The end of a year is a wonderful time to reflect on what life offered you the past 365 days.

You can scrutinize many aspects of your life at the end of a year: events, finances, family happenings, fun, etc. Of course there will be high points and low points, but regardless of what you find, reflection is an opportunity to be thankful and a useful stepping stone towards making a change. So, as you prepare to retire 2011, take some time and reflect on your body.

Oh, I can see you now. Like a teacher grading a paper, your red pen is striking all the tiny details you abhor about your body. I beg you to please begin with a little restraint, because there are some great things your body did for you this year. So let’s start with what worked well. Don’t rush this.

Your body allowed you to…

Experience fun and memorable events.

Taste delicious and not so delicious foods.

Care for someone whether the task was great or small, appreciated or not.

See remarkable and everyday sights.

Touch stimulating surfaces, some desirable and some not to experience again.

Hear influential as well as insignificant sounds.

Perform mundane, everyday tasks that we often take for granted.

Participate in life at some level.

So, how did your body perform for you this year? I hope your vehicle served you well. I hope your body served others well too, and I hope you can find a level of appreciation for how wonderful of a vessel your body truly is.

Now that you have a little perspective, it is the time to add in some criticism. But before you fly into your laundry list of dislikes start with a big, umbrella question, “Are you satisfied with how your body performed this year, or were you disappointed?” Again, don’t rush this part. If you are satisfied — great. You get to design a plan for 2012 to keep you progressing in your forward motion. If not so much, be specific about when, how, and why you were disappointed. For example, “I was disappointed I couldn’t go skiing with my friends this year because my knees hurt,” or “I was disappointed that I had to go up a pant size, because…” well, we know the answer to that.

After the above exercise you may find yourself at a crossroads. Awareness is a dangerous thing since you are now confronted with a choice. If you are disappointed with the performance and condition of your body, you have three primary choices:

1. Do nothing to change and gripe about it. (Please gripe to yourself, for this is your own choice.)

2. Do nothing to change and be ok with your decision.

3. Do something to change it.

Awareness demands a response, and a non-response is still a response. So, again, take some time and reflect on the condition of your body, be thankful for how it has served you, and then step forward with action and try to change if you are not satisfied. Resolutions stem from reflection so we will discuss setting those goals next time.

From my family to yours, have a happy and safe New Year.

Mark Moreland is the owner of Body Outfitters Personal Training Studio in Zionsville and has 13 years of experience as a personal trainer. Mark welcomes your comments and ideas for future topics. He can be reached at mark@bodyoutfitters.com.

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