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What were you doing the last time you felt good?


As you may or may not know (or care!), I never make New Year’s resolutions, but I always choose a Word of The Year.

It works like this: on January 1st, I chose a word that I’ll use as a touch point for the rest of that year. Kind of like a guiding theme or compass for the next 12 months.

If you’re into it, you can read more about my past WOTYs and how I like to chose them here (it’s never too late to choose yours!).

My word for 2024 is: Flexible.

I chose Flexible because, thinking about some of the events coming up in my personal and professional life this year, I wanted to feel a little more like The Dude Abides and a little less Walter. You know, I want to be able to roll with things. Not something I’m historically known for.

In other words, I’d like to feel more psychologically and physically flexible.

Focusing on the physical bit first, I asked myself: When was the last time I felt consistently flexible and strong? It was a little shocking to realize the answer was 2018.

Then I asked myself: What was I doing in 2018 that I’m not doing now? The answer was pretty clear. I was practicing yoga regularly, both at home and studio classes.

My practice slowly fell apart in 2019 (thank you cumulative grief and random physical illnesses) and then 2020 derailed it completely (as it did for everyone everywhere, doing everything).

I’ve practiced at home here and there, but I never really got back to a solid routine or returned to the studio.

So on New Year’s Eve, I did what everyone else was doing at 11:30 pm: I signed up for a yoga class.

And 2 days later I went.

I put myself in the back corner, flapped around for an hour, and was immediately very sore. Because while I am becoming flexible and strong, I am currently made of crumbling cinder blocks tied together by Twizzlers.

Even so, it felt great. So I went again. And again.

I’m sharing this with you because when I’m not feeling great and I’m trying to figure out how to take care of myself, I often make things way more complicated than they need to be.

For example, if I want to be flexible and strong, I tend to think that I need to reinvent my entire wheel by trying something new that I don’t want to do, mostly because it works for other people.

Like that time I did that Couch to 5K thing (phew, was a long two days) or worked out with a personal trainer for a few months or the many times I’ve tried to convince myself that I could be the kind of woman who gets up at 5am to swim at the local Y.

When I do this, my efforts rarely work and never stick. And, just when I start despairing that I’m hopeless and so terminally unique that nothing will ever work for me, I remember what has worked for me in the past.

Then I do that. And it works. Much to my surprise.

You know what else surprises me? When I feel down, taking a walk always helps. Journal writing, going to the ocean, laughing with my husband, getting enough sleep - same.

I always think it’s more complicated than that. Sometimes it is, but most of the time it’s not.

This is what works for me, most of the time. I just have to remember and return to it, whenever I forget.

So, this is a friendly reminder that if you want to feel more flexible, strong, rested, connected, or whatever WOTY you choose for 2024, it might help to ask:

  • When was the last time I felt ____?
  • What was I doing then, that I’m not doing now?
  • What’s one small step I can take to do that (or a modified version) again?

Maybe it will help! But yeah well you know, that’s just like my opinion man.


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