At the beginning of each new year, we are bombarded with making New Year’s resolutions, making changes, and overhauling some aspect(s) of our life. After all, it’s a New Year so with that comes a New You…right? Well, not this year!
When the New Year rolled around, I shared publicly that I was not making any New Year’s resolutions. Instead I wanted to focus on self-care, self-love, health, and happiness. It turns out that I was somewhat forced into that because my new year cold didn’t fail me – it returned on time and knocked me down for almost a month. I have had no choice but to rest and take care of myself over the last four weeks.
I had struggled during the months leading into the holidays and the struggle continued throughout the holidays. At the end of November I began to have a little clarity and knew I needed to take a break from a lot of the things that were pulling me into so many directions. I needed a break and I took it! December and January became a time of reflection for me.
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At some point in December a word popped into my mind. I don’t remember what I was doing or listening to that may have inspired me, but this word was so vivid and so clear that I knew I needed to meditate on it and make it “my word” for 2016.
In the past, at the beginning of a new year, I would pick a word to focus on in the coming year. A word that I would think about during the year and it would drive me to achieve something related to that word. For whatever reason (either it wasn’t truly important, I got too busy, my focus changed, etc), I would pick a word and think about it for a short period of time and then forget about it. This year I won’t let that happen. I can’t. I feel that there is too much power in this word for me to just let it fall to the back of my mind and forget all about it.
Sometimes you come across something that you know is so powerful that if you put your focus on it, you know without a doubt that you will change.
In this case, it was my word for 2016. My POWER WORD!
What’s my word you ask?
~~~ RELEASE ~~~
Release isn’t the most common or motivating word you hear at the start of a new year. But you see, I’ve had a couple of hard knocks over the past year and a half and I WANT and NEED to release some thoughts and feelings about those situations. I know that this word is what will propel me forward if I remain mindful about it.
In April 2014 I was laid off from my job of 13 years and just under a year later I lost my father, somewhat unexpectedly, to cancer. With these two life-changing events, I felt a lot of loss in my life. As you can imagine, losing a job you have been at for 13 years completely shakes up many areas in your life. From the loss of a familiar daily schedule, the perceived loss of friendships, the loss of income, etc – it was a shocker! Many people that were close to me knew that one day I wanted to focus on my health coaching practice so they saw it as a great opportunity – “it’s such a blessing” and “now you can do your own thing” was said to me on many occasions. However, this departure was not on my terms and I think that makes all the difference in how you look at what happened and how you handle it. Yes, I did begin my health coaching practice and could focus on that full time, but I still felt a sense of loss and had unanswered questions.
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Just under the one-year anniversary of the layoff, my Dad passed away. We had only known for less than 3 months that he was ill. After my Dad passed, I jumped right back into life. I had put my daughter’s birthday party on hold (he passed the day before her birthday) and immediately rescheduled her party for when I returned home. Then it was the end of the school year and our summer calendar was full of activities for the family. I was on auto-pilot during the summer. Although I could easily talk about the loss of my Dad and the events leading up to it, I don’t think I dealt with it completely. Do we ever?
The new loss combined with the old loss hit me like a ton of bricks.
I knew deep down that I was slipping back into old habits, but I chose to ignore them. I thought I could easily make a change at any point. But this time something didn’t seem quite right. I couldn’t figure out how to make changes this time. After a lot of reflection, I think it was because I was holding so much in and didn’t want to share with anyone what I was feeling. When I finally began to open up and I felt safe about doing so, then I could wrap my head around the habits that weren’t serving me and I could begin the change process.
Change isn’t easy. And just because I am a certified health and wellness coach doesn’t make it any easier!
Let’s back up a bit…
About 6 years ago, I was in hormonal hell after my pregnancy. And my stressful, hectic lifestyle did not help. A lot of caffeine kept me going after I stopped nursing – 2 large iced lattes per day, each with an extra shot…8 shots of espresso daily! I began doing too much in the gym and my hormones became even more wonky. Can you say “adrenal burnout”? That’s where I was headed.
I finally decided that I had to make a change and take a completely different approach. Over two years ago I hired a mentor that could help me balance my hormones while losing weight. I changed my diet drastically. The way I began to eat was so out of the norm that I kept quiet about it for a long time until people started noticing that I was losing weight and then I began sharing a little here and there. I learned a lot along the way and had great success with losing approximately 35 pounds. During the time I was making diet changes, I was accountable every step of the way. The accountability part was great. Feeling like there was no room for mistakes along the way and not being able to make the program my own was not so great. Looking back, I now know that I was acting like a robot. After my layoff, I stopped working with that “mentor” and was able to make some changes to the plan and still maintain my loss.
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But we all know that life has a funny way of teaching us lessons. Fast forward to those hard knocks I told you about and the losses I had…
After I had a significant weight loss and then went through those painful situations, I have learned that if you do not do the inner work, the outer work will not matter. When the inner work is done, the outer changes will follow.
There is absolutely no substitution for doing the work.
Over the last half of 2015, I gained back more than half of what I had lost previously. It was time to do some inner work! And that is where my POWER WORD comes in.
It has only been a little over 1 month and I’ve started to:
- Share and RELEASE
- Learn and RELEASE
- Take action and RELEASE
I am keeping my POWER WORD close to my heart and in my mind so that I do not lose sight of what is needed for me to become better this year. It is the New Year, but it is not a New Me.
It’s a Better Me!
Will you join me? I Invite you to join my private Facebook group. On February 1 we will begin focusing on creating habits that serve us so that we can become better this year. We will dig deep and do some thought provoking work and be come better than before. It will be powerful! Can’t wait to see you there.
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