What do you want to do, feel or move towards in 2024?
Umm… what do I mean by that?
Instead of setting new year’s resolutions of, for example, ‘lose 15 pounds’, look towards goals or ideas that would inspire or excite you.
For example, I want to do more cycling, as I really enjoyed the bike-trip in PEI. I felt good doing it, I had fun and I accomplished something I did not know I could do, i.e. cycle 520 km’s around an island.
As a consequence of this trip, I built muscle and lost a few pounds, but that is not why I did it. My focus was on enjoying myself outside, exploring Canada and being physically active.
I want more of that…
In 2023, I did a lot of reflecting after Dad’s passing and determined that it is really important to figure out what makes me feel fulfilled. There are a lot of aspects to this, but each day I try to do activities that I enjoy. It does not have to be complicated.
One example, is getting outside each day either walking or running, and sometimes both. It elevates my mood and it gets me out of my head and into the present moment.
So, if I would pick a ‘word’ for the year to represent my thinking it would be ‘action’. Last year, my word was ‘kindness’. (Not that I am going to stop being kind, I’ll just add to it, 😉.)
What word would you like to focus on for 2024?
If I want to incorporate more action steps into my life, what are the areas that I want to investigate further from my aging well experiments from last year?
I am going to break it down for myself, by asking 3 questions.
- What do I want more in my life? Answer: Physical Fitness, Connections with Others and Purpose.
I recently read, “Outlive – The Science & Art of Longevity” by Peter Attia (M.D.) and this book further confirmed to me the importance of maintaining physical health – cardio, strength and stability. (I will write about this topic more in another blog).
Dr. Attia states: “Exercise is by far the most potent longevity drug. No other intervention does nearly as much to prolong our lifespan and preserve our cognitive and physical function.”
This is a powerful statement and one that I am paying attention to as I approach 60. I am losing muscle mass and I need to incorporate strength training into my routine. (My goodness, I can’t believe I am turning 59 years old on April 1!!! Wow, … look out for 2025 there will be a big celebration of travel destinations. 😉.)
- How do I want to feel about the things I do this year, whether it is consulting, travelling, learning, visiting with family and friends, etc.? Answer: More aliveness and enjoyment.
What does more aliveness mean?
For me, I want to regain my sense of adventure, challenging myself and learning about things I am curious about. I like to feel excited about what I am doing and that I am progressing towards goals. It gives me a sense of purpose.
Maybe for you, you want to feel a sense of peace with less anxiety and worry.
Or another example may be, you want to feel more connected to family, friends, and community.
Or, maybe it is a sense of contentment that you are seeking.
Whatever it is, what steps can you take to have more of this state of being in your life?
One way to figure this out, is to stop and reflect upon the moments in your life when you were most alive, peaceful, connected or content.
What were you doing at the time and how can you create more of that in your life right now?
If I ask myself that question, when did I feel most alive in challenging and enjoying myself, I would have to say:
- After University (Geology), at age 23, I went to Australia, New Zealand, Figi, Hawaii on a Student Work Abroad program for 6 months. I had to rely on myself to travel across these countries, staying in hostels and meeting other travellers along the way. This was before the age of the Internet, so you could not look things up on your phone. I read travel books and talked to others for tips on what to see, where to stay and if there was any short-term work available.
I loved it!
- Training and running the Vancouver Marathon – I was in my early 30’s and I had a circle of friends who wanted to train for a marathon (connections).
I enjoyed the camaraderie of the training runs and the feeling of accomplishment on completing the marathon as it was so empowering.
- Going back to school at age 38 to get my masters. A lot of work, but an amazing experience, especially in meeting other students (friends who I still have) and working abroad at an internship with the High Commission in London UK.
- And then of course, meeting and marrying ‘A’. It has been an amazing journey in both the good times (travelling the world) and the bad times (parents’ deaths) in supporting each other.
I think I am seeing a pattern here of: travelling, physical fitness, goal setting, learning-stretching my mind, connections and the big one- my marriage to Arie.
What I don’t see on the list is my work! I am definitely working to live and NOT living to work, 😉
- What outcomes of lifestyles am I moving towards? Answer:
An active lifestyle long into my 70’s, seeing the world, connected to family and friends and life-long learning in following my curiosity and then sharing that knowledge with others.
That is the big audacious goal! What is yours?
Take care and as always enjoy life and live well.