Give Thanks

The holidays are here!!!! Can you believe it?! 

For me, tons of emotions flood my mind when considering this time of year: excitement to see family, Christmas cookies, movies, making memories, exchanging gifts...

But sometimes it creates anxiety to schedule it all. I have to buy gifts, eat everything in sight, and struggle to make time for exercise and relaxation.  

On top of it all, I sometimes start to reflect on the goals I didn’t reach the previous year and where I “should” be by now (emotionally, physically, and spiritually), to then feel discouraged for the upcoming twelve months. "Will I ever make the progress I want to see?"

Hold on, I thought the holidays were supposed to be full of positive thoughts? 

Why are thoughts like “My squat isn’t close to where I want it to be” and “I didn’t read all the books I had on my list” polluting my joy?

Friends, it is well past time to change this way of thinking. Focusing on my life’s negative aspects will not yield the positive outcomes I desire, and neither will it for you.

While being honest with ourselves about unmet goals being necessary and good, our new aim must be to truthfully examine the whole year—complete with failures AND successes! 

Here are some thoughts: maybe you didn’t lose all the weight you were hoping to, but tell me, did your body change?

Do you feel more energetic, strong, or healthy?

Perhaps you didn’t hit the PR you hoped for, conquer your reading list, or get the job you hoped for, but did you make an attempt?  

Join me this November with a new outlook. Not one of defeat, but of gratitude. 

Thanksgiving, although accompanied with its own baggage, is a day to remember our blessings and to give thanks for the life we have been given.

Christmas is also a day to rejoice in the greatest Gift ever given to mankind, and applying those principles to our own lives may well just yield the most fruitful year yet. 

So, my challenges to you over the next few days, weeks and year are to:
1. Never let your actions or habits proceed from fear. 
2. Identify the victories you have seen in your life, and let them inspire you to continue working towards your goals.
3. ENJOY the holidays!
4. Share your successes with a friend, and in turn reflect what growth you have seen in their life recently. 

One more thing: you may be thinking to yourself, “This is all well and good, but I can’t think of a single thing I improved in this year.”

Maybe your health has worsened, or you moved farther from your goals. My response to you is this: acknowledgement of where you are is the first step to growing. It’s never too late to move joyfully towards the person you were designed to be!

May your holidays be blessed and full of joy. Happy Thanksgiving! 

“I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” Eleanor Roosevelt

-Anna Justus