Resolutions for 2021Posted by Whole Earth | 01.11.2021
Resolutions for 2021
What a strange year we’ve been through. While most of our 2020 resolutions had fallen by the wayside in February, by summer, they had revived and were offering structure and a much needed sense of accomplishment. There were even resolutions added and achieved (!) – an unexpected benefit of working from home. Looking at 2021, we’re feeling more optimistic than in the past about our resolutions and our ability to integrate them into our daily life.
Several years ago we looked at resolutions and what we could do to increase the likelihood for success. Briefly, the experts advised starting small and creating a new habit incrementally. For example, have you resolved to eat healthier in 2021? Start simple by resolving to add perhaps one salad a week to your diet. When that becomes a firmly established habit, add a second salad or a serving of vegetables or fruit. The point is to build up gradually. When you have transformed your diet into something that feels healthy and makes you happy, that’s the time to start on another resolution. But once again, start small and build up gradually.
We’ve been thinking about possible resolutions for 2021 and looking at broad categories we can focus on throughout the year. They are, drumroll please, Run More, Practice More, Relax More, and Travel More. And yes, we do have faith that we will be traveling again before the year is out! So first up – Run More.
We know that many of you are already at work on this one. We see you on our neighborhood streets and hiking trails. Well done! If you’re a runner who was sidelined by the holidays, getting back on track will hopefully be easy. If you’re new to running, there are a few things you might want to take into consideration. Again, start small. It takes time to build up to that marathon or half marathon you may be thinking about. A combination of running and walking is a good way to start. Walk a block, run a block, and gradually extend the distance and time you’re running compared to walking.
Good running shoes are essential. They can cushion your feet and give some extra spring to your stride. The basic parts of a running shoe are the upper, insole, midsole and outsole.
The upper covers the top of the foot, usually in a material that lets air in to help keep the foot cool and dry. You’ll find various lacing systems from traditional laces using the knot you’ve been tying since childhood to elastic laces that lock in place. The point of laces is to keep your foot securely in place to avoid sliding in the shoe and developing blisters. The toe box needs to have room for your toes to spread and grip when running. The collar that surrounds the ankle and the heel counter that cradles the heel both offer extra support and are among the factors that determine how comfortable a running shoe will be on your foot.
Next, we take a quick look at soles. The insole is the interior of the shoe that’s in direct contact with the bottom of your foot. Most insoles can be removed, if necessary, and replaced with inserts that may offer more support for your feet. The midsole usually contains an arch support to keep your feet properly aligned and cushioning to reduce impact and add rebound. The materials used for midsoles and their configuration are often the drivers of technological innovation in running shoes. The outsole is where the shoe hits the pavement or the trail. Ideally the outsole is made of a durable material that also provides good traction and grip on slippery surfaces.
There are running shoes for different types of terrain. Some shoes are made for running on sidewalks or streets, while others are for trail running. No matter where you’re running, you’ll want running shoes that offer support, stability and comfort. Another style of running shoes harkens back to the barefoot runners of the Tarahumara in Mexico. These are minimalist or barefoot running shoes with thin soles to protect feet from sharp rocks and rough pavement but still preserve the feel of running barefoot. Whatever style of running shoe you choose, you’ll find them at Whole Earth.
When running, we want clothing that moves with us, not binding or inhibiting motion. Some of the best running clothes are made of high tech fabrics that wick away moisture and are quick drying. They can keep us from becoming a soggy mess in summer or catching a chill in cold weather. Pockets for keys and a phone are a bonus. And don’t forget your socks. This is a time to choose performance socks that are comfortable and prevent blisters. No-show socks are popular with runners but crew socks work as well. You’re looking for socks that wick away moisture, that are snug on your foot, and perhaps have extra cushioning for comfort or fit.
There’s gear for runners as well. If your running clothes lack pockets add a fitness belt with room for keys and a phone. If you’re running early in the morning or after sunset, be safe and be seen. A headlamp can light the way, alerting you to rough ground ahead and others to your presence on the street. Another possibility for remaining visible in low light is a LED slap wrap.
These are just a few of the items you’ll find in our stores and online to help you Run More in 2021!
So what is practice? We might describe it as something we do regularly hoping to improve our performance, possibly with a goal of mastery. People practice piano, Yoga, making pasta, meditation and calligraphy to name only a few possibilities. In one sense, practice is the actual doing, whether it be scales, sun salutations, working pasta dough, counting the breath or grinding ink.
