Instead of Resolutions Choose Words (Plus a Few Sentences about 2017)

Wondering what to do instead of resolutions? I gotchu.

I realize it’s almost February, but I can’t be the only one who has slipped into a slow start to 2018. I’m okay with it. Normally, before the end of the year I'd do a big ol' 2017 year-end recap, I'd detail my goals for the year, the highlights, blah-blah-blah but I found I didn’t have the energy for all of that at the end…well I guess it's last year now. Here's a small, bulleted list of my 2017 both the personal highlights and some new things added to the blog (just in case you missed them):

Things I intended to do but never did: Create an outline for a second book, build a strategic plan for “growing my business”, content style guide, Awkward Money Chat Season 3. Ha.

So, what about this next year? Honestly, I'm over the planning and the thinking and the goal setting.

 I Don't Really Do “New Years Resolutions,” Instead of Resolutions- I Choose “Words” to Focus on For the Year

 

My 2017 New Year’s Resolution was to prioritize self-care, primarily the emotional kind.   So the word was “self care,” or sometimes I alternated with the word “kindness”. Looking over last year, I believe I did really, really well with this, but  I spent the last few weeks in a bad place.  I had three trips within 30 days in November, and while they were each amazing, I didn’t enjoy them as much as I normally do, because, caught the flu (twice), was in a car accident that (thankfully) left no one seriously injured, but totaled both cars and left me with a few aftershocks – in both my body and my spirit.

The accident happened on November 15th (literally the night before I got on a first-class flight to L.A. for the Uber Visa Trip) and we were riding around with tubs full of Christmas Décor to take from the storage unit back to our apartment. The car didn’t hit me so to speak, but when the car hit us, the tubs crashed into our backs and necks. The force of it was so hard that Roo (who was riding, unrestrained in my lap at the time because we were running “quick errands” after picking him up from daycare) hit the dashboard with terrifying force. (He has car-related PTSD now, but otherwise, he's fine.)

I wasn't expecting the accident to throw me for such a loop emotionally and spiritually.

Rich and I were pulled to a stop waiting for a car to turn left onto another street when we were rear-ended at a high speed by a driver not paying attention. The scary part was I was in a good place – meditating daily, practicing gratitude, and really managing my anxiety and depression. Things, quite honestly, had “never been better.” And then to get smacked like that so hard that my glasses flew off my face with both my soulmate and my beloved dog in the car, it reminded me how quickly life can change. We were in the middle of laughing and sharing a joke and then – WHAM – universe reminds me that it's all temporary.

I’m beyond grateful no one was seriously injured. SO THANKFUL. But my car was totaled.

And emotionally, I had a hard time getting back to the place I’d spent the previous 10 months getting to. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t meditate. The minute I arrived back from Los Angeles, I came down with a crippling flu and ended up spending most of our Thanksgiving trip to Austin in a hotel room. No matter what I did, I felt I couldn’t shake whatever darkness had entered my psyche after the accident. I was beyond frustrated one moment seemed to undo all of the good “self care” work I'd done over the bulk of 2017.

 

My Word for 2018

 

Last year, I used the word self care to try and zero-in on things I could do to really help my mental and emotional state (much of which I wrote about in here.) For 2018, I still need to continue this work, but I also need to prioritize my physical well-being as well.When it came time to set resolutions for 2018, I realized I wanted to prioritize self-care again, that I still needed to do important work in the area and even though it had already been 365 days, I needed more time. I'm still a work in progress and learning about how to best care for myself: mind, body, and spirit. 

Unfortunately, the car accident aggravated an old back injury I received in 2015 after falling down in a haunted house. (I may or may not have been tipsy at the time and after a scary clown in a gas mask jumped out at me, I fell backwards onto my back. My Dad – “Aren't you a little old to be doing things like getting drunk and going to haunted houses?” Wah.) But two days after previous haunted house incident, I’m back at home doing some yoga to loosen a bit of the tightness and my back seizes. I was in so much pain. Went to the doctor, received some muscle relaxers and about a week later was back to normal.

I never sought out any follow up care from this injury, and honestly, my back hasn’t been the same since.

I thought maybe it was just me, and my body, and me getting older (bear in mind this was 3 years ago and I was 28 at the time. 28!) But the accident aggravated this old injury and I realized just how effing terrible I’ve been to my body for the last few years.

  • I don’t eat well.
  • I exercise only semi-regularly.
  • I really only started regularly washing my face at night about two years ago.
  • If I’m being honest, I’m a good fifteen pounds overweight (I feel I look okay, but for my height and frame, I’m way outside the range.) I’ve gained back all but four pounds of the weight I lost in this photo.

