Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

You Say You Want a Resolution: Change Your World in 2020

We all have places we get stuck, and January tends to be a time when we reassess what’s not working for us anymore. Mostly we are looking for ways to be better, healthier versions of ourselves. The trouble with trying to figure out how to get unstuck is that we limit our thinking. In fact, there are eight different areas that have been identified as contributors to overall wellness:

  • GettyImages-1166631072Emotional
  • Spiritual
  • Intellectual
  • Physical
  • Environmental
  • Financial
  • Occupational
  • Social

There are countless possibilities for satisfying resolutions.

Look for Inspiration

In the past, I limited my resolutions to what I “should” be doing, such as weight loss and getting to the gym; or what I “shouldn’t” be doing, such as drinking wine during the week or eating bread and sweets. Last year I decided to take an entirely different approach. I took a look at where I was feeling poor—emotionally, spiritually, physically, and socially.

Then I began looking for inspiration. I thought back to conversations that lingered in my head, to social media posts that gave me pause, to pictures in magazines that I had saved, and to impromptu experiences that made me happy. I listened for the voice inside that said, “Isn’t that different? Isn’t that interesting? More of that, please.” I understood that this was where my body was asking me to resolve something; that my inner voice was letting me know that there was an opportunity to integrate something that would provide extraordinary satisfaction. It was time to think outside just the physical wellness box.

A Creative Way to Improve Well-being on Many Levels

I remembered reading a social media post about a man who set out to visit all of his Facebook “friends.” He decided that he wanted to put the personal aspect back into friendship. A little bell rang inside my head. I too was feeling disconnected emotionally from many of the people I was connected to on social media.

With a milestone birthday approaching, I was reminded of a person I used to train who decided to try something new every month for her 50th birthday year. I had become an empty nester and was feeling that my “almighty calendar” was empty. I liked the idea of a monthly goal—of looking forward to going somewhere each month.

During the December holiday celebrations, I wore a shawl that I had crocheted for myself from a simple pattern and inexpensive yarn. Almost every woman stopped to admire my work. This pattern that I had learned was satisfying and helped hone my (self-taught) crocheting skills.

Next, an idea formed inside my head. I decided to run a half-marathon every month with the following stipulation: I had to ask/find a friend to run with me (or simply cheer me on!). As a surprise thank you to any person who signed on, I presented them with a homemade shawl stitched together by my hands and filled with gratitude.

Guess what? I have never had a more satisfying year in my life. I added time with family and friends. I added adventures in new places. And I expressed gratitude. Sure, I was also able to check off the physical wellness goal too, but my year was about so much more.

Let me share an example of my March half-marathon experience. One race morphed into a weekend in Philadelphia with my nephew, his mother, sister, aunt, cousin, and stepmother, and my sister-in-law and husband. The weekend was filled with laughter, food, running, and love. It kept my hands busy; I made six shawls to show my appreciation for the connections we made.

Challenge Yourself to Look at All the Wellness Dimensions

So ask yourself, “Where am I hurting?”, “Where do I want to add more significance to my life?”, and “Where can I develop more of myself?” I challenge you to look at all the wellness dimensions and creatively piece together a New Year’s resolution that changes your world in a way that is deeply meaningful and satisfying. Here’s a cheat sheet on the dimensions of wellness that you can use to get started. 

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Topics: resolutions social wellness new Years resolution half marathon training well-being inspiration

Transcending Generations with Wellness in One Word

NIFS is participating in the Wellness in One Word campaign sponsored by Monarch Collaborations and the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA). The campaign will launch a digital photo gallery during Active Aging Week on October 1 – October 7, 2019 of individuals taking a picture or selfie while holding up their defined word of what wellness means to them in that moment. The goal is to collect and share 1,000 pictures to connect people, spark discussion and create a strong sense of community amongst participants across the world.

It is fascinating to think how this “word” can change for us so many times throughout the day depending on life’s stressors, our interactions with others, what we are able to accomplish in that day, etc.. It’s also interesting how this “word” might be felt or interpreted by different generations.

Emily.GratefulWhen I asked our NIFS team members to share their “word”, I received submissions of vitality, fulfillment, longevity, power, and balance. Our staff join our team from all walks of life and personal and professional experiences, yet their commonality is a strong desire and passion to work with seniors. Through providing individualized exercise services and teaching a variety of exercise classes, our staff are building relationships and helping improve the quality of life for older adults across the country. The tone and context of their submissions was similarly unified.

When I first started my career with NIFS, I managed a fitness program for a senior living client on the south side of Indianapolis. During my time at the community, I enjoyed sharing personal milestones with the residents of purchasing our first home, celebrating our first wedding anniversary, becoming pregnant with our first child and receiving a job promotion. As a young professional in that environment surrounded by active older adults with so many stories to tell about their own life experiences and rich histories, it helped me gain a strong perspective in how much one should truly cherish those milestones and experiences. While my job was to teach and lead the residents in various fitness programs, I learned so much from them in this perspective that I have carried with me through my career and life.

We can reflect on the emotional highs and lows of a given day or a given hour of a day when our words might be anxious, happy, excited, or accomplished. When it comes down to focusing on our overall well-being and pursuing a life of purpose and intention, I believe the “words” our staff are feeling transcend all generations whether you are a young professional at 23 beginning your career or an 83-year-old taking a balance class in a senior living community. The NIFS team is learning valuable lessons in how to appreciate those universal truths for all of us pursuing vitality, fulfillment, longevity, and balance. As I personally reflect on this campaign, our teams’ work serving older adults across the country, and what my “word” will be, I chose grateful.

Follow us on Facebook to see some of our Wellness in One Word submissions.

Topics: senior wellness continuing care retirement community active aging active aging week, inspiration wellness-based lifestyle