What a year that was! How was your year? I feel like I lost myself a little during the second half of 2023, I won't go into it all again as I really hate being negative and want to embrace the positives. I also appreciate that. however tough I have found life recently, there are others in a far worse position. But if you missed my post previous post then you can read about my determination to get back to self-care and deal with a very low period in my life here.
BUT .... a new year, a blank diary and lots of possibilities await. First goal is to allow myself time to rest, make the most of a quiet period and not take on too much!
I did an online Intention Setting Workshop with my lovely friend, and life coach, Chloe Leibowitz last week. And my biggest takeaway to share, start small, Rome wasn't built in a day. It is very tempting to get carried away with setting massive goals, inspired by all the sparkly, energetic and enthusiastic influencers on Instagram, but we are all different and lead very different lifestyles, different energy levels, budgets and time available to us. So make sure you remember, you are you, you are unique and beautiful and absolutely do not need to compare yourself to others.
Do you use a word for the year? I've been doing it for a few years now and I find it really helps me focus my mind, rather than new year's resolutions, having one word is a simple reminder of things you want to do! One single word will help you to set your goals and intentions, everything you hope to achieve, can relate back to your word - keep it visible, I like mine to be the starting point for my vision board and I will also print off a quote to pin to my fridge!
My word for 2024 is 'REVIVE'
Vision board, project book, decluttering ...
Some intentions are easier than others, some I have already made a start on. My vision board is in planning stage, I already have a new project book and have looked carefully at my bigger priorities. I have my 2024 diary and immovable actions are now scheduled (like my workouts). I've been gradually decluttering for a while now, but this is very much a work in progress, I try to do a small area every few days (yesterday I tidied my workout gear and tomorrow I plan to do my scarves). Getting unwanted items out of the house is a pain though (I am that person that drives around with black sacks in the back of my car for weeks).
I've moved my social media apps onto the last screen of my phone and put them in a folder marked LESS. Because we all need to do less scrolling right!?
Getting out in nature more ...
More challenging intentions include 'getting out in nature more', I hate the mud and the wet and grey skies. And as we live in the woods every time I step outside my gate, I get caked in mud. If it was just the mud I'd deal with it, but the cold, the grey and the constant rain recently hasn't inspire me. I find the effort of getting the right winter clothes on then cleaning myself and the dogs off after a walk too much. So for now I accept that intention will need to wait for spring days.
My frustration with online shopping ...
Some intentions simply require a stronger mindset and strength to say no! Like online shopping. Seriously, what are we doing?! I used to love treating myself to a day in Windsor or a wander in the West End. But the shops feel really uninspiring since the pandemic, rarely have the right size, the quality seems to have dropped and it all just feels like too much effort. But online shopping is mostly unsuccessful. I scroll for hours, put items in my shopping baskets, like a virtual fitting room, get overwhelmed when it all arrives with so much packaging, finally get around to trying it on, only to hate it all! Get overwhelmed again by repacking it, working out what system each shop uses for returns, then go off to the Post Office, and the various parcel shops to get rid of it all. Utter waste of my time.
Exercise and nutrition ... it's all about balance
Then of course the big one we all try to tackle in January - exercise and nutrition, the dreaded new year new you diet. It never works! So this year I am accepting it won't work but instead working very slowly towards gentle lifestyle changes. The new trend is called 'dirty wellness' and the point being that rather than obsess about doing it all, just do your best, give yourself space to have fun too rather than banning everything! So no Dry January here but a resolve to have a Dry'er January!
I have a ski holiday in early April, I am really nervous about it, even though my fitness improved last year and I gained strength when I was doing the EMScuplt NEO course alongside regular workouts, I know I've let things slip again the last few months. I don't want to be left behind on the slopes!
I've been asked to try out EMS Training, I am hoping it will give my workouts a kickstart. EMS is short for Electro Muscle Stimulation and it promises results equivalent to two hours of exercise in one twenty minute session. I will be working with Karl Jack owner and Personal Trainer at Frequency EMS in Reading. I will have two sessions per week for a 6 week period, one at my home (the equipment is portable) and one in his studio then I will continue with my snackable workouts with my online PT, Michelle from Anytime Team.
I don't love exercise and I know I need someone to tell me what to do, left to my own devices I don't bother so I have accepted investing in a PT is absolutely worthwhile. Even during my really low point in October and November, I kept my twice weekly appointments with Michelle, we adapted things a bit so I was doing more relaxation and breathing stuff but at least I kept going.
Of course, exercise is only effective if you work on your nutrition too! I want to get my strength back, some muscle definition again and lose a few pounds. I will need to make sure I eat sensibly, with plenty of protein-rich meals and consume less sugar and less alcohol! I am working with Tammy at Seven Colours of Nutrition to make sure I am using the right supplements for my hormone health and that I am kept accountable for my food choices.
Above: I'm using two new books to help me plan, The 1% Wellness Experiment by Gabrielle Treanor and Owning Your Menopause: Fitter, Calmer, Stronger in 30 Days by Kate Rowe-Ham.
I'm excited for 2024, in a mild, quiet way! My daughter is starting a new job and we have her second graduation to look forward to. She graduated with her degree in March 2023 and she will graduate with her Norland Diploma in March 2024. I have a couple of big personal projects I am going to have to tackle, I can't put them off any longer!
Keep up with my progress, follow me on Instagram and sign up to my blog updates here.
And let me know what your 2024 plans are!?
Love Michelle xx
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about health, menopause, fitness, beauty and style with a focus on the over 50's.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my 50s. I started this blog in 2016 with the purpose of helping other women at this stage of life. I’m delighted that my blog has grown to over 13k visitors per month. Visit my Work with Me page and request my Media Kit for details of product reviews, blogging services and social media content creation.
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