I celebrated another birthday last month — I can’t believe I’m 29 already! All joking aside, I am more at peace and have more confidence as I round out the last couple of years of my thirties than I ever was in my twenties. As many fun times as I had (and believe me, there were some doozies!), I wouldn’t trade a second of my present or future to go back to my past. I am finding greater purpose and clarity of self with each passing year. There is, however, a downside to aging. Although I feel like a better version of my youthful self, I have realized the healthy body I took for granted 10 years ago is not something I’m entitled to today. That’s right — I’ve got to work on it. Just after Christmas I went in for a routine exam and discovered that my blood pressure was quite high. The truth is, I have not been taking care of myself well the past couple of years and it seems to have caught up with me. At the behest of my physician, I went on medication but I hope to be able to go off that this year. While I appreciate the fact that we have scientific advances that can help us, I don’t want that to be my long-term solution to this problem. I am an extremely driven and goal oriented person, so I’ve made some goals for my personal health and wellbeing to help me with this. As important as I believe it is to focus attention on my children, loved ones and work, I’m not going to be any good to others if I don’t take time to care for myself. Using this opportunity to reflect on what things bring me comfort and peace, I came up with the following goals for myself — maybe they will give you inspiration to try something new. Read a book Truth be told, I read a lot of books. However, my reading is generally work-related. I have a seemingly insatiable thirst for knowledge of my craft. It is important to me to be on top of what’s going on and be able to offer the best products and services to my clients. Despite how much I enjoy it, it is still “work.” To add some variety to my reading, I’ve decided to tackle a book that I’ve always said I wanted to read: War and Peace. I downloaded it to my iPad so that it’s readily available to me. It’s a long book, but I’m giving myself the whole year to read it. So far, so good — relaxation, here I come! Learn Spanish Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I know all of the words to “La Bamba.” This year I want to go beyond my memorization of one of my karaoke classics and actually learn to speak Spanish. I don’t need to become fluent (yet), but I want to begin the learning process. Currently, I’m looking into some self-paced training that can help me fit this into my life. Move My body, that is. As I said, I’m very goal oriented and am therefore either training for a marathon or sitting on the couch. A key to getting my blood pressure in control is to get some regular exercise. I’ve put a goal to run a 10k this spring, which is just the motivation that I need to get moving. Balance This is likely to be the most challenging change for me to make. I’m an all-or-nothing type of gal — if I’m in it, I’m in it to win it. With three kids, a business to run and a life to lead, I’ve got to be able to cut myself a break and be realistic (hence a 10k instead of another marathon — I’m getting the hang of this!). Since balance isn’t my strong suit, I’ve scheduled balance into my life — Time to work out, time to read, time to write, a day off … all of the things that are necessary to live a full, productive and healthy life. I hope you make a commitment to yourself this month too — you’re worth it!
Shelley Davis Mielock
Shelley Davis Mielock is a certified business image coach and the founder of Mieshel Image Consulting, a Lansing-based firm that specializes in image development for individuals and businesses. She is also a co-host of In Her Shoes, a a weekly women’s talk radio show. To ask Shelley an image question, please e-mail her.