As the new year (and new decade — yikes!) rapidly approaches, it never hurts to take a look back at where were and how we thought about wellness this time last year: the goals we made (and kept with), the new priorities and wellness rituals we discovered and the ones we realized maybe weren’t that important to begin with.
It’s a time to decide whether you’re going to set some (reasonable and healthy) resolutions for yourself or, maybe, decide that the whole resolution thing is not your bag. In the spirit of reflecting, we talked to a number of real women about their wellness resolutions from the last year, how things went and if they’re going to make another round of resolutions for 2020. Here’s what they had to say:
Rochelle Melander, Author; Writing and Productivity Coach and author of Level Up: Quests to Master Mindset, Overcome Procrastination and Increase Productivity, @WriteNowCoach
What was your 2019 wellness resolution? I wanted to incorporate a morning mindfulness routine into my day. I set the goal to journal daily, including four distinct steps: gratitude, intention, vision, and positive mantra.
What happened and how do you feel about it? I wrote in my journal at least five times a week throughout the year. Some days, I could only manage a brief entry, a line per category. On other days, I wrote full sentences. As the year unfolded, I noticed that I was feeling happier. I was noticing the positive events in my daily life and better able to understand and process difficult events. The daily visioning—fast forwarding to what I would like to accomplish by the end of the week or month—made me more productive than ever before.
What are your 2020 resolution plans, if any? I look forward to continuing my journaling habit. My new resolution is to strengthen my body. I already walk every day and take yoga, but I need core strength. So I have hired a Pilates instructor to help me find routines to strengthen my core. My next step is to find time each day to work out.
Kait Scalisi, Sex Educator & Founder, @PassionbyKait
What was your 2019 wellness resolution? Rather than resolutions, I choose words for each year. In 2019 my words were “whole” and “sovereign.” Wellness-wise, I aimed to release old stories around money and my identity as an outsider. I wanted to see all parts of myself — those that are easy to love and those that aren’t — clearly and without judgment. I strove to stand in my power without draining myself, mother earth, or others.
What happened and how do you feel about it? This year brought me to my knees repeatedly, a cycle that started in December 2018. It included numerous breakdowns-to-breakthroughs, and my deepest and longest depressive bout. Painful though they were, these very same cycles served my goals. I live with more confidence and contentment. I was able to finally get into a routine with my physical therapy home program, a commitment that allowed me to return to dancing, including my first showcase in seven years, and outdoor activities like hiking and snowshoeing. I began a morning devotional practice. I befriended myself. I mourned, forgave, and let go of relationships that had run their course (at least for now) while shifting my focus to those who are here, now; embraced my outsiderness as a strength and stopped wasting time trying to get people to like me; stopped giving endlessly without taking time to refill myself and/or ask others for support; settled on a schedule that I love; and so much more.
What are your 2020 resolution plans, if any? Build + deepen community. While self-care has been hot these last few years—and its long overdue!—community care is what I’m craving in 2019. Emily & Amelia Nagoski say that aren’t meant to do big things alone. 2019 clarified the types of relationships and support I want in my life and for myself; 2020 is all about deepening, expanding, and building those out, and showing up for myself and each other like never before.
Katherine Speller, Health & Sex Editor at SheKnows, @Kathriller
What was your 2019 wellness resolution? I’ve never really thought of myself as the formal resolution type. I think badgering yourself into lifestyle changes because of all the anxiety of a new year can be more harmful than helpful if you’re not really keeping your happiness and the day-to-day drudgery in mind. That said, last year I promised myself that I’d find ways to make space for the things that bring me creative joy and fulfillment that are not connected to money or work (because I’d had this moment where someone asked me “what do you do for fun?” and I didn’t have an answer since I’ve turned writing and editing into my J-O-B).
What happened and how do you feel about it? In 2019, I did three shows with a group of performers in my town that let me reconnect with what I used to love about music. I’d been a folk musician from high school and into college but stopped performing once I started working. And, to be real, reconnecting with that part of myself has been so helpful for reframing who I am outside of work — and I’ve also gotten to share it with my family, friends and community.
