I do some version of a year recap every December. I used these "Health Recap" questions back in 2011 (I haven't looked at my answers back then but I just *know* that there will be habits I want to cultivate next year that I wanted to cultivate three years ago that I didn't.) If you're interested, cut and paste the question and write your answers out on paper. I find it really helpful to put your triumphs and to-dos, your wishes, and call to actions, into words. Not nebulous thought-like-words, but actual words in print. Here are mine.
1. What was your biggest health triumph in 2014?
Hands down, it was starting my early morning walk. After a 3.5 year break from a daily 5 miles (adult-pace, all in a row), I was sooooooo ready.
2. What was the smartest health decision you made in 2014?
Recruiting a partner for the aforementioned walk. Seriously. Go to your Facebook page right now and put out this message: Looking to start an early-morning walking group to do 3-5 miles a day, 3-5 days a week.
This was my post:
And I only got one taker. ONE! Thankfully, she's THE BEST walking partner, ever. Even willing to walk in the pitch black, freezing weather, despite the coyotes, bears, and wildcats. Just kidding. Kind of. It snowed on us a little this morning.
3. What one word best sums up and describes your 2014 health experience?
Outside. It's funny. I never felt the impact "regular shoes" had on my body until I went minimal. In this same way, I can feel "inside" on my body, and it's uncomfortable. I feel best--every part of me, in every sense--outside.
4. What was the greatest lesson about health you learned in 2014?
Stress trumps all. Even when the diet and movement are right, you can be undermined by a mind that's bearing a heavy load.
5. What was the most loving service that you performed in 2014?
6. What is your biggest piece of “unfinished (health) business” in 2014?
Meditation. I don't know what happened this year, but it wasn't meditation.
7. What (about your health) are you most happy about completing in 2014?
I am happy about assembling an (ever-evolving) outdoor obstacle course, which is currently my favorite thing ever. Some highlights:
The suspended (read: swings a little) ladder;
the slack line;
and the almost a quarter mile loop of lumps, bumps, grass, brush, holes, and hills. Because imagining you're running away from something on pavement isn't as fun as pretending to run away from something chasing you over natural terrain.
8. Who were the three people with the greatest impact on your health life in 2014?
My walking BFF.
My blog and FB followers (you inspire me!).
So that's 100,003 people, but what can I say? Impact is impact. Those gentle-nudge impacts are just as trajectory-changing as a train wreck. Not that my kids are a train wreck, but you parents can appreciate the analogy.
9. What is the biggest health risk you took in 2014?
Climbing. To be fair, it probably wasn't that risky, but it felt like it. It was mentally risky. But isn't it all?
10. What was your biggest health surprise in 2014?
How quickly strength--never-before used strength--develops when you train smart.
11. What important health relationship improved most in 2014?
This is a weird answer, but the relationship between me and my eyes is better. I ask a lot of my eyes, as I love to read for fun, I read a ton for work, and I've written at least one book a year for three years. I needed to make a change because the load to my eyes was more demanding than it should be.
I swapped out at least two print books for audio, and ditched late-night recreational reading for podcasts. I do realize that continuous input is my addiction (see question #4 above) and way of avoiding...something. My next step will be to replace some input with a no-input meditation, but it's so hard to choose! For example, here are my two favorite Christmas gifts this year.
What's in that little felt-covered Altoids tin, you ask? The cutest meditation kit, ever!
So, setting aside that Buddha didn't actually say "What you think, you will become," don't I want to be a mash-up of A Mechanical Approach to the Ecology of Animals and Plants, and Top Gun? So many questions.
12. What compliment would you have liked to received but didn’t?
"Katy! You look so rested!"
13. What compliment would you have liked to have given but didn’t?
"Everyone out there helping others with their health, you're doing amazing and necessary work!"
14. What else do you need to do or say to be complete with 2014?
I need to meditate for one hour. Or listen to an audiobook on meditation.
Just kidding about that last part.
Creating Health in 2015
1. What would you like to be your biggest health triumph in 2015?
I'd like to walk some pre-determined "thing," like the Pacific Crest Trail, or the Grand Canyon. Something where you can't stop until you're done. Since I still have littles, I'm shooting for something I can do in a day. Actually, I just decided (right now) that I will walk the Wildwood trail in Oregon. It's 30 miles, and I nominate my friend Karren to come with me, because she's amazing and I know she will. Watch for pictures in 2015.
2. What health advice would you like to give yourself in 2015?
Days off, Katy Ann. Days off.
3. What major effort are you planning to improve your health results in 2015?
Taking a retreat. Believe it or not, that's a huge effort for me.
4. What would you be most happy about completing in 2015?
4 more books.
3 more books.
5. What major health indulgence are you willing to experience in 2015?
Bodywork. I'm totally willing. Just putting it out there, if you'd like to come and give me some.
6. What would you most like to change about your health in 2015?
Reducing the sugar! Or really, the cravings for sugar. I don't eat that much, but the desire is still there. Why? I'm clearly not meeting some energetic need. It probably has something to do with the constant need for input and the lack of meditation. DAMN IT.
7. What are you looking forward to learning about health in 2015?
Wild food and hunting. Surviving in the wild. Seriously, I'm not playing around anymore. I'm cultivating my post apocalyptic team right now. Please let me know if you'd like to apply.
8. What do you think your biggest health risk will be in 2015?
Um, the apocalypse. Duh.
9. What about your health are you most committed to changing and improving in 2015?
Less screen time. I've cut out of two Facebook study groups, and will be limiting my professional posts to an average of 2 a day, 4 days a week. I'm focusing my writing efforts (computer time) to things that can be mass-produced, instead of writing a bit here or there. Someone culled all the writings I had done on the blog and Facebook for the last couple of years and it was almost 200,000 words. TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS!!! Imagine if it those were written in a way that people could easily read and process to assist their own understanding?
10. What is one as yet undeveloped talent you are willing to explore in 2015?
11. What brings you joy and health and how are you going to have more of that in 2015?
Being outside with my family. And how am I going to do it? I just am. The end.
12. Who or what, other than yourself, are you most committed to loving and serving in 2015?
13. What one word would you like to have as your health theme in 2015?
Rugged. In so (so so so) many ways. In fact, the next 3 posts of KatySays will all be on ruggedness. You can hardly wait, I know.
Now it’s your turn. Just go for it! Post one of your answers here to inspire others or get some cheers and praise for your general awesomeness!