Belated Birthday Resolutions
Why do these resolutions? To add purpose (direction), growth and focus on what I value.
Continuing with a top-down, intentional approach, and key results added and connected after.
I like to start with a quick gut check - what's top of the wishlist? What dreams come up? What do my body/heart/mind/spirit say? What are powerful questions to ask?
The theme for 2023 is… a bit more nuanced than a single word I could find. Here are a few: Bolster. Support. Enhance. Channel. Strengthen.
I could go with "bolster":
- as a noun, it means prop, pillow, cushion
- as a verb, it means to increase comfort, to help stabilize or raise
I like its use for both. The overall theme for 2023 is more about support and strengthening, channeling other people's ideas and energy to achieve greater things. Mentoring. And for myself, comfort, care, strength in a stable way.
The intention behind the theme is to be there for others and be there for myself, supporting what needs to happen. It sounds passive - and it seems that way, indeed. But, just like a tree supports its soils using roots, there's a lot going on that the eye can't see.
Going from a top-down approach again, and again with a limit of 4 top level results for each goal.
2022 in review
Two main stressors came through this year:
- A looming recession after hypergrowth. Business was tremendous the first half of the year, and we were able to meet the goal of hiring 2 employees, and many others, in the first 6 months essentially. But, with the Ukraine war and US inflation came a downturn and the second half of the year the momentum nearly vanished, with mounting pressure to avoid shrinking all the way to pre-2022 levels. This got really stressful until I was able to surrender and accept what the fallout may look like, forecast, plan for it. I felt it in my body (neck and shoulder pains), and in my relationships with myself (worse sleep, worrying more), and others (pulling away or getting aggravated in my close connections)
- A maturing home life. I got married and celebrated 6 years with my partner. Living and working together has been challenging at times, and made finding a spark more difficult. Seeking individuality after such a merger can feel uncomfortable, push-and-pull, fighting inertia to keep doing the same ol'.
And also opportunities:
- Kiting in Wyoming, added a lot to my motivation to stay fit and strengthen my body. 2022 has been the most consistent I've ever been about going to the gym, and having a coach has been super helpful for that. It's been an amazing adventure!
- Joining a small business group last year has been very supportive and brought peace of mind. Being able to share the ups and downs and commiserate but also encourage each other.
- Growing to be a better partner, leader, mentor! Having a larger team has been quite a shift, and in personal life things have also settled more, even adopted two lovely kittens!
For 2022 I wanted to:
- Physical: Move With Ease
- Emotional: Embrace What Is
- Mental: Part of a Whole
- Spiritual: Wholehearted Collaboration
Physical: Move With Ease
I love my body and see how it's all connected. My body wants to be healthy and strong, and is constantly healing itself. It wants to move with ease.
This year I've been the most consistent about going to the gym… ever. I've gone through maybe 3 different workout programs, doing different lifts, including squats, deadlift, bench press. A lot of focus on the deadlift in the last few months, and managed to ramp up to 275lbs, which I wouldn't have thought when I started!
Have gained a bit more weight than I'd like, but also strength and muscle. I like where I'm at now (could do with 5lb less, or even 10lb - that's not much).
Overall headaches have seriously declined this year. New eyeglasses prescription helped, and also I've been more dilligent about taking breaks.
- Regular trampoline, inversion table and other quick breaks during the workday. I can still do more here, and during busy days I struggled
- Overall the switch to 2-5m breaks every 30m has helped. If I skip a break I usually take the next one
- Neck pillow, eye pillow, relaxing before bed
- Gut restoration protocol and working to lower cortisol and balance blood sugar started in Q4, and there have been some improvements already - average glucose is dropping
- Lots of experimentation and learning overall managing glucose levels
- Kiteboarding in Wyoming, so amazing and beautiful. Loving this opportunity and it's motivated me immensely to stay strong and fit
- 1hr of movement/day - generally done. Of course done on all gym days (3x/week), and a bit less on other days. Had a strong yoga practice until Q4.
