to steps. Everything from rowing, to dancing, to hula-hooping, to swimming and everything in between. I took up my passion for dance and started taking an hour-long dance class on most Sundays. I signed up for a hula-hoop dance teacher certification and that's become a main form of cardio for me now. It has helped me strengthen my core tremendously and alleviate back pain while not putting the stress and strain on my joints like running did. There is always a way. I don't care what limitations you are married to in your mind. You can get it done. I work 40 hours a week and spend another 30 hours a week painting and I still get my workouts in. It can be done no matter how busy you are. You just have to get creative, be willing, and committed to doing it. There's that word again. Commitment. How's it landing in your body? Does it make you feel anxious? Then you know where the work lies.

So here we are in the fourth quarter and I just did my InBody. Was I perfect? No. I don't always get my 200 grams of protein. It's not habitual yet. I don't always get my 10k steps a day, but I'm getting closer. Overall this year, since January, I have lost 1% body fat and gained 2% muscle. My weight fluctuates about 5 lbs back and forth, which is normal. That might not sound like a lot statistically, but it is.

Here's what's different. My clothes fit better. I see muscle definition in my body. My core is a lot stronger. All my ankle pain and back pain are gone. I'm doing way harder workouts now than I did in January. I'm doing more rounds and lifting heavier. My endurance has improved. My mobility has drastically improved. I'm going into 2024 at a higher benchmark than I started with in 2023. I leveled up my foundation. I committed to my goals each quarter and then added on. I tweaked what needed to be tweaked. Normally, at this time of year, I gain weight. My InBody today showed me that I'm the same weight as the last one I did, but I have increased muscle and for me during the holidays I'm normally way heavier. That's solid. What this tells me is that there is major hope for improving even more in 2024. Why? Because I've been consistent. Because I'm aware of what I’m doing, and I'm honest with myself. The thing is, you might feel like you're doing a lot because coming in here and starting might've been a lot for you. But if you've been coming awhile, the truth is you have to CONTINUALLY and CONSISTENTLY do more. The recipe? Lifting, Cardio, Nutrition, Mindset. Things that get in the way. Not enough sleep is the biggest enemy. You can do lifting, do cardio, and eat right, but if you aren't getting enough sleep you won't improve. Because sleep is the most important part of health. Your cortisol and stress levels will be through the roof if you don't get enough sleep. And that spikes anxiety. Not enough water is the next enemy. Hydration, hydration, hydration. Our bodies are 70% water. You NEED water. So if you aren't getting those two, that's where you start for next year and nothing else.

What's your mindset? How's your attitude? How do you talk to yourself? These are major catalysts for your results. You can do physical work all day long, but eventually, if the mindset isn't improving, you'll only be able to go so far.

So now that you've read this, and I've shared my experience, what are you walking away with?


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