2013: Year of Adventure; Training for Mt Blanc
Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2013 is off to a great start for you! How are those resolutions holding up so far? Making it to the gym? Avoiding sugar? Reducing alcohol?
Resolutions are inspiring to make and so often hard to sustain. This is because so many of us believe that resolutions require willpower, that elusive trait that makes you strive to achieve your goals while tandemly, your motivation wanes. It is the thing that so many people feel they are sorely lacking and point to this so-called deficiency as the reason they have not yet gotten a handle on their bad habits. But there is an inspired approach you can take to help you follow through on your most fervent wishes, and that is creating a theme for the year and working backwards from there.
If you’ve been a long time subscriber to my blog, then you might recall that every year rather than having resolutions, I instead focus on a theme. In creating a theme and allowing the inspiration of it to guide my actions, many serendipitous and magical events transpire that may never have come to life through sheer will or motivation. So for 2013 I’ve decided to embrace adventure, both in business and in leisure and working backwards from there, seeing where this theme will take me.
I love adventure. Whether it’s the adventure of trying something new in business, as I did with the Motivational Monday series, or the adventure of exotic travel, when it comes to fun and new experiences, I am 100% in.
Yet the practical work involved in bringing any of those things to life can be a challenge. For example, when I first conceived of the idea for MM, it was difficult for me to see how I was going to launch regular videos when I had no experience whatsoever in front of a camera, didn’t actually own a camera and had a limited budget to hire someone to help me make it happen. But by keeping my focus on my intention of reaching those who would otherwise not be able to afford my services, the pieces fell into place in a way that now seems effortless. Working backwards from a desire to reach people, the actions I had to take felt easy and effortless and it all worked out better than I could have ever imagined.
If you think back to the last time you wanted to “lose weight” or “get fit”, you might be able to relate. If those goals were attached to, let’s say, looking as great as possible for your wedding or for a trip to Europe, then the energetic pull of those events likely made it easier for you to adhere to your plan, as opposed to doing it for the sake of just doing it. While it is important to create long-term habits that take you past these specific moments in time, you have to start somewhere. Having a vision of where you are going and what you want the experience to be like, is one place to start and it’s why this approach works as well as it does. It provides daily inspiration when willpower wanes.
For 2013, In addition to continuing on the adventure of my growing practice and seeing where it takes me, I have also decided to hike around Mont Blanc on a two week, butt-kicking adventure through three countries at high altitudes. Because of this, I am getting into the best shape ever without needing an ounce of willpower.
A 14-day trek around Mont Blanc takes you to high altitudes in fluctuating weather conditions through France, Switzerland and Italy. It is a serious hike and requires preparation, both physical and mental. While I concede, this type of vacation is not for everyone, it seems custom tailored to me. And the foods in these three countries are also some of my favorite cuisines in the world, that after long, daily hikes I can enjoy virtually guilt free!
Yet I also care deeply about my safety and mental health. I don’t want to sign up for a trip that if launched unprepared could cripple me both physically and emotionally so in order to prevent that, I am training. And in the process I am amplifying my long-standing “goal” of getting optimally fit with much greater joy and less willpower than ever.
Because I am training for a challenging event, my fitness routine goes beyond exercise. Where before I’d run the bridal path in Central Park for 45 minutes, I now run through every path and hill I can find in order to build strength in my legs and increase my lung capacity. My Yoga classes, once meditative havens, are now also opportunities to build arm strength and flexibility. On the weekends I hike with groups, friends and anyone that will join me.
Anticipating the adventure of Mont Blanc has added a level of joy and intensity to my workouts that I would never have achieved through just sheer will or through a New Year’s Resolution. I needed inspiration and now that I have it, I am working backwards from there, turning each workout into an opportunity to gain strength and stamina for a trip that excites every cell of my body when I think about it. If my resolution was to gain greater fitness, I can almost assure you, that hill running in Central Park wouldn’t have even come to mind. Now, getting fit has never been so much fun!
What is YOUR theme this year? Share with me in the comments below…
Is it to experience greater peace of mind and happiness, which in turn may help you settle into a meditation practice that up until now has been difficult to commit to? Or is it to experience vibrant health in order to take that long desired trip to Asia, in turn, making it easier to avoid sugar, your long-standing scourge, in order to achieve this vibrancy? How about the theme of living creatively, which may inspire you to try more recipes at home, having the added benefit of enhancing your health? Whatever your theme, flesh it out and in working backwards from this vision see what practices need to be in place in order to achieve the realization of this theme. Then set out to practice the habits that will help you realize your greatest wish for 2013. From there, watch the magic unfold as you begin to live your life with greater intention and inspiration than ever….no willpower necessary~
Wishing you a magical and fantastical 2013!