- Had a steady practice of swimming on Fridays until September. Would like to get back to that.
- Definitely increased cardio in strength workouts. Big success.
- Invested in personal health: massage, coaching, work environment (upgraded office chair)
- Using diffuser for humidity, checking winter humidity in general at the house. My eyes in general haven't been as sore or as red this year. There were exceptions on long days, but that's about it. More solid sleep has helped too.
- Gluten free, dairy free - did for a while. Returned to both (gluten reduced).
- Got raw milk in October, excited to enjoy that further. I even made yogurt and it turned out delicious 2 of the 5 times. Scalding the milk really helped, and using a heated mat to keep it warm-ish (85-95F).
- Grounded at the desk, not so much outside
- Get back to swimming more regularly, consider going a 4th day?
- Still feeling bloat and gas. Hoping to help by reducing starchy foods in Q1. TBD!
Intention: Enjoy movement and stretching. Expand boundaries with ease - cardio, muscle, in gentle steps.
I'd give this an A+, but in Q4 I dropped off on caring for my body, mainly due to stress, and felt more eye sores and headaches. Also, even though I am doing a protocol, bloat/gas are still a nuisance. Has reduced, I think, but not nearly enough.
Emotional: Embrace What Is
I do, listen, and speak wholeheartedly.
I still feel emotionally under-developed from where I'd like to be, but it's a long journey. I've been operating from the heart (ha), much more this year, especially in connections at work, conversations, and also helping friends and family. I understand my behavior and inclinations better - though I struggle to accept them, or dig deeper at what's driving behavior.
Regarding anger and frustration, I'm excited about the punching bag my partner gifted me!
- Healthier relationship with work. I was able to take a 4-week trip and barely worked (<4h/week average). Things ran smoothly and I didn't stress. It was really sweet to enjoy being on the trip.
- Sticky notes, e.g. to enter office with mindfulness/relaxation helped. I'm a fan of keeping those for now!
- Thinking about what our clients or team must be feeling/going through has helped as a practice. I do feel more emotionally literate here, though it still feels like a long way to go.
- Perfect to have the "surrender" reminder in my emotional goals - Q4 was particularly tough after a year of fast business growth, and I had a hard time accepting the slowdown and reducing our team size.
- Really enjoyed a release and adventure of kitesurfing.
- Able to step away from daily grind after 4pm most days. Overall reduced workload and focus on the business was really beneficial for my stress levels and for the business.
- Lots of collaboration at work, and with friends. Supporting my friend with job hunt and general encouragement, advice, perspective. At work, the team generally loved working with us and we built more sense of fun and community. I spent way more time talking to people, guiding, reviewing, and getting to know this year!
- Sought others' perspective more - business group, personal sharing with friends, and more.
- The trip overall lacked a period of total chill (e.g. a week on the beach), so that's a lesson for next time: important to plan it in.
- Still struggling to step away, tendency to do one-more-thing. I'm more aware of it, though.
- Still feel confined by daily work schedule sometimes. Though, most of the year has been much more flexible.
- Still struggling to do nothing, but committed to 1h/week on Sundays and that went well. During the week it's a struggle to take that opportunity though.
- Did only one business coaching call this year.
Intention: Understand what's driving my behavior, and accept my inclinations.
It's almost an A really. I'm just being pedantic.
Mental: Part of a Whole
Is this urgent or bleak? It's OK to feel this way. You don't have to finish everything right now. Though you don't believe me, come back later and it'll seem better.
I still struggle to let go and take a break. I still think "just one more thing", and stress myself out, resisting what's going on, self-blaming, or listing all that needs done. There's been a lot to do in Q4, and with the business growth, the whole year felt overwhelming at times. Taking a nice long break in August/September really helped, and made me almost forget about the hard work before.
