Big Challenges, Small Steps

Instagram Message: Yesterday the four of us did 26 push ups each. Fitness Challenge accepted. 

Instagram Message: Yesterday the four of us did 26 push ups each. Fitness Challenge accepted. 

I am so grateful that the P.E. teachers at my kids’ school gave the students two thoughtful pinches for the holiday season.  The first thoughtful pinch is a list of physical fitness challenges for each day of the kids’ break. Genius! Truth be told, we haven’t checked off a bunch yet but today as my son, my daughter, my mom and I all dropped down to do 26 push ups I thought: this is such a great gift!  I’m already looking forward to the 27 seconds of plank!  I think this pinch is such an awesome way for these Physical Education teachers to share their knowledge with the kids in a fun way.  Anyone, at any age, could benefit from this challenge and since 2017 is only days away, I thought I’d share this thoughtful pinch.  Many of us will vow to be more physically fit as we start the New Year.  Start this challenge any time during any month. Just change the dates and months to suit your needs.  I plan on doing this myself.  It’s nice to break down the massive goal of being fit into these little chunks each day.  If I can continue to think of fitness as a long term goal and take small steps to get there, I know I will be much better off. You may know someone who is an “all or nothing” type. This pinch could just be the push your friend, family member, neighbor needs to convince them that small steps are better than nothing at all.  

The second thoughtful pinch from the PE teachers is the Winter Break Wellness Bingo Challenge. It's Bingo with a twist.  The game consists of suggestions for you and/or your family to get motivated into accomplishing goals that pertain to fitness, fuel, fun, family and friends.  This is especially enticing if your family is competitive. It seems very simple to just go on a walk, read a book, call a grandparent, choose water or milk to drink, do something fun with a friend. Maybe kids would be able to accomplish Bingo without any problems but for me, all of those challenges, with the exception of choosing water to drink, are SUPER HARD!!  Although I must say, most children these days are over-scheduled so this could be a challenge for everyone after all.  Again, these small steps are not earth-shattering or particularly hard to accomplish on their own.  But here in lies the word CHALLENGE and I firmly believe the prize of getting Bingo is WELLNESS.

Before we took our Winter Break, my parent educator gave us a thoughtful pinchThe Random Acts of December Kindness Calendar, which she got off the website, was a thoughtful way to share her warmth with all of the mothers in my class.  Even though she knows that we are all super busy, she also knows that we are constantly looking for ways to raise our kids to be wonderful citizens.  The website also offers blank calendars to fill in the days with the kindness acts that you choose.  At the beginning of this month, I remember reading over these very little acts of kindness - one per day - thinking: “Easy peasy, I’ve got this.  I can do each of these things every day.”  You guessed it. I’ve done none of these except pick up litter, give a treat to the mail carrier, hold the door open for someone and tell someone why I love them.  There are thirty-one acts of kindness and I’ve only done four. But I’m not going to throw myself a guilty-pity party here.  At least I was kind four times this month, right?  If I don't start looking at it that way, then I would be in a constant state of disappointment. Small steps rather than “all or nothing.”   

As the 2017 calendar quickly fills up with lots of cool social events, busy after-school activities, etc. think about taking small steps to accomplish the goals of being fit, kind or whatever the resolution is for this year. It’s not a new concept but it is worth pointing out over and over again. Even though I haven’t done much to accomplish the goals presented in these three pinches, I still know that I am better off today than I was before I received them. I am grateful for the ideas and the opportunities to better myself.  FYI, in case you were wondering, my New Year’s resolution for 2017 is Yoga. One word. Namaste in the New Year everyone!