April Jeppson: Goals, a new year and finding inspiration 

Published 8:45 pm Thursday, December 30, 2021

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

It’s that time of year again. Out with the old, in with the new, New Year’s Resolutions and goals. Big meals, candy, cookies, leftover dips and meat and cheese trays — you almost lose track of time during that week between Christmas and New Years. Then if you’re like me, you come out of a food coma and realize that your pants don’t fit the way you want them to. It’s very tempting to look at the calendar and think oh I need to lose 10 pounds, and there’s no better time to start than Jan. 1.

April Jeppson

I’m an optimist and an encourager of dreams. I will never tell someone to “face the facts” or pick a more reasonable goal. I love big, outrageous ideas, and if it’s something you really want, then by all means, go out and get it. But as I’ve mentioned in previous columns, I also don’t like to get my hopes up only to have them dashed into the ground. I’ve lived long enough to know that, for myself, I need more than just the first of the year to motivate me.

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One of my favorite inspirational ideas is to pick a word or phrase and let that guide you throughout the new year. Maybe you’ve found that you get worked up too easily so your word might be “relax.” Or perhaps you’ve found that your fast-paced life has you overlooking the simple pleasures in life so you may choose “pause” or “joy.” I like this concept because if you miss a day or even a week, you can easily jump back on. You become more attune to your actions and thus in theory are becoming a better more aware version of yourself.

Another idea that works for me is to choose a medium-size, fun goal. Usually it’s not even for the whole year, but perhaps the first half of it. One year I set out that I was going to run a 5k by the end of April. That isn’t a huge goal by any standard, but my daughter was born that previous year, so this particular race was actually on her 1st birthday. I knew I wouldn’t be fast, but I needed that extra push to get me back out there. It became a real goal when I invited my mom and my cousin to run the race with me. I’m not someone who enjoys running, but I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family. So to do this activity with those I care about, it made it something that I was actually looking forward to.

I’ll tell you what doesn’t work for me. Starting Jan. 1. I just stayed up till midnight (or maybe just 10 p.m.), I’m not in the correct mindset to start working out hard or eating healthy. Did I mention the leftover chips and dip in my house? It also doesn’t work if I set a weight-loss goal with an end date attached to it. I have found that I can eat well and move more, and I have very little control as to when my body will start to shed the pounds. If I want to fit into a smaller pair of jeans, I simply need to make better choices, and keep at it until the goal is hit, no matter what date is on the calendar.

I haven’t decided yet if I’m setting a New Year’s resolution. I did start a six-week workout plan last week and honestly, I might just roll with that for a while. Check in with me around the middle of February, and see where I’m at. All I know, is that I love new beginnings and fresh starts, and I’m excited to see what 2022 has in store.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.