I chose the word build for my word of the year. 2020 was challenging in ways that most of us were not expecting. During the pandemic I worked on skills that I had learned in the past. I figured out skills that were useful for my mental health, for our family finances and for the overall happiness of our little family.
The most important thing that I did in 2020 was undertake a strength workout challenge. I made the decision in October to complete 82 strength workouts before the end of 2020. This averaged to 5 workouts per week. My mental health had been suffering and I was tracking my mental health so that I could figure out what tools would help me feel content. What I discovered was that on days where I had worked out, particularly on days where I had done a strength workout (walks don't produce the same results for me), I felt happier and didn't experience extreme lows.
The results spoke for themselves. Short, intense strength workouts do wonders to improve my mental health. This year, I vow to build on that. I plan to complete a minimum of 4 strength workouts a week. I also plan to complete a minimum of 4 cardio workouts (including walking) and a minimum of 2 stretching or yoga workouts. I want to feel strong, both mentally and physically.
The other skill I plan to build on is strengthening and maintaining a good morning routine. This is a habit that I easily fall out of, but it is so beneficial when I keep it. I am an introvert. I enjoy spending time alone. This year, I have felt like I am never alone. My kids and I are always together. My oldest is doing virtual school and we have been avoiding pretty much all social contact. I love being with my family, but I still crave time to myself. My evenings are spent plugging away at my school work or with my husband so I am still not getting restorative alone time.
When I get up early and have time to myself before my kids are up, I am happier and my day runs smoothly. I love the way the day feels when I get time to myself in the morning. The problem lies in the fact that I hate rolling out of bed, so I often avoid getting up until the last minute.
I acknowledge that I don't ever feel like jumping out of bed, even on days when I have had ample sleep. I am never going to feel great getting up early, but it certainly sets a much more positive tone for the day and helps me feel prepared. This is worth it.
I am going to ease into my morning routine, especially since the holidays have been full of late nights. I plan to have my routine in place by February and then I plan to keep it going all year long.
Did you set any intentions for 2021? I would love to hear them!