I am not always the most patient person, and this year that was put to the test. I am a results-oriented person. I want to see results and see them NOW, if not yesterday. Aren’t we all a little that way? With all the demands placed on us, often feeling like it is a race against the clock – why wouldn’t we be? At times I hear myself saying, “How will I have time for daily workouts and healthy meal planning on top of being a mom, working full time, launching a new career path, taking classes towards those goals, and on and on?”

Well, I learned that I do have time for it all. My list may be ambitiously long, and some days I may be frustrated I didn’t complete it all, but I learned to set priorities. 2012 challenged me to take a step back, look at the big picture and ask the question, “What is important to you?” Once I slowed down enough to listen to this question and to answer it honestly, the rest just took some prioritizing.  Of course with work and being a mom, my priorities may have to shift from day to day. But if I set my top priorities, the things I feel strongly about for my family and myself, the rest was often noise or distractions keeping me from my goals.  So for me, if being active, providing healthy meals and slowing down in the evenings to spend time with my family were at the top, then I was able to ‘bench’ the others. I would still complete them, but maybe without the life or death urgency I was compelled to do them once before.  

This year was also about getting back to me and to the things I am passionate about. I have been given the best gift I could ever wish for: the role of ‘mommy’ to my amazing son. Like many moms, most days I would do so much for the family, my son or my work, leaving little in the reserve tank for me. I recognized this and recalled what I used to tell my personal training clients (often moms): “This is your time – whether it is a workout, reading a new book, starting a new class or whatever you choose – you have to take care of you.  If you don’t, you can’t happily give 100 percent to the rest of the things you love like being a mom, a wife, a productive employee, student, etc.” 

As I reflect on this past year, I find myself asking,  “What led me to this place of content?” It was all the small steps and little successes throughout the year; successes like taking steps toward being active most days of the week, planning for healthy meals (as often as I can), or having a Plan B for what healthy option to order while out on those busy nights. This year was also about small steps I took for myself to get closer to my goals. Things like enrolling in wellness coach training, meditating (still a work in progress), taking my first CrossFit classes and striving to eat gluten free because I know I feel better when I do. One of the biggest successes was learning to slow down more and “let the dishes wait” so I can spend more time with my son, who I feel, is growing up at warp speed.  

We can be so hard on ourselves, looking back on the year and focusing on the “I should haves.”  We have to let those go. Once we do, we can celebrate the small, positive steps we took and will continue to take into the New Year.  Want a fun way to savor the successes of the year?  Check out the link below.  Try it in 2013!