Today is my 52nd birthday. (I’ll pause here while you sing me a quick little song or hop on to FB and comment on my page). Ok, good, welcome back.
In honor of this auspicious occasion, I thought I’d lay down 52 things that I’ve learned, have found useful or that I think are wickedly important. Enjoy.
- Wake up early and workout before you have time to talk yourself out of it.
- Find a buddy to hold yourself accountable to your goals.
- Invest in a gym membership, classes or streaming to help keep you motivated and on track.
- Lift weights.
- Work on Mobility. As you age, your body starts to stiffen and lose it’s ROM. Fight that with everything you have.
- Write down your workout plan every week. Adjust as needed but hit the holy grail of cardio, strength and mobility (yoga or specific exercises).
- Don’t discount the benefits of walking; feel free to have a coffee stroll with a pal once or twice a week but crank up the intensity the other days.
- All pain and no gain is fake news. Your workouts should be challenging enough so you can achieve gains but you still need to be able to get out of bed the next day.
- It’s ok not to hit a PR every race but at least put in the work so you can say you did your best.
- Race often, competition is good for the soul.
- Eat fruits and veggies with every meal. Organic if you can afford it but if not, don’t stress about it.
- Drink water. All day long. Yes, you’ll have to pee at night, it’s ok, you’ll survive.
- Leafy green vegetables help prevent damage to your endothelial cells, which line the arteries and veins in our bodies. The cells are thin, making hormones, permitting the passage of messaging chemicals, and maintaining proper blood vessel function. Eat them. Often.
- Chew your food well and eat slowly. Your gut with thank you.
- Cut out the diet and regular soda once and for all. It’s just a glass of chemicals.
- Your plate should be divided as follows. 1/2 veggies, 1/4 grains, 1/4 protein. If you’re still hungry, eat more veggies.
- Treats are ok, indulge and enjoy. But try and stick to the stuff that’s homemade or made from scratch.
- One of the best things you can do for your health is to ditch processed foods. That goes for frozen meals, packaged meal kits, snack foods, etc. There is too much added salt, sugar and un-pronouncable ingredients for this to be healthy.
- Cook as often as you can. You control the ingredients, salt, added fat and sugar. You can adapt it to your dietary needs and add ingredients to bulk up the nutritional content. Find 5 recipes that you like as your starting point and rotate them around for a few weeks. You can add a new one if you get bored.
- Variety isn’t always the spice of life. Studies show that having too many choices can be detrimental to weight loss. So if you find a breakfast you like, it’s ok to eat it most days of the week. Same goes for lunch.
- A goal without a plan is just a wish.
- Set goals that matter to you; don’t worry if your goal doesn’t align with anyone else’s idea of what you should do.
- When you have a goal, work backward to figure out what you need to do to achieve it. Write the steps out.
- If you don’t have a goal, call me, I’ll help you find one.
- Sometimes you have to realize you’re not in the right season to tackle a specific goal. Have the common sense to set it aside or modify it so you’re not banging your head against a wall.
- Don’t mistake your to-do list as your goals. Those are just tasks.
- When you reach your goal. Celebrate it!
- When you reach your goal. Celebrate it! And then set a new goal.
- At the minimum, your goal should try to be a better version of yourself. Whatever that means to you.
- Your goals are a promise to yourself. Don’t break that promise.
- Don’t confuse wealth and success with happiness.
- Make a list of your best qualities that DO NOT include any physical attributes. Kindness, empathy, strength, etc. Post it where you can refer to it often.
- Remember, beauty fades but character lasts a lifetime. So work on the inside as much or more than you work on the outside.
- If you aren’t where you want to be in your life right now figure out where you want to go and start working towards getting there. Go back to school, take the course, start the blog, ask for a raise or promotion, etc.
- If there was anything that happened to your younger self that has created a false narrative, take some time to identify it and flip the script.
- If you don’t know a word, look it up. If you don’t understand what people are talking about, speak up. Ask questions and learn.
- Nobody owes you anything so you have to be prepared to work for what you want.
- Write letters to people who have wronged you. Hold nothing back. Then destroy them, say a silent prayer of forgiveness and move on.
- Smile and say ‘good morning’ to your husband and kids every day, even if you are a bad mood.
- Admit when you are wrong and apologize immediately.
- These two sentences are NOT apologies. “I’m sorry if you’re offended by what I said (did)…” or “I’m sorry, but you…”
- Grant grace. You really never know what people are going through at an given time.
- You can forgive people who have hurt you but you don’t have to trust them.
- Use good manners with your spouse, significant other, kids and family. A “please” and “thank you” are always appreciated.
- Tell your friends you care about them, you are happy to have them in your life and you are grateful for them. Even if it feels weird at first.
- You aren’t your kids’ friend but every now and then you have to be able to listen to them without your ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ hat on.
- Ask your parents about what life was like when they were kids, what you were like as a kid, what their hopes and dreams were/are for you, how their life turned out differently than they dreamed it would be. One day they will be gone and you will have lost out on that opportunity.
- Kiss your husband or significant other every time one of you leaves the house and tell them you love them. Even if you are angry at the time.
- Be grateful for all that you have and all that you’ve gone through.
- Laugh out loud, often.
- Let your kid set up your IG account or show you how to use Snapchat. Tech is the future and you’ll be lost and left out if you can’t master some of it.
- Adopt a pet from a shelter. They know they were *this* close to not coming out of that place alive so they will love you like nothing else.
Ok friends, there you go. 52 things that I wanted to share. I’m sure I missed a bunch but we can add to it in 2020.
Now go run!