I just enjoyed a few days with my colleagues at the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition Symposium in Baltimore. In honor of SCAN’s 30th anniversary, we were reminded to learn from the past, live with excellence in the present, and plan for a successful future. These are truly nuggets of truth for life. Do you find yourself replaying the mistakes and disappointments of the past over and over? Why you didn’t get to that yoga class or eat the salad instead of the fries with dinner? Why you stayed up past midnight again, knowing your morning run would suffer for it? I personally am famous for losing things, and I know it is easy to let negative thoughts take over when I lose something important, or give less than my best to the people I care about (that includes me!). If guilt or shame are creeping in because of past actions, remember: We all mess up! No one’s perfect!
Here’s a wild idea- resolve to be perfectly imperfect! When you feel you have failed, lost, missed out, messed up, or otherwise confirmed your humanity with imperfection, try this:
- Learn from the past. Some mistakes matter, and some don’t. Did you miss your work out yesterday, or every day for the past year? Did you miss it because you were sick, or because you drank too much the night before? When you are clear about what happened and why it matters to you, you can learn from your mistakes. If those past mistakes are sticking around, get professional help so you can move on.
- Live with excellence in the present. Today, in this moment, choose what is good for you. For your health, for your peace of mind, for fun, for success. Choose a new vegetable and find a recipe to make it irresistible at dinner tonight. When you are running late and think you don’t have time to prepare breakfast, grab yogurt and a banana instead of a muffin. When you find yourself nodding off at the computer, dash out for a brisk walk instead of dragging your feet to and from the coffee pot.
- Set yourself up for success. Do you eat what you enjoy, and also sometime try something new? Do you eat without guilt or shame? Can you move without pain? Ask yourself why you want to live well, set 1-2 goals that will help you to get there. Get support from friends, family, and experts, and develop a plan for choosing wellness in your everyday moments.