The first post of the year.
For a fitness blogger, the topics are fairly predictable; how to get back to exercise after the holidays, tips for reducing added sugar, finding new motivation in a new year, tricks for creating attainable goals and making new habits stick, strategies for dealing with the January gym rush etc.
Not that these posts aren’t helpful. Heck, I’ve written many of them myself, and if that’s what you’re looking for, just click on the links above and get inspired.
This year’s first post is more personal.
Twenty-sixteen was a challenging year for me.
The plans that I’d made for family, fitness, business and personal development didn’t all pan out. Some of that was on me and some of it was completely beyond my control.
I didn’t get to the gym as much as usual. I indulged in alcohol more frequently than I typically do. I cancelled an online program due to lack of interest. I took things personally way more often than is typical of me.
There were periods of stillness, punctuated by tentative steps forward.
I joined a new gym. I took on new fitness coaching clients. I attended a midlife bloggers conference. I went to a health and wellness spa. I revitalized my newsletter. I blogged regularly. I travelled a fair bit and spent lots of time hanging with my family and friends.
In retrospect, I think I did pretty damn well, all things considered.
For the first time in fourteen months I find myself looking forward with hope and possibility. And the realization that 2017 can only be an improvement on 2016 if I’m clear on what I want from it.
It’s been years since I’ve made a New Year’s resolution. Not doing so has worked well for me, so I’m inclined to continue the lack of tradition 🙂
Setting ‘goals’ isn’t quite right either, as what I’m seeking isn’t material or measurable. (Don’t get me wrong, I have goals, they’re just not associated with the start of a new year…).
While vision boards work for many, I’m just not motivated by looking at pictures or motivational phrases.
What I’m after is a feeling. And that feeling is ‘value’.
- I want to feel valuable to others. That what I give to my family, friends, clients and online community is of value. I want to know that when I write a blog post or share a personal story or help someone make a positive change in their life that my contribution is valued.
- I want to value myself and my time more. Enough to put my own needs at least on par with the needs of others and spend less time on activities that aren’t adding value to my life or my business.
- I want to make others feel valued. Letting people know I appreciate the time and energy they share with me. And that their actions have impacted me as an individual or an online community that they’re a part of.
Creating this feeling of ‘value’ is going to require change.
Some of those changes will be related to this blog and my activity on social media.
I’ve already implemented the first one. Every day in January, I’ll be sharing a ‘workout-let’ on my Instagram and Facebook fan pages; a short workout designed to help you get back to exercise after the holidays in a safe, sane and enjoyable fashion. (Make sure you’ve ‘liked’ my Facebook page and are ‘following’ me on Instagram to ensure you see them all and if you value the content I’ve shared, please pay it forward by sharing with your own friends and followers.)
Newsletter recipients will see a change in the frequency of emails from me. While I’ve enjoyed communicating twice-weekly in this less ‘formal’ fashion with my followers, the low rate of responses and overall engagement on this platform has led me to question whether it’s a valuable use of my time (and whether the recipients who do engage are receiving much value from my musings..).
I’ll be phasing out a program that’s helped many beginners to fitness and working on creating something new that will be considerably more valuable to my ‘ideal reader’ (midlife women with the goal of becoming the strongest, healthiest and happiest version of themselves possible).
While blogging will remain on my list of ‘valued’ activities, I’d like to tailor my posts to the topics of most value to my midlife female readers rather than those most ‘valued’ by search engines 🙂
Take a minute and help a girl out?
Of the information I’m already sharing here, what types are most valuable to you? (e.g., workouts, how-to posts, fitness and nutrition information, motivational kicks in the butt etc).
Are there other types of posts that would be even more valuable to you? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Thanks to all of you who regularly (or semi-regularly 😉 ) read, comment on and share my online offerings. You make me feel valued. I hope that I do the same for you.