These are things that have to change and all of my old excuses like, “Oh I'm so busy,” or “I have to write this blog post instead.” Those excuses feel so flimsy now. I only have one life and one body, while I’ve had three different “ careers” and five different employers since I turned 23. The point? Work, hustling, money, all of it will always be there.

Work, while important, can no longer be even my second or my third priority if I’m truly going to live “my best life.”

So the word for 2018 is “self care” (still) and I feel good about it. I'm proud of the progress I made and by using a simple word or phrase I was able to sustain my “goals” all year long. It’s been a big lesson for me – that sometimes education: about ourselves, our wants, and our deepest needs, take more than a tidy, set amount of time to learn. That you don’t always have to have a shiny new project, or resolution for a new year. You can be patient with yourself, and revel in the slowness some things take.

So what does this mean for the blog? 

It means that maybe you won't hear from me as often or as consistently. I've got enough content through February and then after that, who knows? Perhaps after I went back to work you guys saw this coming. I'll still be around, but I'm definitely de-prioritizing my blog and side business to elevate a few initiatives that really matter to me. I hope you guys will stick around for what's next. I feel good in this decision, and I hope wherever you’re at in the beginning of 2018 (February counts too!), you feel really good also.

(And if you have any resources you’ve loved that has helped get you to a better place with your health and physical shape – I’m all ears. I’ll just be over here chugging water, avoiding dessert and dragging myself to those Pure Barre classes I pay for each month.)

 

 

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  • Matt
    February 20, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Good for you, Lauren. It’s so important to prioritize taking better care of yourself. Once you’ve done that for a while, it’s amazing the difference that it can make.

    My wife had really bad back issues years ago and was even considering some surgery. However, through yoga and some and a consistent routine of stretching and exercise, she’s been fine for some time now. It’s amazing the difference. Happy to tell you more about it, if you’d like.

    Finally, I’ve been doing OrangeTheory for more than a year and I really like it. It’s pretty darn hard, especially at the beginning, but I like it because every single class is different, it’s full of positive energy and they always offer alternatives for folks who might have back, knee or other types of issues.. Now I’m doing that and some other specialized at-home training to get ready for my first Spartan race next month, which is kind of terrifying but should be fun. Anyway, OT is worth looking into.

  • JJ
    January 31, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    I hope things go well for you in 2018! Maybe some physical therapy would help? I had it as a result of two shoulder procedures and everyone was very kind and helpful. I started using a word for the year as well and 2018 for me is “open”.

  • giulia
    January 31, 2018 at 4:28 am

    whishing yo the best:D

  • YW
    January 30, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Wishing you the best, Lauren! I went through something similar in terms of recovery a few years ago – my injuries took about a year to heal, but it was honestly the emotional and spiritual healing that took the longest. It still surprises me. More than two years later, I’m actually finally ready to rededicate myself to self-care and health (I gained SO MUCH weight as a result of the accident). FWIW, I felt the same as you did – sometimes the Universe wants to tell us something, and usually it’s something critically important that we wouldn’t hear with all the other stuff (good or bad) that’s going on in our lives. Wish you the best and greatly admire all that you’re doing in FBL space. Thank you!

  • Angela
    January 30, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Wishing you the very best during your self-care journey this year–and beyond. I look forward to reading what you have to say when you feel it’s time to say something. 🙂

  • Shannyn
    January 30, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Amen, amen amen. 2017 was a doozy of a year for me- between the wire fraud and the fraud of a house I bought with all the problems, I was just emotionally and spiritually dry. I still had moments of bliss and gratitude, but the blog and my focus of any sort was just sort of …gone.

    I took about 1.5 years off from blogging and guess what, nobody missed me! I only updated instagram 20 times in the past 365 days, and also, no one missed me! 2015 me would have been devastated, 2017 me was like “YASSSSSS” because I didn’t feel the need to take up space anymore just to be seen and valued. I honestly felt I had nothing to say and it felt good to allow myself not to participate if I didn’t feel it was of value. It felt good all around. Glad you’re on the path sister!

    I have let go of a lot of “shoulds’ but my goal for 2018 is “connection.” Connection to causes, hosting things at home, connection to my money instead of being on autopilot, connection to good habits.

    i’m cheering for you and hope you’ll stay in touch!!

  • Colin @ rebelwithaplan
    January 30, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Excited to see how the year goes for you! So many people around me have been in rear-end accidents. I’m always worried what would happen if I were to get rear-ended. I drive a little smart car with a rear-mounted engine, so if that sort of accident did happen (even if the person wasn’t going fast) my car would be totaled. It’s good that you’re okay.

  • Emily
    January 30, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Wishing you a speedy recovery, physically and emotionally!
    (FWIW, I used to drag myself to Pure Barre classes too. I started doing Barre3 instead and I like it SO much better and it feels kinder to my body. Not sure if you have any B3s near you, but just my personal experience! I also have back issues…)

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