“You can’t go back to the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” ~ C. S. Lewis
Winter is a long season in Minnesota and many of us here in this cold, gray, snowy state suffer once colorful, glorious October ends and the temperatures drop in November. Just the other day my housemate turned on the heat in our house. Yup, the LONG wintertime will soon be upon us.
Thankfully, I don’t hate winter. In fact, I actually like it. Okay, I don’t love it, but strong like is true!! Knowing that a few of my dear friends have seasonal affective disorder, knowing that our Winter 2020 Goal Setting worked so well, and knowing that we are not out of the flu and covid craziness times, well, I helped get a group of six of us going on our 2021 – 2022 Winter Wellness Zoom support plan.
The post I wrote last winter is still very, very relevant. Here are the 5 steps we are taking again this year. Our first meeting was last week. Already I feel confident that this winter will be a good one. Full of health and wellness. I wish for you to also have a good winter! Toward that end, here’s how we are doing it. Use any and all of these steps to make your winter super duper wellness filled!
5 Steps for Winter Wellness
Step 1: FRIENDS
Figure out 3 to 5 friends that you like, trust and have interest in a winter wellness support system. Find a time when all of you can meet via Zoom.
My group this winter is six. That’s a good number of people. That way, each month in the one hour Zoom call, after the 5 minutes to settle in and the 5 minutes at the end to evaluate the meeting and confirm our next meeting, everyone gets 7 minutes to reflect on their goals and plan their next month goals.
Step 2: QUESTIONS TO ASK
At your meeting, create a shared, visible document, we use Google Drive, to record what people say. Divide the time so that each person gets 5 to 10 minutes to answer these questions:
- How is your wellness now? What would you like to work on now through our meeting next month?
- Given the above, what are some goals that are SMART that you can achieve this month?
- How can this group support you?
As each person takes their turn, have someone else in the group type notes on what the person is saying. That way the person speaking can talk stream-of-consciousness to get their ideas out. Editing can happen later. The idea is to have notes so that each person can see what their goals are for that month. You can see my goals down below, an example of what the note taking helps with!
Step 3: HOW OFTEN TO MEET
Decide how often you will meet to reflect and support each other and hold each other accountable. Set up the meetings and get going!
My group this season is going to meet every month from October through March. Plus in our case, this is the group that texts each other daily to support our wellness efforts! We will remain in constant contact, which helps all of us.
Step 4: MAKE YOUR GOALS SMART
After the first meeting, each member goes into the shared document and edits their goals and makes them fit the SMART criteria. That way at the end of the winter, each person will have a record of their goals and they will be able to track their success.
Step 5: DO IT!!
Planning goals is the first step. The real challenge comes with implementation. That’s why it’s so helpful to be part of a team making it happen.
After our first meeting last weekend, I can tell that my goals are do-able. The feeling of being part of an amazing group of women who are also paying attention to their winter wellness is beyond invigorating. After all, it is normal and human to have an intense, innate need to belong. When belonging happens, it is enlivening and beautiful.
As you likely have noticed, I am very goal oriented. I find great comfort in writing down my goals and then organizing my daily life to accomplish my goals.
For inspiration and insight, here are my October to November 2021 Wellness Goals:
- Running: I will run 2-3 days a week and participate in the Monster Dash 10K on 10/30/2021
- Weight Lifting: I will lift at the gym 2 days a week every week, even while in Florida (I will bring bands!)
- Swimming: I will attend Masters Swimming every Friday, ok to miss while in FL. I will swim in the ocean a few times, oh yes!!
- Walking: I will walk Sam twice a day
- Bring the Running Rewired book to Florida & create a plan with Nadine to start doing the exercises
- Sleep: Goal is 7.5 to 8 hours every night
- Food: I will make and eat salads all of October, then switch to soups in November
- Fun: FLORIDA!!!
- I will get my COVID-19 3rd booster vaccination on 10/10/2021
- I will get the CT Calcium Score Scan on 10/12/2021
- I will navigate healing my eyeball (I scratched it) with grace and ease
What are your winter wellness goals? Please tell me in the comments, I love hearing from you and supporting your wellness efforts!
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