Ashley's realistic, real-life tips can help you take 2018 to the next level.
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It’s not breaking news: the new year equates to a must-do, or you’ll be disappointed mentality. From cutting sugar to being kinder, every January 1st of my adult life I have penned a laundry list of New Year's resolutions.... and to be honest, every year I find myself feeling overwhelmed by my somewhat fictitious commitments. It only took thirty-something trips around the sun, but I finally learned my lesson.
I’ve officially ditched the traditional notion of resolutions for goals. After the champagne toasts are over and my yoga pants are on, I set goals. My personal mantras to make *me* better. It could be one or three, but I outline real, authentic goals that illicit an overjoyed feeling when it comes to a fresh perspective. Forget the whole new year, new you—I am now embracing the new year as a continuation of my journey. An exclamation point on my well-being.
But what really made me say goodbye to resolutions? Despite how much I enjoy sparklers and the dressy attire, these are the three reasons why I changed how I view the start to a new year. It’s about time we loved ourselves a little more and kicked some serious butt.
Real talk: Resolutions set us up for disappointment.
I once read a blog that said when you set expectations, you set yourself up for disappointment. Lightbulb moment: resolutions are just that. Whether it’s my wellness plan, work, or a relationship, I’ve found this truth to be, well, pretty true. So instead of making resolutions, I look at the new year as a chance for simple, positive guiding principles that can influence my actions each and every day. You shouldn’t feel bad about yourself just because the scale doesn’t show that magical number you wanted to reach by a certain date or your busy calendar had you miss your gym session. Life happens—and I am finally realizing that.
Feel the focus: Find what's most important to you.
As we welcome a new year, find one area of your life you want to focus your energy on. For me, it’s all about mental (and emotional) wellness. By refining my new year's goals, I can shift my focus to one element of my life that I would like to improve on personally and everything else that benefits my well-being is an added bonus. Fitness, finances, relationships, balance—aspects of our life can feel overwhelming. Streamlining a relatable goal can help prioritize what is most important to you in the new year. And don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t have to be a lofty goal either... find that one thing you are hoping to shift for an even more amazing you.
Note to self: It’s okay to fail. Seriously.
It took a long time for me to not feel guilty for not meeting (or exceeding) my resolutions. Why didn’t I do it right? Why couldn’t I make it happen? These negative questions would plague the lines of my journal just a few weeks into the new year. I used to feel like my resolutions were this hard deadline I must achieve. Now, by establishing goals and accepting that they can shift, I’ve created a sense of positive accountability, accepting that it’s okay to reset my priorities and update what I want to achieve as the year progresses. Maybe I didn’t stick to my meal plan by eating a homemade brownie at work. Or maybe I didn’t hit the bench press reps I was on track to complete today. But guess what? I enjoyed that treat. I still made it to the gym. Owning change and accepting accomplishments—even if they seem small—is something we should all be proud of.
So this new year, join me in ditching resolutions and setting goals! Watch out 2020; this is going to be our best year yet!
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.