Active Preparation

Setting Up for a Great Year

The new year has already begun and I feel like there is so much to do. I have currently been preparing for a trip with a couple of friends to Iceland next month. In order to prepare ourselves for the activities we have planned, such as snorkeling between two continental plates in Silfra and hiking through the Golden Circle, we have been going to the gym to train our endurance and stamina for the cold outdoors and swimming laps at the pool. We even got snorkels to practice our breathing!

I have never experienced the extent of the planning and preparation for a trip like this. Mostly because I was never really involved in the planning. For family trips, my parents arranged everything. We just paid for ourselves and took turns driving. So in preparation for this trip, it really opened my eyes to how your life can change preparing for something in the future.

My life has changed a lot this year. Starting my resolutions early last November, I have been focusing on health. Working in the design field can be taxing on the body in the long run with late nights, stress, unhealthy eating habits (because of stress) and strain of eyes, hands and back. It has been a struggle to make time for everything and staying consistent. I find myself in that time of the journey where I am trying to find a good balance. Adding sessions at the gym to the schedule has also been tough. But I have seen the benefits in just this first week.

A friend and I took a couple of Zumba classes. The music the atmosphere is different that playing Just Dance, a rhythm game series developed and published by Ubisoft, at home. Like in my blog post last week, Good Company, I am affected by the people I surround myself with. Being part of a class of women who want to get fit, have fun and dance is so uplifting and motivating for me.

Also the friends I am training with have become a support and accountability system in my life. They are young professionals in their respective industries while making an effort to create a healthy lifestyle and going after their dreams. I find few excuses with them. Although we are different ages, sizes and have different goals, the strive for excellence, professionally and personally, are amazing. I am inspired by them and want to make the same changes in my life.

Life Prep

For some, this detailed planning and preparation for a trip may seem excessive or normal. In my opinion, it really opened my eyes to the concept: How would I prepare myself for my goals? What would I change right now to make my dreams possible in the future? There may not be a how-to manual to life, no perfect path that leads to success. In fact, the lives of successful and great people have been unconventional, long awaited or even unexpected. How can one prepare for the unknown. Well, I propose a simple solution: make it known. Whatever one wants in life, if it is a trip across Europe, a position in the company you would like to have, starting or owning a business, having a family, helping people, whatever, make it known to you and prepare for that.

I enjoy volunteering with kids. Learning how to interact with children in different situations has expanded my knowledge of how kids think, what are their motivations, how to be effective, and what are my strength and weaknesses. It may have started as a thing that I did every week. But the more I experience and learned about these kids and their personalities, I knew it was something more. It may sound strange, but taking care of these kids, teaching and learning with them is like training for having a family and kids of my own.

Family is important to me, and these experiences only reinforce my desire to have a family, too. Yes, there are times when I get frustrated or exhausted teaching or playing with the kids. But when I see them learning and having fun, it makes all the effort worth it. It is like studying for a test. If you are confident passes the practice tests before, the final exam will be a breeze.

Do you know what you want to do in life? How are you preparing for that now? Just knowing is half of the equation. Actively applying yourself to achieve those goals is the other. It is not to say that there will not be obstacles along the way. But if you are confident with your goal, with your work ethic and yourself, you can get there. Make it known and you can make it happen. ■

Patricia Atienza