Fortitudethe strength or firmness of mind that enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage or to bear pain or adversity without murmuring, depression, or despondency / resolute endurance / grit, backbone, pluck, guts

Over the years, I’ve learned that I can be incredibly motivated, but apparently only in short bursts. It’s like that slow twitch versus fast twitch thing about muscles. I have the type of motivation that comes in quick little bursts and lasts for a day or two or sometimes even a week or so. But then I get distracted by something new or different, and my attention and motivation go off in a completely new direction.

What seems to be a newer trend for me, though perhaps it’s something I’ve been doing for years, is the New Year, New Me motivation. I’ve never been a New Year’s Resolution type of person, but like many people, I find that the new year is a time to evaluate who I am, where I am, what I am doing, and how I am living. This is the second winter in a row when I have been all motivated to discover my life’s purpose and challenge myself to do all sorts of self-discovery.

Last year I took part in a writing therapy group that I found super helpful. As a result, I joined a local writer’s guild and even went to a meeting. Then we started traveling and work got crazy and I totally let it all slide. Of course, I’m still a dues-paying member of that guild.

At the end of the year it was Live Your Legend that got me all amped up and excited. I did the blog writing challenge and enjoyed it. But then the holidays came along and work got crazy and I again totally let it all slide.

And, here it is … February. The time for resolutions or motivations or intentions to fade away, in typical resolution fashion. But my word this year is fortitude.  So it’s time to stick with this motivation and keep it moving on throughout the year.

We have agreed to do a bike ride over Labor Day that is scaring the beejesus out of me. It’s a multiday hut-to-hut mountain bike trip through the Colorado Rockies, from Durango to Moab. Up to 30 hours a day in the saddle. Elevation gains of 5,000 feet in a day. All this for the girl who thinks a one-hour ride is an excellent day’s adventure. So why am I doing it? Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. But I want to be able to be here next year and know that I did it. So that is why fortitude is the word and motivation cannot slide!

So, what am I doing about it all? I am setting goals to create a better, stronger me. It’s not just about the exercise. This also includes mental and emotional preparation. To up my meditation, I’ve signed up for Headspace. Yes, I can meditate on my own, but I have to admit, my 10-minute meditations are guided by the super soothing, sexy British accent of who I believe is the Headspace founder, which definitely doesn’t hurt and keeps me that much more motivated.

In addition to nourishing my brain with a little introspective downtime, I’ve also concentrated more and more on what I eat. I’ve been cooking more veggies and lean protein and much less processed food. We aren’t big processed food eaters anyway, but that mindfulness I’m improving with my meditation is having overlapping effects in everything else. I’m being more mindful of what I eat, instead of just grabbing something easy and sticking it in my mouth. And after several months of this, I’m finding that when I do break down and grab a bag of Doritos, I actually can’t stand the taste. It’s all chemical and weird. Thus marks the end of a lifetime of Doritos addiction. Hooray for me!

As for exercise, I splurged  and got a Garmin VivoHR heartrate tracker. Come to find out, it tracks SO much stuff. I love this sort of thing. And this not-completely-comfortable thing on my wrist is like a constant reminder to get moving. It actually sends out a little vibration if I don’t move often enough.

So, let’s see how long this latest motivation lasts. I’m hoping that it all leads to lifelong changes that, in turn, lead to a calmer, happier, healthier, improved ME!



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