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$300 loan.

This was the year I finally let go of the pressure to make my resolutions happen in January. I’ve held onto this vision of waking up on January 1 with all new habits that make a good life even better. I imagine myself on schedule and on point every day through the spring and then suddenly, one day, those resolutions are simply integrated into my reality.

It sounds dreamy, but January and February are cold here in Minnesota. This year we had more snowfall than usual, which would have been wonderful to play in for the most part, but we’ve also had single-digit and below-zero temperatures and wind-chill advisories that make it hard to enjoy time outside. And it seemed to take more energy this season to shovel, then warm up, then drive on icy roads, and repeat once the work day is done.

With my energy drained, it’s no wonder I caught a bad cold bug that was making its way around.

Then, on February 20–21, this happened: snow everywhere, more than the weatherpersons predicted. The plow companies worked all day and all night for two days to clear it. I didn’t see a single car drive down my road until 4:30 on Friday. I sat in my home coughing and holding my aching head feeling trapped and annoyed and frustrated that I couldn’t go outside and enjoy it.

But both the snow and cold bug did give me the chance to reflect. In fact, as busy as the new year has been thus far, I think getting sick was my body’s way of forcing me to slow down, sleep more, and be quiet.

So I thought about those resolutions I’ve been pondering: get better sleep, reinstate a regular fitness program, be early for my appointments, eat more fermented foods, etc. I remembered our fitness almanac story, and how the experts advised using the beginning of the year to experiment with new routines and foods and more, and wait to start a new program until the spring. Biologically it makes more sense: There’s more sunlight in the spring, the weather warms up, and soon, we’ll be able to open our windows and let the fresh air inside. (Soon, right?)

If I allow January and February to always be my time for reflection and experimentation, then it’s decided: March will be my month to ramp it up. Onward, readers!

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