Welcome to 2022! A new year, a new chance, a new beginning, and for so many of us, a whole new reason to feel stressed out about what we did and didn’t do in the past twelve months. Why do we head down that “I’m not enough” rabbit hole when January 1st rolls around? Most likely for a myriad of reasons related to the brutal-fulness of being human, but when it comes to our “fitness goals,” there is always one thing looming: the dreaded New Year’s Resolution.
We’ve all seen it, heard it, and signed up for it; the “New Year, New You” sort of stuff. The “I’ll join a gym, workout seven days a week, drink copious amounts of celery juice, meditate for twenty minutes every morning, and toss every cookie from the cabinet” kind of promises that never seem to stick beyond January 15th. And what then? Frustration.“Why can’t I do this?”Confusion. “I can’t understand what went wrong?” Anger. “Why do I do this to myself every single year!?” And moments of melancholy “Ugh. Just ugh.”
But maybe 2022 IS our year. Perhaps this is OUR time to shift the conversation from trendy diets and overwhelming workout plans to something individualized that speaks specifically to who we are, what we want, and most importantly, how we want to feel.
But how? My best advice is that you ask yourself three questions:
How do I feel?
How do I want to feel?
What’s one positive thing I can do to get myself closer to the feeling I most want to embody each day?
If talking about your feelings isn’t exactly a favorite activity for you, don’t worry, there are resources all over the internet, from Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map to the documents created by the Hoffman Institute in connection with their Healing Process. I recommend tapping into them as an entryway to your own intentions for mind-body work in 2022. But please step away from very vague ideas like “I feel bad,” or “I want to feel good.” Go deeper!
When considering your experience of the present moment (before the resolution revolution I’m proposing), question EVERYTHING. Are you bored? Tired? Sick of following fad diets? Petrified of accompanying your friend to the trendy workout that seems kind of terrible to you? Lean into your truths, speak them out loud, and decide to nourish YOUR mind, body, heart, and spirit in a sustainable way.
Now onto how you WANT to feel. When asking and answering that question, allow yourself to get excited (or at least cautiously optimistic)! If working out has always been a total chore, envision yourself feeling joyful, soul-filled, and nurtured by mindful movement. Allow that to lead you to something in nature, like a daily walk with a friend, or toward connective practices like yoga and pilates, where you’ll build strength from the inside out while allowing your brain some much-deserved break time. If you’ve worked out the same way for the longest time, decide to be a rut-breaker and choose feeling-words like adventurous, spontaneous, and transformed. Planting seeds like that might lead you to a rock climbing, kayaking, and a hiking trip – all incredible fitness journeys for your whole self!
Placing focus on your innermost feelings rather than routine actions is a gamechanger. It sheds light on who you are as a human being, rather than a human doing. “How do I feel?” is a question that’s worth asking everyday and it will likely give you the chance to set ever-shifting and always engaging goals throughout the year. Future marathoners may want to feel triumphant, celebrated, unshackled, and independent. Teammates in a volleyball league could be seeking connectedness in an environment that feels supported and fulfilling. Whatever you are feeling, write it down, speak it out, and then seek it out through healthy outlets. Work up a sweat with hope, purpose, and a plan that’s tailored to you.
It’s heartwork, not just hard work!
Bridget grew up in North Jersey, made a pit-stop in Baltimore for college, headed back home for law school, and in 2009 found the place she will always call home: the Jersey Shore. As a yoga teacher with thousands of hours of experience, a community leader, former lawyer, and twin mom, Bridget is a true believer in the beauty of balance, on the mat and off. She reflects on what it means to practice yoga everywhere and anywhere (studio, food store, rolling car line – anywhere!) to build vibrant, creative, and inspired classes, with a dedicated focus on meeting each student exactly as they are, helping them to discover their own power, peace, and presence. A lover of movement, music that makes you feel all the things, and big poses that let you take even bigger breaths, Bridget will leave you feeling like every moment on the mat is something to be grateful for.