I love the turning of the calendar and the opportunity that resides in a reset. We all, every one of us, eventually take for granted our fortunes, good or bad, but the new year offers an obvious benchmark and a chance to take a breath, reflect, evaluate and reframe our progress and hopefully make corrections “hacks,” where needed. I haven’t met anyone yet that has found success of any consequence that doesn’t take these steps seriously, so consider putting aside an entire day soon (you’re worthy), and ponder on what you want from 2020. I’ll share a few of my own ideas and some places I like for reference.
The most common goal we all share is a desire to have a healthy body and because I have a new son, I am especially focused on exercise and nutrition. There are many options for help and fitness coaching in Phoenix and Scottsdale, but the best fitness hack I've ever found was by creating reasonable goals with partner accountability and daily evaluation and progress tracking. I use a Fitbit and it’s accessory scale and they really make tracking progress easy, but the real credit goes to the incredible trails we have here in Arizona that offer unparalleled beauty and diversity in difficulty. My favorite hike is Camelback Mountain but it’s become very crowded so I’ll often visit other parts of the giant Phoenix Moutain Preserve that includes Piestewa Peak, Shadow Mountain, Lookout Mountain, Dreamy Draw and others and if I’m mountain biking, trail 100 offers over 20 miles of single track through Phoenix and Paradise Valley with countless options.
For a more intense and public struggle, I’ve also been known to frequent Sutra Studios where “Yoga is for Everybody.” Rebecca and Matthew, the founders, are as welcoming and friendly as family and even though my downward dog needs attention they’ve never giggled audibly at my odd form.
When I’m consistent at these first two disciplines, (and sometimes when I’m very inconsistent) I’ll reward myself with a new suit (read also as better fitting). I’m lucky to have personal tailoring services from the guys at Magro Custom. They also help me with a lot of accessories and can even get shoes so it’s a one-stop that makes dad life a little easier and a lot better looking.
Just as important as exercise is what I use for fuel, and fortunately, I live in Roosevelt Row where there are myriad healthy and delicious options. Josephine is my new favorite restaurant and Chef Ryan Pitt has wowed everyone that has found their way in so far. For those wishing to tempt any resolve left from new year’s resolutions, there is also a “secret,” speakeasy in back behind the restaurant. The password is “Grace.”
And certainly not the least important of our individual essence is spirit. The good food and physical conditioning amount to nothing without being gathered and focused so I think the new year a useful reminder to find and examine the rests in the music. The oh-so-important and oft-overlooked quiet sections that allow for and accentuate the song of life. There are no hacks in life really- just lessons we’ve misplaced or forgotten, so give yourself the space to remember and be grateful. This year for myself and my family and our spirit we’ve invited some chickens to join us and I must say they are most holy. The day to day gifts they offer are sometimes plain but often disguised and the eggs are always more delicious than one can almost imagine. If meditation is in your wheelhouse, chickens in your backyard and life will surely be a plus.
That’s my two cents. Set goals- big and small, write it down and keep track of your progress. This New Years thing is on repeat and they come faster as you go. It’s really nice when your lists get check marks but either way it’s a ride worth jotting down.