But there’s another aspect of practice that can make the difference between going through the motions and real progress. When we let curiosity kick in, we can deepen our engagement with practice. We can learn more about the ragtime greats, the Yoga Sutras, pasta making secrets of Italian nonnas, Zen meditation and the history of lettering in the West. These side studies help us to approach our practice with a broader outlook and help us connect what we’re doing today with our long term goals.
If your New Year’s resolutions include Yoga, Whole Earth may be able to help. We have clothing and gear that can enhance your practice and a favorite Yoga program you can find on YouTube to help you get started if you’re new to Yoga or are looking for new workouts with a specific focus.
How can clothing help your yoga practice? Some workout clothing supports your body and freely moves with it. Onzie’s Free-Flow Fabric Technology supports muscles while also wicking away moisture from hot yoga or other vigorous workouts. Other practitioners prefer a looser style of yoga wear that offers freedom of movement as well as fabrics that wick and cool.
There are several pieces of Yoga gear that can also benefit your practice. A good Yoga mat can help to stabilize your postures by providing a firm foothold on a non-skid surface. A lightly cushioned mat also offers a bit more comfort than direct contact with a hard floor. You’ll find Yoga mats made by Manduka, prAna and Halfmoon in our stores and online.
If you’re doing hot Yoga or find that your mat is getting slippery, try a Yoga towel. Manduka makes eQua mat towels with microfibers that get grippier when wet and Yogitoes towels with silicone nubs on the bottom for even more stability. All are durable and machine washable. And, if you find yourself using a mat that’s not your own, a Yoga towel can put a layer between you and the mat.
A yoga block can be your best friend when you’re learning certain asanas. If you’re not as limber as you would like to be for a pose to be effortless, the yoga block can help by offering you stable intermediate positions when you use the long, medium and finally the short side of the block as you master the asana.
If your Yoga practice extends to meditation, we have several styles of Halfmoon meditation cushions. Both the round and the crescent zafus are filled with buckwheat hulls that conform to the body and offer firm support when you’re on the cushion. The linen cover can be washed by unzipping the cover, removing the hulls, washing the cover in cold water, hanging it to dry, and then returning the hulls to the cover.
If you’re trying yoga for the first time or still practicing at home, there are many ways to practice online. We want to give a shout out to Austin’s own Adriene Mishler. She has a YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene that offers series of classes for beginners and more advanced practitioners. We think you’ll enjoy practicing with her and her four-footed partner Benji.
They say that practice makes perfect. While we may not be aiming at perfection, we do believe that the gradual development of skills and curiosity about the art we’re hoping to master will go a long way to keeping us on track to fulfill our resolution to practice more.
Relax More is our favorite resolution for 2021! We also think it’s the easiest one to keep throughout the year. Some of us relax with a leisurely soak in a hot bath. Others relax with long walks, a good book or binge watching the latest series. Our daily lives can be filled with stress. So to prevent us from being overwhelmed, we need to counterbalance that stress with relaxation. While we often can’t control what life throws at us, we can use the Relax More resolution to help us reset every day and be ready to respond with resilience to our daily challenges and those times when life drops something in our laps that we’d really rather not receive. With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite ways to relax.
At work or at home, we wear clothing and shoes that let us move freely, without worry or aggravation. Tugging at tight clothes and shifting restlessly from side to side to ease the pain of cramped feet are distractions we can do without. But comfortable doesn’t have to mean sloppy, frumpy or clunky. Whole Earth has clothing that combines beautiful fabrics and flattering styles for comfort at home, the office or for special occasions. The same is true for comfortable shoes. Life is better with happy feet. We don’t have to give up good looks to say farewell to pinched toes or rubbed heels. Our stores have been a destination for folks who are on their feet all day and like to look and feel good at the end of a long day. When our clothing and shoes put us at ease, we’re free to focus on the task or pleasure at hand.
Have Fun Every Day
We tend to fill up our daily life with to-do lists and feel bad if we haven’t marked the majority off by the end of the day. We would like to suggest an addition to the list: Have Fun. That’s right, put it on the list. Taking time to have fun can be as important as those pressing items on the list that are shouting, “Me! Me! Me! Now!” By adding fun into our daily list of to-dos, we’re giving ourselves the gift of time to refresh so we can approach our tasks with new energy and often new ideas that can lead to better results. And when we add Have Fun to our list, we try to have a specific activity in mind. That way we avoid the habitual rut, and we have something to look forward to during the day.
