But first, This Year's Reflections

In 10 days, it will be 2017—and there’s no doubt that those 10 days will be filled with fun and festivities and will fly by! A New Year is coming, yes, and with that a time to set some goals and make some resolutions, but first let’s reflect. Here are a few questions, and my own reflections, which I help inspire you to take stock of where you are before racing forwards to where you want to go in 2017. Happy thinking…

What did you learn in 2016?

I learned that I do best when I am engaged and feel like I am making a contribution. As busy as practice teaching, transitioning through a few part-time jobs, maintaining coaching clients, and being a good daughter/girlfriend/friend/person was this year, the times when I was the busiest were perhaps the most rewarding because I knew that what I was doing mattered. At times when things when I was not responsible for all that much (i.e. when I was in the observation portion of my practicum placements, or the training part of a job), I found my mind wandering and my mood deteriorating. I like to be so into what I’m doing that the time flies by and I find myself wishing for more of it.   

What are you most proud of this year?

I am most proud of my decision to leave the world of working in a gym to try something different. At the end of the summer, after balancing an amazing summer gig working with a local educational charity that is near and dear to my heart and thus working a little less at the gym, I applied to and took a job at MEC. It was a tough decision—I would miss my friends, I would be saying goodbye to a part of my identity, and I would not be putting the money into a membership so I would really be closing a chapter—but it was one I decided I needed to make. Working at a gym was starting to stir up some pretty self-defeating thoughts and I knew that the voice in my head telling me that if I quit, I’d be admitting I shouldn’t be working at a gym after all was just a gremlin trying to keep me comfortably uncomfortable. It’s not fair to clients and people in a group class who are paying lots of money and choosing to invest their free time by being in your presence to have a coach or trainer who is not all in or so excited and passionate about being there for them. While I certainly miss it, things have worked out well: I’ve found myself able to sleep in or use the 6am hour I love so much to train myself, our basement makes for a great fitness studio filled with endless bodyweight training options, I am working in a community of really great people who are excited about something outdoorsy or recreational and feel much more like I fit in, there are all kinds of snacks and no worries of being judged for eating cookies as a (slightly chubby) personal trainer, and I get to be a part of spin classes on our bike trainers at the store which is something I have missed teaching so much over the past two years!  

What will you do differently next year?

Next year, I will spend more time at home. I found that with a busy schedule, I would often keep the momentum going by adding unnecessary tasks onto my to-do list. I’d make an unneeded trip to the store here, go shopping for nothing in particular there, or start a big project I would have been better off without instead of grabbing a book and a cup of coffee and cozying up in the living room. I want one of my guiding words to be “grounded” and I know the things that help me create that: reading, cooking, going for walks, cleaning, and writing.

How will you challenge yourself in 2017?

This year, I’ll graduate from teacher’s college and I’ll start the application process. One of my biggest challenges will be saying goodbye to student status--I’m 28, so it’s been about 25 years of my life spent as a student—and embark into the real world. I’ll challenge myself by maintaining my writing and coaching—for a while I was buying into the idea that I should get all in or get out, but I have since realized that it is okay to supplement the things we love with income from a part time job, or to get a fix for the things that really light us up on the side of something else that gives us stability and security in terms of a career. I’ll also challenge myself in a big way physically, as I’m hoping to sign up for a 24-hour road biking race in Michigan in June—one of those things that’s been on my list of goals for too long.  

What will make you the most proud come 2018?

When I look back on 2017 at this time next year, I’d like to be proud of the way I made the transition out of school and into more of an adult. I’d like to have a year’s worth of writing on this very website, a thriving coaching practice, and a sense of stability. This will require getting a dog (ha!), coming up with a plan for my finances, and taking self-responsibility. I’d like to see progress made in my training and racing, particularly in the swimming department, and I would love to be on the supply list and embarking on my teaching career.

I hope that these questions are as thought-invoking for you as they were for me, and that you’ll honestly answer them and take the time to check in with yourself before you rush ahead to setting resolutions—a topic for another day!