Guest Column: Be fit in all areas of life as you begin a new year

Published 12:33 pm Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Shannon Bordeaux is a wife, mother, lover of God and all things fitness. She has been instructing group fitness classes at the Albert Lea Family Y for the last three years.

It’s that time of year again — time to set goals and make New Year’s resolutions. Everybody’s goals are different. Some people have fitness goals, some people have weight loss goals, some people have goals to change their eating habits, some people want to quit smoking. The list is endless. No matter what your desires for your life are, I hope you set some goals for yourself to work toward during this new year.

Today, I want to talk to you specifically about fitness — because fitness is so much more than just losing weight, than just being skinny, than just having the perfect body. Fitness is about being healthy all the way around — spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. I don’t know about you, but I want to be fit in all these areas of my life. You can’t get there by simply thinking about it, you have to put in the work. A dear friend bought me a sign a couple years ago. It says, “Don’t wish for it, work for it.” As I sit here writing this, I can’t help but think about how incredibly true that statement is. I need to work on my spiritual, mental and emotional states, and of course my physical state, to be considered “fit” in these areas. I can’t just sit on my couch wishing for it to happen. I have to take action.

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So, how do we do this? Making smaller goals is usually the best place to start. Small spiritual goals could be as simple as praying and reading your Bible daily, or both. Mental and emotional goals could be whatever makes you feel refreshed. Coffee with friends weekly to talk, laugh and even cry is such a simple step that can really lead to a better emotional state. As for physical fitness, there are so many things you can do to start reaching your goals. Is your goal to lose weight? Start by removing fast food, pop or candy/desserts from your diet. Start doing some form of physical activity three times per week. Join a gym if you can and ask a friend to go along with you. Accountability partners make all the difference! Don’t have your own accountability partner? Join in on a group fitness class, and let them be that for you! I joined my first group fitness class 4 1/2 years ago. I was so nervous! I thought for sure I would make a fool of myself in front of all these strangers. I couldn’t do everything as well as everyone else. But you know what? I did my best and that was enough. I kept going, and even though I continued to be nervous for awhile, I pushed through, and now I teach multiple group fitness classes a week and it has become second nature to me. You will get better. No matter what you’re working toward in your own fitness, if you keep trying and putting in real effort you will improve. And you know what else? I met one of my now closest friends from those group fitness classes. I have my very own accountability partner now, and, boy, do we hold each other accountable to attend workouts!

Whatever you decide to do to better yourself this new year, I hope you’re successful. I hope you find ways to be fit in all areas of your life. I hope you find yourself an accountability partner to help you in your spiritual, emotional, mental and physical fitness.