Sometimes we need to be very attentive and kind to ourselves. Pampering usually means warmth, soft light, lovely scents and perhaps gentle music. If a trip to the spa is not a possibility, we create our own at home. We start with a good soak in a warm scented bath that soothes our frazzled nerves. Candles and perhaps a glass of our favorite wine can add to the ambiance. Once out of the bath, we apply a luxurious body lotion and wrap ourselves in soft warm clothing. Then it’s time for meditation or a refreshing nap. Afterward, with a cup of tea, more candles and perhaps a journal to record any insights we may have had, we are deeply relaxed and rested.
Make a list
Sometimes to be able to relax, it’s helpful to know what’s waiting for us down the road. Neglecting important items we may or may not have put on the to-do list is not the way to relaxation. Alas, anxiety for the future easily becomes an underlying tension that can’t be banished by simply ignoring it. The first step we take to truly relax is to make a list of what needs to be done and to have an idea of how we’ll begin to take care of each item. It doesn’t have to be a grand plan, but knowing the first step or two toward resolving an issue can help to greatly reduce stress. Having made the list and plans for addressing each item, it becomes much more likely that we can truly relax when we’re getting comfortable, having fun and pampering ourselves.
We hope you’ll join us as we resolve to relax, refresh and rejuvenate in 2021!
Our last resolution may seem overly hopeful, but we have faith that we will be able to travel by the end of 2021. We may not be hopping on a plane for a journey across the globe, but trips around the states may be a distinct possibility. So what do we do while we’re waiting to pack our bags and head out the door? We have a few ideas that may make the transition from homebound to traveling easier.
Where would you like to go? Will your first trip be to one of your favorite places? For some of us, a journey to Yosemite will be a top priority. The spectacular views from the valley floor, walks among the Giant Sequoias in the Mariposa Grove, and hikes around Glacier Point are just a few of the activities that are high on the list for a return visit. But we can do more than just count the days until we can go.
Let’s use this time to learn more about Yosemite. Here are a few inquiries that will give our next visit some added depth. We can watch the first two episodes of Ken Burn’s The National Parks: America’s Best Idea for the story of the park’s founding, read a biography of John Muir or his book My First Summer in the Sierra, and study the natural forces that created the Valley and the effect of climate change on the Giant Sequoias, plus plans to help them survive.
Looking for new destinations? For possibilities try following National Geographic or the National Park Service on Instagram or Facebook. Check out websites, blogs and podcasts that are focused on travel and listen to friends and family as they share details of their favorite trips. And don’t forget programs with Rick Steves or Anthony Bourdain for inspiration. Once a place catches our attention, we take a closer look using the websites and any other sources we can find to see if this really might be a place we’d like to visit.
Last year on our Whole Earth blog, we offered our Deep Dive into Travel Planning that’s full of helpful hints for planning your best trip ever. We started out by asking a few simple questions like where do you want to go? Why? What would you like to do there? When would you like to go? Is the trip feasible? We also shared our observation that the more we know about the region and communities we’re planning to visit, the more likely it is that we’ll find special places to make wonderful memories. This isn’t planning in the sense of making reservations. Rather, we’re gathering information about a trip that we might take someday. So have fun and dream big!
Have you ever started packing for a trip only to discover that the handle on your luggage or a zipper won’t work? This is a great time to check travel gear to be sure that everything is in working order and ready to go when our travels resume. If in our research we’ve discovered a piece of travel gear we’d like to add to our collection, shop for it now. Let’s also make sure all of our travel documents are up to date. Does that passport need to be renewed? Are there any vaccinations that need boosters? The time we spend now getting travel gear and documents in order is time saved from panic and extra expense in the days leading up to our departure.
While we wait for the go-ahead for long distance travel, we’re considering short spring and summer trips to parks, swimming holes and other outdoor sites. We can apply some of the skills we’ve learned for planning our dream trips to planning day trips closer to home. Local guides and national and state park guides for our area are a good place to start. One way or another, we will follow through on our resolution to Travel More in 2021!