Spring is my favorite time of year. Between the colorful bulbs in my flower bed and the lilac blossoms in my own backyard, there’s a sense of hope and anticipation that builds in my heart. The long cold winter slips away and fades from memory as new life emerges and dead brown grass turns a vibrant green. It gives me hope that exciting things are around the corner.

While spring is the start of a season of growth outside, it also sparks an internal season of change. This month—despite the snow that fell over the weekend—I’m deliberately turning my attention toward growth in several areas. I’ve often talked about my writing journey and how I’m growing in craft, but I am more than my business. More than the next book I write. More than the next post I share on social media.

I am a whole person. Body, mind, and spirit. So while I am also a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, employee, and volunteer, my core identity is the true foundation of all that I am able to do. And neglect in any one area affects the others with an outward rippling effect on the rest of my life and influence.

With that said, my first focus in this short series is to create a season of growth for my body. Which honestly makes me laugh, because as my mirror reflects, I spent that long cold winter growing in a few unwelcome areas. Ahem. I may have stayed inside where it was warm but my current squishy, jiggling, pasty white body is not the earth-suit I want to journey through life with. No. I’d much rather have a healthy, strong, toned, and energetic body that will carry me to all the places I want to go.

So, how does one actually change? First, by wanting to change. By being honest about where I am, but also seeing where I would rather be and focusing on that goal. Second, by rearranging life to include new habits that will replace old habits while moving me closer to that goal. Third, by measuring results and giving myself rewards when I reach certain milestones until the achievement of the overall goal becomes reward enough.

Practically speaking, I’ve dusted off a stack of videos and DVDs that serve up strengthening exercises in ten minute doses while focusing on those big muscle groups with squats, lunges, sit-ups, and push-ups. I can squeeze ten minutes in while waiting for my daughter’s bus in the morning. Already I feel stronger, have a boost of energy to carry me into my work day, and I know that the increase in muscle will eventually boost my metabolism to burn more fat even while I sleep.

I’ve also hung a few cute items of clothing where they are visible in my closet. You know, that adorable shirt that doesn’t look quite right now but will be absolutely perfect once I’ve dropped five or ten pounds…just in time to be out and about for a summer event. I don’t spend a lot of time around a swimming pool, so this is my equivalent of getting that swimsuit-ready body.

Spring and summer are the perfect times to also eat a bit healthier with fresh veggies and salads. But I’ve also invested in a cute insulated cup with a straw and told myself that I have to drink one full glass of water between each indulgence of Diet Dr Pepper. Small changes but they should add up, especially once I’m able to get outside more, be active, and soak in that Vitamin D from the sun during walks.

That covers the desire to change, what the end result will look like, and the small changes to get there. As for measuring the results, the scale and the fit of my clothing are pretty obvious signs of progress. There will definitely be an internal reward of feeling better about myself and looking cute in my new clothes, but I’m hoping the renewed energy physically will also translate into fresh creative ideas in my writing and the ability to participate in activities with my kids.

It’s a season of growth in the way I take care of my body. Who will join with me in this journey?

A Season of Growth – Part 1
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