2019 is all about streamlining, and yet here I am picking three theme words instead of one. It’s a work in progress, y’all.
In trying to come up with a word for 2019, I’ve found myself ping ponging between purpose, intention, and connection. The first feels a little too stern; the second too fraught with yogi-woo-woo connotations, and the third is a slam dunk but not the whole of what’s on my mind. A fourth candidate, planful, just sounds so boring and awful I can’t let it be the star of this show.
So instead of summing it up in one word, I’m just going to dive on in and over explain what I’m working with here.
If there’s anything that becoming a parent has taught me, it’s that time is a precious resource. It boggles my mind that I used to think I was so busy—and how much time I frittered away on … what, exactly?
I still waste a lot of time. The siren call of mindless social media scrolling after the kids are asleep is a powerful one. What better tonic to turn off your brain after a long day?
Well, actually, so many things. Exercise. Podcasts. Reading a book. Having an actual conversation with my husband. Calling a friend.
Well … maybe not those last two. By bedtime my social energies are zapped. But you get the picture.
It’s not just at home: at work I find myself leaning into the path of least resistance: to do the thing that is easy or obvious or ‘urgent’. Clearing out my inbox is the clearest example I can think of. Too bad those easy and obvious tasks aren’t the ones that make big impactful work happen. My goal is to spend more of my precious work time on the bigger picture, harder work—the items that will actually grow my business—and less time putzing around on low-level minutiae.
Purpose, then, is about using my time purposefully, spending more time at 1,000 and 10,000 foot views instead of shuffling around in the weeds. It’s resolutely not about optimizing—about subscribing to productivity hacks intended to wring maximum value out of every over engineered day—but about making conscious decisions instead of defaulting into the double tap.
Right before the holidays hit, I got hit with a double dose of caretaking; due to an unexpected turn of events, my family’s needs temporarily expanded to fill up my whole day and then some. (Not to worry, everything is fine).
I felt like I was drowning that week between childcare and chauffeuring and pharmacy runs, and felt simultaneously:
- Grateful that I work for myself and could prioritize family when I needed to
- Frustrated with how much of my time with the kids was spent on what I’d consider non-quality time, like chauffeuring and the getting out the door battles.
Those competing emotions had a beautiful baby, though: a moment of clarity during which I realized some changes we need to make around how we organize our lives. That our needs have changed significantly in the last few years and there are better ways we can approach our current day-to-day routines.
As my mom says, “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” and so I’m working on putting those lessons into practice now that I’m in a less frenzied headspace.
Which brings me back to intention: I’m laser focused on making sure that the way I spend my time is intentional. For me, that means being more planful (ugh, always my struggle, right along with patience) so that whether we’re trying to get out the door for school, deciding what to do with our Saturday, or taking a family trip, we’re prepared instead of scrambling.
We all know the divisive state of affairs right now, and it’s a rupture that often feels too big to take on. How can one person have an impact on the deteriorating state of our public life?
This was heavy on our minds as we at Fit Approach thought about our theme for 2019. We always pick a theme—recent ones are #IAmLimitless, #IAmEmpowered and #NoExcuses—and this year we wanted to choose one that would inspire others to connect, build bridges, and lift one another up. As a result, this year’s theme is #FitForward.
Fit Forward means we are committed to giving more to ourselves and to others, by focusing on progress, celebrating our forward momentum, and doing it all together.
With our partner, Gixo, we are sharing Fitness Forward—sharing a free class with those who inspire us or who we want to inspire—and I couldn’t be happier to be working with Gixo on this initiative, because the app is has been a lifesaver for me as a parent.
Beyond motivating me to work out and to run farther and faster than I ever have before, it’s also helped me find connection and community when I’m stuck at home with a napping baby or can’t make it to a yoga class. It’s so fun to work out with people all over the world and connect over a healthy common ground.
Connection feels doable. Connection feels like a meaningful step toward better relating to one another and building healthier communities.
Gixo is a partner of Fit Approach, which makes it even better that I get to write rapturous odes to this app. I honestly think I would have had an easier postpartum experience had Gixo been in my life in 2016. It’s the reason I became a stronger runner while pregnant, and it’s the bedrock of my post-baby return to fitness.