Hello 2021

Hi Friends,

As we reach the end of 2020, I want to take time and reflect on the highs, the lows, the ways we have changed, and the ways we want to improve in the new year.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. COVID-19 has had a major impact on 2020. We as a nation have sadly encountered incredible hardship because of it. However, this is a time to embrace the changes and move forward. What can we take away from a year of incredible change and bring with us into 2021 for the better? How can we grow and be a healthier version of ourselves?

Four months into the year, and one month into COVID-19, my husband and I found out we were expecting a little addition to our family. Being pregnant, limited on my normal healthy routines, and now limited physically- I approached this year with a very challenging mindset. However, I feel the following points have really helped me during the challenging times, and even inspire me to be more in the coming year.

Here are my points of inspiration for 2021:

Be Positive

Be Realistic

Be Brave

Be Ready

I encourage you to be Positive this new year. As a nation we have had an extremely negative year. Without getting into the details with which we are all too familiar, we have seen heartache and division in most every aspect of our lives. This year, dwell on the positive and be an encouragement to your community. I am not suggesting we become oblivious to the world’s woes and heartaches, but do not allow them to consume and destroy what you can change and are in control of. Personally I have found that when I focus on the positive and what I can control (i.e. my mood and mindset), I can share this positive outlook with my community and thus help spread that encouragement.

Be Realistic with your expectations. This advice is something I will always suggest, no matter what time of year or your current circumstances. Set goals to motivate yourself but do so with a realistic understanding of your ability to reach your expectations. When I first found out I was pregnant, my expectation was that I would be out of my exercise routine for 9 months, but in reality – I could exercise – and I did. I was realistic with myself about what I could expect out of my body and knew I needed to modify my routine and my limits. With my eating habits, I again had to be realistic- I did not make it through my pregnancy with my normal, very structured routine. I want you all to hear this! I gave in to cravings, I ate cereal, had peanut butter with chocolate chips, and enjoyed every bit of it. This is ok! I did not guilt or beat myself up, I just balanced giving into cravings by focusing on fueling my body and baby with healthy choices for my other meals. Side note to healthy eating during pregnancy, be mindful of your food choices, portions, and content. Feeding yourself and your baby isn’t always going to be perfect, but it does not mean we ladies have an excuse to eat the entire roll of Oreos.

Be Brave. Now, I know I just said be realistic, but that does not mean lower your standards or choose to limit your ability to push yourself. Setting a goal that is intimidating, yet realistic, is a matter of motivation. Going into this new year choose to be brave by trying new routines at home or through virtual programs. Be brave in the kitchen and cook new foods and recipes that you have never tried before. I encourage you to not let fear of failure keep you from trying something new or changing something in your life that has become so comfortable you are too afraid to create a new pattern. I am meeting the new year with hopes to brave new goals in the gym. I am also going to brave my fears and not let comparison to others define me. I know my body will need to adjust and I need to give it grace and time to get back where it was before my baby. Failure and/or disappointment, or even just the fear of either, can keep us from so many good things, as I have seen it do this year for so many of us disappointed with what we were given.  This year, choose to be brave. Be bold- but most importantly be humble and grateful for a new chapter, a fresh start.

With that I come to my last point of inspiration for the new year. Be Ready. Ready for your day, your week, your next meal. Be ready with that response to your boss, dinner plans, a plan to meet your exercise goals, you name it. When we prepare ourselves to stay on track with what we hope for, we empower ourselves to make the changes we desire. Trust me, this mama is not going to be ready for everything her new baby is bringing (remember, being realistic comes first), but we can set routines, make plans, keep records, and even use calendars to help keep us ready. Life will throw us curve balls and there will be things we cannot plan for, and that’s okay. Being ready and having a plan takes us from feeling overwhelmed to a sense of control and ability to face challenges as they come. It gives you the ability to enjoy your dinner rather than stress over making it; it means getting to the gym and knowing just what you are going to do rather than looking around and feeling overwhelmed by endless options. Being ready looks different for everyone. I encourage you to takes these last few days of the year to think about how you will be ready to face 2021.

Cheers everyone, here’s to a healthy 2021.

-Rebecca Somersett