Small Changes, Big Difference

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New Years Day came and went and I did not make any resolutions.  However, I did get engaged! And then, in the days that followed, I forgot all about resolutions and instead started planning a wedding! I spent DAYS, not hours, on Pinterest pinning ideas for wedding updos, dresses, event sites, color-boards (which was a three-day strategy session with JBo, I might add). I was so completely immersed in all things wedding that I completely forgot about resolutions and the other 364 days that will make up 2014. But really, who can blame me. A wedding is kind of a big deal.

Getting married to someone means that you want to give them the best possible you every day for the rest of your life. That’s a tall order! Hey, this is not my first rodeo but I do hope it’s my last. You have to work on the relationship but sometimes, in order to make the relationship work, you have to work on you.

Okay, so now this post is turning into a marriage counseling session and what I really wanted to talk about was resolutions. All the little things I’m trying to do to make my day to day life less stressful which will make reaching my goals in sport this year easier and in hopefully have some really positive affects on other aspects of my life as well.

So I made some post-New Years resolutions. In order to make sure that they were attainable and sustainable, I made them small, baby steps almost. But small changes can sometimes have a big impact! Often, it’s the small changes that we over look and we take for granted. Things that we wave our hands and say, “oh, I could do that easily anytime I wanted”…but we don’t because they are so easy peasy, putting them into practice–consistently–is hard. Right? Right.

Here are my not-so-New Years resolutions for 2014:

  • No alcohol. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m drying out this year. No worries. I got this! Okay, so this is actually a pretty big change for me, but I think it will  also come with the biggest impact. When I drink, no matter how little, no matter what time of day, my sleep suffers. And we all know how important sleep is to our health–it helps athletes recover better and aids in stress reduction–quality sleep is essential! I would much rather have seven, eight, even ten hours of sound sleep than that oh-so-tasty farmhouse ale, small batch rye old fashioned, margarita, beergarita… I think you get the point. In addition to the improvement in sleep, my skin has cleared up! I’ve only been sober for two weeks, but I have already reaped the benefits of being on the wagon.
  • Consistent workouts. As a part-time athlete and full-time employee, it’s really hard to be 100% consistent about getting every single workout done, exactly as written, every single day. But it’s important to me so I make it a priority.  I’m lucky I don’t have a lot of other commitments competing for my time and I have an amazing support system in JBo. Occasionally, I have to skip a workout or move it to another day but I don’t stress over it. I try again tomorrow. Every week I make it 100% completion,  I celebrate my hard work with a small reward: a new magazine, new nail polish, a massage. I don’t treat myself enough. I’m trying to change that. And I NEVER buy nail polish so it’s a real indulgence.
  • Sub goal: Paint my nails more.
  • Eat seven servings of fruits and veggies a day. A couple of years ago, a bunch of triathlete bloggers got together and signed a seven-a-day challenge. I did it too–for like two weeks. I cheated. LARA bars do not count as a serving or two of fruit, no matter what the label says. We’re talking whole foods, people. Having accomplished the first two resolutions already, the seven-a-day challenge is the one I will re-focus on starting this week. Most days, I only get five.
  • Limit my time on Facebook. I check FB when I have downtime at work. I check it when I’m in the middle of a boring trainer session. I check it when I’m at the dealership waiting for my car to be serviced. It’s fun but it’s also stressful. All those messages, trying to keep up with everyone’s lives on a minute-by-minute basis. I disconnected from the internet all together while on vacation a couple weeks ago and it was glorious! Honestly, Facebook is such a time suck. I want to bump up my social media connections for the blog, but hope to put the kibosh on my personal social media time.
  • Mindcoach, twice a week. JBo started using these programs last summer as he prepared for an amazing cyclocross season. His season was unfortunately cut short due to injury, but the few races he did he KILLED IT! The hypnosis sessions developed by the Athlete’s Mind Coach help quiet my inner pessimistic voice, calm pre-race anxiety, and help create a laser like focus on my goals. The benefits can only be reaped by listening to them consistently. I’m making it a goal to start out small, listening two times a week with hope of building to four times a week come race season.
  • Keep a journal. Not a diary, a journal. With ideas for anything. Dreams, blog ideas, sport goals. Lots of really smart people keep journals and I’m smart, so I should keep a journal. Yep. It’s cathartic. It’s inspiring. It reduces stress. It can keep you focused.

I love this quote: “never hope for something more than you are willing to work for it”. It’s  the little things, the little changes, that differentiate those who are committed to their goals and those who are just in it “for fun”. I’m in it to win it. There are more changes, resolutions, to come this year but I’m starting small so that these stick before I tackle anything else. More to come! SO much more to come.