That said, I have been much more mindful of my posture, had WAY fewer headaches this year, took more breaks, used the trampoline, standing/sitting at the desk still, taking breaths, noticing stickers. Even when my stress levels were high, I was more awer of them.
- Deep breaths more frequently. I like this one and would enjoy continuing to do it. Can I come up with a different prompt?
- Paid more attention to thought patterns and making myself feel bad, even though I still do it. It's OK.
- Enjoyed trampoline, inverting, or other easy breaks. I have a daily task for this 3-4x/week, though I do feel some resistance towards it too.
- Taking more breaks, made it every 30 minutes and it's OK to skip one
- Rarely worked past 4 in Q1, Q2 and Q3. Q4 was tougher and I did work but rarely past 6.
- Great at talking to people and supporting them, though with more people my time with each has shortened, it's been valuable and feels like we've built social capital/positive morale.
- Found creative outlets, asked good questions (though room to improve)
- Hired 2 employees!
- Still struggling with "one more thing and then I'm done"
- Still skipping breaks or feeling the body aches of posture (neck pains lately)
- Still spending too much time in a stressful state, feeling pressured
Intention: Create with ease, from within, through the breath.
Could be a B+? I did really well for most of the year, and the interventions mostly work. The biggest challenge is still feeling spacious and relaxed during the workday. I struggle so hard when it feels like there's a long list of things to do.
Spiritual: Wholehearted Collaboration
I trust myself with my heart, and inspire others humbly, to make the world better, together.
I'd say this year many things have compounded and that will continue into next year. My greatest wish for 2023 is to keep doing what I'm doing, and find it easier.
- Wholeheartedness and integrity have come through this year for sure, especially in Q4 as we're adding more transparency and standardizing pricing in the business. And lots of transparency and financial planning with the team.
- Invested more in the home for sure. Basement was basically empty and it's now come together enough, last addition being a punching bag (great gift!)
- I can depend on myself to push things through, stressful though it may be.
- Spent way more time focused on big picture, and less on the nitty gritty
- Worked with our team, with motivation, inspiration, kindness
- Continued solid meditation practice, even more so in the eves than expected.
- Did a meditation retreat in May which was lovely and helped add the 2nd meditation! It's been a long time coming and I'm so grateful for this habit!
- Definitely panicked less when there were reasons to worry. I did struggle with how many people we're shedding once Q4 ends, but otherwise much of the rest came easier.
- It made me feel better to read these words: "It's OK to be a shitty person sometimes, people have shitty days."
- Struggling to feel contentment and share with others. Peace, a bit easier, but still tough.
- Still struggling to surrender the outcome, but I did focus more on collaboration, shared vision. Could spend more time on this.
Intention: Manifest from within and work together.
I'm really proud of this one and feel spiritually more aware and savvy. Even though the goal itself wasn't some change-the-world epiphany, the little things came together and a steady meditation practice has helped me a lot with mental health and kindness towards others.
A short review of 2021 goals, what's new?
- [-] Not much yin postures, but did meditate in the evenings to relax before bed. Strengthening bed routine instead. An evening walk would be nice…
- [+] Integrated cardio with workout and it's fine as is. Also did swimming this year. Happy with this outcome and habits!
- [+/-] Improved breaks at desk. Still not quite enough.
- [+] Way fewer headaches!
- [+] Play, game nights, games at home. Travel. Solid meditation.
- Ditched breathwork goals this year, but did have some inspirational alone time!
- [+] Quarterly reviews/reflections
- [+/-] Didn't take regular time off/quarterly, but did take a long vacation in the fall and honey-week in February! In a way, I only missed one quarter, and the summer was great otherwise (kiting!)
- [-] I added more to the list of things I enjoy, but haven't visited it regularly. I seem to have a problem of always doing, so I'm ditching this in favor of leaning more on "do nothing"
- [-] Didn't read enough about emotional and sexual health. Will be looking for a person to talk to, and I did start one book on it that seems helpful.
