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

NIFS: Celebrating Fatherhood

fathers dayWe as Americans like to celebrate lots of things, but two things come to my mind, summer weather and Father’s Day. At least, you might have been thinking of the first idea and expanding on that (with the first official day of summer being June 21st). My initial thought of Father’s Day is that it’s been around pretty much since existence and it was an official holiday before the Mother’s Day (even though Mother’s Day chronologically comes first). Quite the contrary, after doing some research on this holiday, I found out how it came to be. Sit back and relax as I share some insightful history with you on how Father’s Day came to existence.

While Mother’s Day came to be a commercial holiday in 1908, it wasn’t until 1914 that President Woodrow Wilson made it a nationally celebrated holiday. Then it was still another 58 years before Father’s Day was on the same national level of recognition. You see, Father’s Day, didn’t get as strong of a campaign to be a nationally celebrated holiday like Mother’s Day. Men were not as thrilled with the holiday; there were thoughts that the holiday was an attempt to domesticate manliness and it was a commercial gimmick to sell more products (which were more often paid for by the fathers themselvesJ) However, the thought to make Father’s Day a holiday originated from one woman that was one of six children raised by a widower when her mother passed away. It was 1908 after Sonora Smart Dodd was listening to a memorial sermon to honor fathers that had died in an explosion when she thought to drum up support for an equivalent of Mother’s Day for fathers. She wanted to show appreciation for her father in raising six children solo. She went to local organizations and was successful! Then slowly but surely, this holiday started to spread. There was even an attempt to connect both Mother’s and Father’s Day calling it Parents’ Day to show that both parents should be respected and loved equally. However, since this was during the Depression, there were efforts against combining the dual holiday and keep each separate. Businesses that struggled during this timeframe made hard efforts to make Father’s Day a “second Christmas” for fathers. At last, in 1972, did the holiday become officially “official” when President Nixon signed a proclamation making it a federal holiday.

So in this month of June, celebrate your “old man”! Here are some creative ideas from The New York Times articles below:

1. Together, watch the video of two male Barbary macaques playing with a baby, and then watch a family video of your father playing with you when you were an infant. Do you see any similarities?

2. Watch the trailer for the new documentary “The Evolution of Dad” and then make your own short tribute video about your dad’s role in your life.

3. Make an audio recording of your father – holding a conversation, telling (or reading aloud) a story or joke, singing a song, even just laughing. Make a plan to listen to it every year, and each time you do, write down what the recording brings to mind and how it makes you feel.

4. Write a short personal essay, letter or poem about an enduring memory you have of your father – and ask your dad to write one too, perhaps about a key moment or event in your childhood. Then read each other’s pieces. Were you surprised by what each other said, even about shared moments that you both remember?

5. Jot down some of the major lessons your father has taught you and create a handmade book – perhaps in the spirit of a textbook or how-to manual – complete with your own (and/or his) illustrations. Put it on the shelf in the family library.

6. If a video crew filmed your family 24/7, what do you think the film would reveal? Do you get enough time together without distractions? Or do you tend to be using digital media most of the time? Set aside some genuine, unplugged “together time” – and consider making it a regular thing. Of course, you might also watch television or a movie or play a game together.

7. Show your appreciation. Tell your father (or father figure) how you feel about your family and your parents’ involvement in your life. Do you understand and appreciate each other? Do you sometimes feel like there’s a generation gap between you? How does your father view your generation?

8. Use your camera to capture a family moment, or just look through old family photos and talk about the “stories” they tell.

9. Go pie-in-the-sky, and fantasize together about how life would be different if you made a major sacrifice for charity (you might even make a donation) – or if you had your dream house.

10. Spread the pages of the paper all over the dining table or living room rug – or the virtual equivalent – and just read and talk about the news together.

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Topics: family family health social wellness