A Few Easy Resolutions We All Should Be Making—for Health, Happiness & Fitness
I know, I know. Another resolution article! I know everyone is inundated with these this time of year, but a) I do think they have value and b) I love thinking about this stuff. I wanted to put together a list of things I’ve been thinking about—a few key resolutions that aren’t specific (or SMART) goals, per se, but if put into action, I think they can have great impact on health, fitness, happiness and even finances!
Save money by skipping car trips for bike rides or walks, get in exercise at the same time, and get healthier while you’re doing it. You can add in chatting with friends who walk with you, or using that time to call home (or binge-listen to audio books). Whatever form it takes, moving more will almost always save you time, money or lbs. in the long run.
I’ve recently realized that this is something that applies across the board, from clothing to workout gear to food. Buy quality when you can, and ultimately, you save money in the long run (most of the time) and—in the case of foodstuffs—healthier. A couple of examples:
- Clothing: I’ve shifted from buying cheap sweaters to actually getting decent (not super pricey, just decent) cashmere ones. They last forever, don’t need to be washed as much, look a lot nicer, and don’t get stretched or wrecked when they go through the drier. And now that I have nicer clothing, I can see that a lot of my past buys were a lot cheaper-looking than I’d prefer. The same goes for leggings, which might seem crazy, but until two years ago, I’d buy 5-6 new pairs per year and wear them out. Now, Lululemon’s Align II and Rapha’s women’s leggings are my go-tos, and they’re amazing. They don’t lose shape or get baggy, they handle the washer and drier, and they fit infinitely better.
- Food: We actually missed it this year, but until now, every year, we’ve gotten half a cow from a local butcher. It works out to around $5/pound of grassfed, organic beef and it slashed out grocery bill by a ton even though the initial output felt super high. Totally worth it, and we’re kicking ourselves for not realizing we could actually make that happen again this year. Next year, for sure!!
- Workout Gear: Again, in terms of clothing, I’ve found buying quality pieces—especially bike shorts and run shorts—saves money (and saddle sore issues) in the long run. I had one woman switch to Velocio at my suggestion and she emailed and said all of her saddle issues were gone, thanks to the ‘Cadillac of bike shorts,’ and I LOVED that. (The same goes, of course, for things like buying a Walmart bike versus one from a trusted brand.)
Find Your Tribe
I’ll be writing a whole lot more on this since it’s my key resolution (or one-word resolution) for 2018, but it was worth mentioning here as well. Finding a group of like-minded people, whether that’s fellow runners, writers, knitters, hikers, painters, or even just cool people who inspire you to do more is so very worth it.
Take Time For Nothing
I don’t mean in a cool meditation or yoga retreat, or even a spa day or spending time doing a DIY mani/pedi. I mean the ‘nothing’ that we don’t like to admit to doing, the sitting on the couch hitting the “Yes, I’m still watching this” button when Netflix asks if you’re sure you really need another episode. The maniacal bundled-in-bed speed-reading a new mystery novel. It is absolutely OK to take those hours (or whole days on occasion) and just bask in nothingness. I’ve realized that those days are 100% necessary for me to come back recharged and crush through work.
The Best Style = Good Health
I admit, in my life, I have bought a lot of clothes and makeup to make myself look ‘better.’ Clothes that were more flattering so I would look more svelte, makeup and skin products that would cover bad skin. But to be honest, most of those needs would have completely gone away had I been willing to just drop the soda, the chips, the pizza, the crappy food, and just eat healthier. And I would probably have saved $$$ on food as well! Even now, I know when I’m feeling less than ideal (which, again, if we’re being honest, is a decent amount of the time), it’s tempting to think that a new pair of leggings or foundation are what I need to look better. More likely, what I need is a bit more strength training and yoga, and to drink more water and pile more veggies into my diet. (This happens during hectic travel weeks A LOT.) I stumbled on this Mr Money Mustache blog, a guest post from his wife, and she made the great point that most of us probably would be better off without wearing makeup—I know my skin is a lot happier when it’s not bogged down. Anyway, just a thought to keep in mind: the best way to look good = feeling good, whatever that means for you.
Be Mindful—and Growing
This has been on my resolution list for a few years now because, well, it’s a moving target. Every year, I get a little bit better, but there’s never going to be a point where I’m just done. I have a great article I’m working on with Ryan Leech, yogi and MTB skills guru, right now talking about meditation, and he got really honest in one of our conversations about it. He told me that he’s been practicing mindfulness and meditation for more than 10 years now, but recently, he’s fallen out of a daily meditation habit, and he can feel the shift in him. So it’s not just a skill you can develop and forget about—it takes regular practice to keep it working for you!