We're 10 days into January, and I'm just now sharing my focused effort for the new year. (Reminder: I don't make "resolutions;" I make "focused efforts." Read why here.) I waited ten days into January to share my focused effort, just to make sure it was appropriate and fitting for me. I'm here to report that it is doable and very pertinent for my life.
As I spent the last few days of 2011 cozied up at home in Texas, I reflected back on the past year, mainly the past 6 months, and how hectic my life has been. My internship kicked into full gear, I became a bit of a workaholic, and worst of all, I was (and still am) away from Matt. At some point, I'd like to blog about what this experience has taught me, but for now I'll say that living Monday through Friday as a single workaholic has led to some pretty terrible self-care. 12 hour workdays, constant caffeine, little sleep, and a rotating diet of frozen meals and canned soup. Not good.
They say you should treat yourself like you'd treat a fancy car. (Not that my Honda is super fancy, but I like to be prepared for the day I win the lottery and get my silver Range Rover.) Fancy cars need consistent attention, tune ups, good oil, car washes, and a faithful mechanic. If you want a car to run at top speed, you've got to be good to its insides. I firmly believe that our minds and bodies are the same way. If I expect my mind to operate at top speed, I've got to be good to my body.
I want my mind to be alert, I want to be quick witted with students, I want to engage them in the small moments. I want to be rested so I can enjoy my weekends with Matt, drive safe on my weekend commute, and remember the small details about my loved ones. I want to run like the best luxury car out there. Yet I treat my body like an old beat-up hooptie. I neglect it, pump bad gas into it, and leave the check engine light unattended to for way too long. I keep saying I'll get to it, but I don't. I leave it alone, treat it like crap, and hope my mind will miraculously pick up my body's slack.
So this year, my focused effort is simple. Be better to my body. It doesn't have a thing to do with weight, clothing size, or what I see in the mirror. It has to do with giving my body the things it needs to help my mind operate like I expect it and want it to. (Please note I considered capturing my focused effort with the phrase "be good to yourself," but I knew my twisted self would eventually manipulate that to mean "treat yourself" aka get massages, weekly mani/pedis, and take every Friday off work. I know the way my sneaky brain works.)
There are a few small, yet specific ways I'm focusing on this goal of being better to my body.
Each day...Take 1 multivitamin. Eat 5 fruits/veggies. Drink 8 glasses of water. Work in 30 minutes of physical activity. Get 8 hours of sleep. To help myself stay on track, I've embraced an easy reminder (which is now on a post-it note on my computer screen at work and on my mirror at home. 1/5/8/30/8. (1 multivitamin, 5 fruits and veggies, 8 glasses of water, 30 minutes of activity, and 8 hours of sleep.) I'm trying to be better to my body, using these simple numbers.
I don't think I'll ever do all of these in one day. If I do, that's awesome, but I'm not trying to be perfect. Just more mindful. Mindful that my brain and body are connected, and that if I want my mind to be focused, refreshed, and joyful, I've got to be better to my body.
What are your focused efforts for the new year? Anyone else need to energize and refresh your mind by being better to your body?