Has it been far to long? Yes. Am I sick of saying "how long it's been?" Yes. Are you sick of hearing it? Probably. Well first of all, thanks for your patience! I have missed interacting with all of you on the blog, facebook, twitter, and instagram! Although I took what was a much needed break from a very hectic schedule, I do truly love writing posts for you guys and getting some good ol' fashioned evidence-based information out there (it's more fun & interesting than it sounds eh?)
So where have I been? What have I been doing?
Well as many of you know I took on a full time position less than 6 months ago as a Nutrition Manager / Clinical Dietitian for a personal care home organization. I was working part-time as a dietitian for this particular organization for about 4 months before the previous manager retired and they approached me to see if I was interested in expanding my role. My initial reaction was 'no thank-you ... I already have a job'. Well, several actually. After much thought, discussion with my family, and prayer however, I decided to take on the challenge to expand not only my knowledge as a dietitian but also my skills as a business owner and now manager. I actually consider this to be not only one of my greatest strength's but also one of my greatest weaknesses. I aim to accept new challenges in my life, no matter how daunting, in order to better myself as a person and a professional. I value my skills as a dietitian and the education it took to earn them, therefore as a fairly new professional I wanted to continue learning all that I could in this life about the things that I love. The problem is that sometimes that list is veeerrrrry long. I want to learn about so many topics and expand my interest in so many areas that I often find I don't use the N.O. word often enough.
My sister mentioned to me that instead of making a new year's resolution the way many of us tend to do, she chooses a word to be her mantra for the year. I thought that was a pretty great idea and the word "priorities" immediately came to mind. In this life we will ALWAYS have competing priorities. The desire for financial stability, a devotion to our chosen faith, the commitment to hard work and excellence, the need for rest and relaxation, the longing for deep and meaningful relationships with family and friends - all of these things can be overwhelming in today's society where we aim not only to do our best but often to be the best.
I have spent the past few months battling to balance these competing priorities. Although I consider myself the type of person who deals with stress well, I found myself doing everything and nothing all at the same time. By that I mean I was taking on more and more because I couldn't say no and because I actually wanted to tackle many of the tasks I was taking on, however if I'm being honest, I wasn't really doing any of them particularly well. I wasn't keeping up with my friends and family the way I wanted to, I wasn't able to concentrate at work the way I should be able to, and I certainly wasn't giving this, my private practice and clients, the time and energy it deserves. Then the word 'priorities' came to mind again.
Although there will always be times when your priorities are not quite in order, this year I plan to strive to keep my priorities at the forefront of my mind. Instead of the usual, "I'm going to lose weight, or workout more, or eat healthier" resolution, I plan to make myself and my physical, mental, and emotional health a priority. In the business of being a dietitian I have seen that being a martyr, in other words putting everyone and everything before yourself and your health, is actually no way to love and serve others. (Jada Pinkett Smith says it all in this clip of her discussing mother hood - I think this applies in many areas of life as well).
Instead of, "I'm going to have 'X' number of dollars saved by the end of the year" or "I'm finally going to be able to buy 'X'" I plan to work hard and do the best I can in my professional opportunities but not so hard that I decrease my value as an employee by being overworked, overtired, and worn out. My employer and my clients deserve the best I can give them, I in turn deserve to be treated fairly and to be given (and to take on when it is in my control), a manageable workload. Making sure that this is the case will be a priority.
Instead of saying, "I'm going to spend more time with family and friends" I will do it. Not just say it. If you treat yourself well in the other areas of your life, then the excuses that prevent us from doing that which we all truly want to do, spend more time with our loved ones, will happen naturally. We will no longer be "too tired" or "too busy." Learning to take on enough to be challenged, but not so much that we are overwhelmed, allows us to really practice putting our priorities first.
Figuring out what your priorities are might sound tricky but I bet if you took a few minutes to really think about it you wouldn't find it very difficult after all. So this year, my resolution is to stop making resolutions and instead start practicing putting my priorities in place. If you can free yourself from the need to 'be the best' or 'have the best' and instead just 'do your best' you will be living by the mantra I try to instill in all of my client's "PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION" (thanks to the client who shared that saying with me ;). I use the word 'free yourself' very intentionally here. since I think the reason we are all too often tired, busy, and stressed is because we are competing against whatever society tells us we 'must do' or what we 'must have'. When you stop competing against this imaginary standard, I think it is inevitable that you will be happier and healthier. And isn't that what we all ultimately want?
I don't know about you but I think this may just be the last resolution I ever make.
Oh! And also to "eat less meat" because I mean, we've all heard this news right?
Here's to a happy, healthy, whitty nutrition focused 2016!