- [-] Haven't really been planning my days in detail. I'd like to get back to this but plan only the key elements, like a sketch.
- [+] I do use a doc where I track my TODOs, and that's been a good habit that works. So could probably just select daily/weekly tasks from there.
- [+] Overall good workday balance, breaks, and shorter Fridays
- [+] Finances in good shape, won't need a review for a bit, probably next year is just conservative/don't change much.
- [+] Got more plants!
- Hot springs trip, at least one.
- [+] Meditating 2x/day now most days.
Top of mind for 2023, which of course is based on how I feel right now:
- Rest and release stress in my body (particularly neck/scm). This can be addressed by taking more breaks, more massages, more baths, chiropractic.
- Support and empathize with my partner, adjusting course and finding a healthier balance at home. Make an effort to leave work thoughts after ending the workday, and focus on my personal life, my partner, my home.
- Continue going to the gym consistently, and prioritizing my health. Continue focus on posture and headache prevention.
If it was December 2023 today and I looked back on the year, what would I like to see, be able to say? Visualize great outcomes!
I'm proud to have continued quarterly reflections in 2022 (Q4 is part of this post). It's a nice little check-in with myself. I'd like to write more, it's like therapy. But it's been a hard habit for me to get into. I do reflect every week, and write a few thoughts of joy and gratitude daily.
on this blog. These quarterly reviews provided quality time with myself and a look at the general direction of each goal. Since I spend so much time reflecting on the year, I won't do a separate quarterly reflection for Q4 - it's incorporated into this post. And without further ado, 2022's intentions:
- Physical: Bolster and Balance
- Emotional: Kindness and Support
- Mental: Guide and Surrender
- Spiritual: Float and Observe
Physical: Bolster and Balance
2022 was an amazing year for my physical well being. I feel as fit as ever, sleep pretty well (though I'd like to get up earlier), and learned more about my glucose levels (and that glucose and cholesterol levels are connected).
Feel strong and balanced in posture and digestion.
I bolster my muscles so my body feels balanced and strong. I nourish my body with care and patience so it can support me and my adventures.
Follow protocols for nutrition (RCP, etc) Sharing in this with my partner.
- Get sunlight, IR and NIR light in eves, reduce bright lights
- Pull in steps from partner's research
Strong body that supports my adventures
- Continue kiting, learn to foil!
- Use kettlebell weekly
- Use punching bag weekly
- Continue trampoline, invert, neck care
- Use the new goodies that my partner got me - massage gun
- Get back into swimming
Emotional: Kindness and Support
One of the struggles I have when things get stressful is that I blame myself and put myself through additional suffering, worry. I sleep late, skip breaks or other healthy habits, and try to sit down and fix whatever's broken or what's worrying me. But, a lot of times if I didn't worry or spend so much time trying to fix things, I'd still find myself more or less in the same place.
Show kindness and support to myself and others.
I listen patiently and appreciate myself and others first, and support with questions and ideas second.
Personal development / Support
- Find someone to talk to for personal development
- Find new friends, meetup/group
- Talk to current friends more
- Share this support with my partner and my business (this comes naturally, but it's a nice reminder)
- Spend QT with kitties, they're growing fast
Act with kindness to myself. And to others.
- Be kind first. Set some reminders or notes.I tend to be rash and jump to conclusion, especially about myself. Includes self blaming, stressing out about running behind on TODOs, etc
- Use the punching back to release pent up frustration. Other methods as needed.
- Is my worry both important and urgent? How sure am I that it's both? This is similar to last year's step-away-it-s-OK.
- Love others first. A bit each day. Give first. Then ask for what I need or want.
Mental: Guide and Surrender
I can get so caught up in worries and what I'm trying to solve, that I ignore the outside world and dig deep inward. Instead, I could take 2 minutes to breathe, feel into my body and senses, and trust that it's OK. Feel what's arising and embrace the present as-is. Surrender to what the future may bring. I can be laser focused, which is great for GSD, but I'm missing on the inspiration and sustainable energy from the present as-is.
