If you’re unfamiliar with the “One Word 365” movement, read this first before reading my post!  I hope it inspires you to choose a word for 2013!

2012 was, by all accounts, a fantastic year for me, both professionally and personally.  A large part of this was due to my overall health and fitness efforts, which shouldn’t be much a of shock to many of you who regularly follow my adventures 🙂  The second half of 2012 saw a renewed focus on daily exercise through the Power 90 and P90X in-home fitness programs from Beachbody and I’ve kept it going ever since (187 days in a row as of this post!)  I haven’t been sick at all during this time frame (knock on wood), and I can’t help but attribute it to my elevated level of good health.

After a great conversation on Twitter last night with Sarah Craddock and Pete Pereira among many others, my #oneword2013 become crystal clear: “Health.”

It is a no secret that our overall health plays a major role in what we accomplish over the course of time. When we are sick, we are no good to ourselves, much less the others that we serve.  Why is it then, in a helping / advising profession like Student Affairs in Higher Education, do many of us often neglect our own health and well being?  If you don’t believe this to be true, answer the following questions for me:

1.  What do you typically eat during any given day?  (Rethink: Do you eat to feel full or to give your body the nutrition it needs to fuel your daily routine? Use LoseIt on iOS or Android and start recording EVERYTHING you put in your mouth to find out for sure.)
2.  Are you addicted to sugar, artificial sweeteners, salt, fats, caffeine, soda, alcohol, and/or other chemicals?  (Rethink: If you were to give one or some of these things up for a week and your body adversely reacts to it, chances are, you’re addicted. Watch the documentaries, “Food Matters” and “Hungry For Change“, for some different perspectives.)
3.  How much water do you drink a day? {Rethink: Did you know these benefits of drinking water? Ever wonder why you had that headache, tired feeling, dry skin, constipation, or dizziness?  You may not be drinking enough water.}
4.  How often do you do some form of physical activity and for how long do you do it? (Rethink: When was the last time you got a good sweat from physical activity? While taking a walk is better than nothing, sustained change will not take place without 20-30 minutes of cardio exercise that produces a good sweat three days a week.)
5.  When was the last time you had a “Mental Health Check Up?” {Rethink: Your overall health also needs to take its mental state into consideration.  By taking periodic stock of your emotional well-being, you could help identify warning signs of common ailments like depression or anxiety that may be underlying issues connected to the first four listed above.}

Think about the answers to these questions.  Are you satisfied or can you do better?

Nutrition has always been the most challenging part of this equation for me, but since I’ve focused on eating clean most of the time, I found it not as challenging.  Am I perfect? Far from it, as I do allow myself one or two treats a week.

Last night, I tweeted:

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This got some great conversation going on the #safit hashtag last night and got me thinking of ways that I could be held accountable for my #oneword2013 and get others involved as well.  That being said, I wanted to pledge to you all:

In 2013, as a professional in Higher Education (Student Affairs), I pledge to focus on my overall health this year by eating right, exercising at least three times a week, and talking with loved ones about how I am feeling.  I will ask a friend or family member to join me and keep each other accountable.

Will you join me in this pledge?  If so, sign your name and information here.  If you join the pledge, I will add you to a Facebook group to help stay connected and to keep each other accountable.  I also believe the #safit hashtag should be used to ask questions, share ideas, and ask for help 🙂  This year, I will focus on learning more about nutrition, diet, exercise and mental health to better inform and help others when asked for advice.  I’m calling on any nutritionists, personal trainers, and mental health experts to join and help us in our efforts!

We ALL need to do this, if not for ourselves,  for those around us.  I challenge you to be a health and fitness role model in your ecosystems and encourage others to join you in your quest.

Your “health” is the most important thing you can focus on this year.  I invite you to join me in taking the proper steps to becoming healthier and happier in 2013!

What will you focus on your “health” this year? How will this affect the way your 2013 is shaped?


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