What are your 2020 resolution plans, if any? I’m not being strict about anything because that’s really not my vibe, but I’d love to spend more time catching up in-person and face-to-face with the people I love. Even if I can’t do that, I want to make more phone calls and check in with everyone more and not let being busy (because, let’s face it, we’re always gonna be busy) be an excuse.
Madison Casimir, Editor for New York Minute Magazine, @Madi_Cazi
What was your 2019 wellness resolution? My 2019 wellness resolution was to get in shape. Typical, I know, but I have long grappled with the epic titans known as negative body image and self-doubt. I should specify though, that my goal to get in shape was less about achieving that perfect female form that the media extols and more about becoming more capable and fit as a person. In retrospect, I feel that this distinction makes all the difference.
What happened and how do you feel about it? It took a bit of effort and a lot of convincing myself to go to the gym instead of laying in bed and watching Chopped reruns, but, somehow, I managed. It definitely helped that I only had classes twice a week in spring 2019 and that I was a free agent over the summer. My participation in the Pride of West Virginia Marching Band at WVU helped me keep on track through a busy fall semester, but I fell off a bit in the winter. All that being said, I still feel rather good about the progress I made up until that point.
What are your 2020 resolution plans, if any? If I’ve learned anything from my exercising adventures in 2019, it’s that a healthy body can really only be healthy if the mind is healthy as well. Therefore, my 2020 resolution plans are more focused on bettering and maintaining my mental health. I’m hoping to begin seeing a therapist regularly and to develop better mindfulness techniques to cope with the strains of graduating from university.
Brittany Hill, Co-creator at Just In In Time Media, @thejeepgirls, @thejeepgirls & @brittanyhillcreates
What was your 2019 wellness resolution? I was in a pilates class on New Year’s Day 2019 and as we were winding down, the instructor told us to close our eyes and envision donuts. I chuckled to myself, who doesn’t want to envision donuts! Mine were like clouds high in the sky and I could almost reach out and touch them! The next thing I knew, I felt a soft object fall beside me. Much to my dismay, it was not a donut, it was a t-shirt. The instructor told us to open our eyes and that some of us would find a surprise beside us. She challenged ALL of us to take the commit to move our body for one hour every day no matter where we are or what the circumstances. I took the challenge!
What happened and how do you feel about it? I did it! Now daily exercise is a part of my routine like brushing my teeth and eating a banana (which I hate when I think about them), but I do all of these things because they are habits and I don’t have to think too hard to reap the positive benefits. I got on the scale this week, something that I hadn’t really been avoiding but rather just not focusing on, and I lost eight pounds! Though my weight feels the same and when I look in the mirror I see the same person, because I spend time with my body, I am more aware of how I feel if I don’t get enough sleep, drink enough water and even can detect a glucose level drop during the day.
What are your 2020 resolution plans, if any? I have always wanted to do a handstand! On Jan 1. I’ll add little steps daily to making that goal happen! Check back with me in the next decade!
Lori Taylor, Founder & CEO The Produce Moms, @theproducemom and @theproducemoms
What was your 2019 wellness resolution? Exercise daily.
What happened and how do you feel about it? I joined Hotworx and I feel great! I knew I had to find a program outside of the home, as I’ve failed for years with the “workout at home” programs. I also had to find something that was quick and conducive to my irregular work schedule – I love that I can drop in and workout at any time during the day. I also love the fact that I can often visit Hotworx when I’m traveling for work! And the HIIT classes are 15 minutes which makes the fact that you are doing spin class in a 125 degree sauna a more manageable feat. I feel absolutely great when I finish my Hotworx session. It’s been a great stress relief, and good for my body/physical health.
What are your 2020 resolution plans, if any? I plan to continue my Hotworx discipline. I also want to focus more on my spiritual health: meditation, attend church more often and pray more often.
Teresa Gonzalez, family and lifestyle influencer, @aleandtere and @withlove_tere
What was your 2019 wellness resolution? To run a half marathon with my husband.
What happened and how do you feel about it? We trained for it the entire year and in September, we both successfully completed our first half marathon. I felt amazing like I can literally take on anything that comes my way. For a long time I felt like I would never be able to accomplish something so physically daunting and this year I did!
What are your 2020 resolution plans, if any? To train and run the Waco half marathon in March as well as hike our way through Yosemite with kids on our backs!