Nudge my thoughts in a direction that serves me.
I lean into my senses, breathe, and surrender to what's coming up.
Guide and direct myself and others, with attention and mindfulness.
- This ties in with the emotional side. Think kind thoughts. Take a breather, and then direct.
- Pay attention to feelings of panic, worry, stress, urgency.
- Step away, it's okay. Honor those mental breaks. Detach, come up for air. Then revisit.
- Deep breaths more frequently. Let go of this fight-or-flight, take some space and find joy/curiosity and support/comfort in the present, in what's going on. There is still so much goodness.
- How about making a list of must-dos? Setting the bar lower and looking at everything else as a bonus? Looking at it as "I can do this in a relaxed state". At least then, I can reduce time spent feeling like I'm behind/a failure/etc
- Select and use my Delegate Doc for this
- How to use passion planner this year?
Spiritual: Float and Observe
Be present with the world. Spend quality time with myself, in nature, and connecting with others.
Float and observe closely.
Meaning, I float above all worries, thoughts, and feelings. I observe at a close distance what's going on.
I appreciate my life, my body, my people, my plants, my self and my loved ones, with all the support and love shared everywhere
- Look to the present for inspiration. Breathe, baths, lean into body, mind, feelings. Create time and space for these things to arise.
- Enjoy kiting, nature, sun, walks, plants
- Continue meditation and awareness of behavior patterns.
- My greatest wish for 2023 is to keep doing what I'm doing, and find it easier.
- To make it through Q1 and beyond and keep as many talented people working with us as we can. To add more diversity into our team. And to encourage and support everyone.
- Surrender outcome and focus on collaboration. Focus on team and shared vision - work with team to craft the vision.
The bolster theme applies here perhaps most of all, in finding and channeling strength through people, through kindness, self compassion, patience.
A big thank you to 2022. This year feels like it went by very fast. I guess more life behind me. I was going to say less newness, but that's not really true. A lot happened, growth.
Many celebrations come to mind right away, and there are many more that I'm probably forgetting.
- Going to the gym regularly, most consistent and amazing growth since I was in my mid-20's. Deadlifted more than I thought I'd be able to, strengthened my muscles and still have more growth to keep me going!
- Muscle gains have plateaud but are staying in a good place. Focus is on strength now. I may go back to gain a bit more muscle next year, but if the gains don't go down, I've definitely added muscle in other places, and my coach has me focused on posture-supporting workout/movement, so I prefer that for now.
- Overheard gym conversation about kitesurfing, resulting in finding a lake in Wyoming that I went to 10 times this year, and even though when I write that it doesn't sound like much, it completely changed my excitement about it and motivated me to continue progressing and learn to foil! It's also been beautiful and therapeutic to go there.
- Did a gut health protocol, tests, learned about my glucose. More to come here!
- Reduced headaches and better sleep!
- Beautiful trip to Iceland, Italy and Romania. Wedding for my best/longest time friend. Detaching from work, with a large (feels like! but really not) company running with the help of others on the team!
- Business tripled since early 2021, though we're heading into a recession we're coming from a good place.
- Steady gratitude practice. Meditating 2x a day. Trampolining. So many little habits for my health, my body feels cared for, for sure!
- 3rd nephew, saw more of both! Family time. Friend time. Board games!
- Continued living with the seasons! CSA, raw milk, farmers markets.
- More concerts, many more this year! Events too. Plays. Saw Hamilton and really loved it!
- Birthday still bittersweet, emotional. And partnership is growing and transforming.
To a (self-)bolstering year, of finding support, comfort, and remembering that there's no fire to put out, worrying is not necessary. It's OK to be as I am. It's OK to do less. There's always a list, endless, of more to do.
And with that, to nudge others and encourage them, to build things together!