Goals & Motivation

Happy New Year’s: My Fitness Joys for 2021!

Happy New Year’s, dear friend! I hope you had an amazing holiday season and that your 2021 is full of laughs, happiness, good health, and much joy!

Speaking of JOY, it’s my theme word for the year which quite frankly, I’m surprised I’ve never used before. (I mean, duh, this is Joyful Miles and we’re pretty big about joy here.)

In the past, I’ve used words like Commit, Thrive, Shine, and in 2019, Intention. For 2020, my theme was Heal which on a global level … yikes … did NOT bode well. But in a way, it did for me personally after I took a much-needed break from Joyful Miles and social media in order to strengthen my mental health, renew relationships with friends and family, and refill my creative well.

I now feel renewed, refreshed, and ready to take on 2021 with a focus on joy! So rather than making a list of goals, I’m doing things a little differently. After all, 2020’s Covid curveball has taught us that life can drastically change and nothing is certain. So instead, I’ve made a list of fitness joys that I’d like to do this year … some with modifications, if need be, since we’re not out of this pandemic yet.

Fitness Joys for 2021

1.) Join the Peloton Century Club

No, I didn’t get a Peloton for Christmas. Since we’re on a budget, (hello, upcoming retirement,) and we travel to the beach quite often, Bob followed my awesome daughter-in-law’s example by getting me a Schwinn IC4 for Christmas as well as a larger TV for our basement to cast Peloton classes on!

I’m still working out the kinks and it’s still a tad overwhelming, but OH MY GOSH, I’m absolutely in love with the Peloton app! There are so many classes … strength training, yoga, meditation, walking, running, cycling, and more!

And the badges. SO MANY BADGES!! Peloton knows that people like me love earning badges, so I have my eye on the Century Club for Cycling, running, and meditation, I want them all!

You can bet your booty I’ll be doing some more posts about this new adventure this year, especially considering #8 on my list. πŸ˜‰

2.) Do another bike tour

So this one falls under the iffy category since travel plans are still uncertain. But oh my gosh, I would absolutely LOVE to do another bike tour with Bob on Great Alleghany Passage! Our 325+ mile adventure in 2019 is, by far, our favorite vacation together and after all of 2020’s drama, the notion of riding a gorgeous trail with just what’s packed on our bikes sounds ideal.

3.) Run the Marine Corps Marathon

Oh boy.

This one kind of makes me cringe since … runfessions, time … I’ve been in a major running slump for months now, and I’ve sworn, again and again, to not do any fall marathons in order to avoid heavy training over the summer, but…


My lovely daughter-in-law/running buddy would love another shot at the Marine Corps in order for a normal, drama-free race. After all, we battled injury (her,) sickness and food poisoning (me,) heavy rains, and blazing heat in 2019. For 2020, we ran this virtually. So yeah. A normal race would be rather nice. So okay. Sign me up.

4.) Coastal Delaware Running Festival

I’ve never done this race before, but it could potentially shape up to be a family affair! Kimberly, me, and one of our friends are interested in the full marathon, (oh, the punishment gluttony of it all,) and my co-mom, (what I call Kimberly’s mother,) another friend, and my eldest son’s girlfriend might do the half!

Again. Fingers crossed there’s room, sign me up, Lawd have mercy.

5.) Princess Half Marathon Virtual Fairy Tale Challenge!

I did choose a refund for the 2021 WDW Marathon, but I had to opt in to run the Fairy Tale Challenge virtually in order to keep my legacy status! I’m not sure yet which weekend I’ll run it … a lot depends on the weather, since me and freezing temps don’t get along much.

For now, my Princess pals and I still plan on going to Disney World in February! We booked a place with plenty of room to spread out and I will be able to quarantine afterward at the beach, so fingers crossed we are able to go.

6.) Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon

I don’t know about this one, folks. It might just be a pipe dream but IF there is any chance of a live runDisney race in 2021, then I’m so in!! And I can guarantee you, I might cry with joy the entire time and I know I won’t be the only one!

7.) Get back to my pre-Covid weight

Here’s the thing: I haven’t been at my current weight since before I had my boys … 27 years ago. And I can’t entirely blame it on the quarantine – my weight had started to slowly creep up in 2019 thanks to perimenapausal hormones and a new addiction to vanilla coffee creamer.

Now, I’ve dipped my toes into the topic of my lifelong battle with eating disorders and body dysmorphia over on our YouTube channel, but I’ve yet to truly dive into the topic. Maybe this year I will. But for now, I’m happy to report that I haven’t harmed myself phyically in an effort to lose this weight.

Mentally, however? That’s a different story.

And yes. I’m trying very hard to focus on happiness, joy, and gratitude for my many blessings. But I don’t FEEL healthy. I don’t feel GOOD. So in 2021, I want to get back to feeling fit, strong, flexible, and HEALTHY.

8.) Learn more TikTok Dances!

Oh my gosh. How I’ve come to love TikTok!!! What started off as curiosity has turned into a full-blown addiction, one I need to monitor!

But I just love TikTok. The creativity! The entertainment! And the awesome dances to learn and post! I’ve first dipped my toe in TikTok early in 2020 with the intention to lose some weight by learning dance choreography, but insecurity soon took it’s nasty hold. Now I’m determined to learn as many dances in 2021 as possible since it’s a great workout and tons of fun!

If you’re a fellow TikToker who’d like to connect, you can find me at @joyfullylaura and Jackey at @jackeyld!

9.) Get a new runDisney Proof of Time

Oh, and circling back to runDisney … I seriously need a new Proof of Time. I’d love to get one at the Frederick Running Festival, but May is a little too iffy right now. Fingers crossed for a fall ten miler or half!

And finally…

10.) Find my voice again as a fitness blogger/vlogger

Here’s another confession: While taking time away from Joyful Miles has been a blessing in many respects, I now feel a little lost and unsure about where I belong, despite Jackey’s and my friend’s support and encouragement. And while I’m being honest, here, I still have some things to work out and I’m uncertain of how to blend Joyful Miles with my writing career goals.

Here’s the thing about doubt and uncertainty, though.

It’s mentally EXHAUSTING and I just don’t have the energy or patience for doubt anymore, not this year, not ever again. Jackey and I also have a new perspective when it comes to Joyful Miles: we are going to do the things that bring us JOY and forget about the rest.

Writing and filming content has always brought me the most joy when it comes to Joyful Miles. So okay. I am once again jumping in with hopes the net will appear and I’ll find my place.

I’m also EXTREMELY grateful for those of you who have offered us support throughout the years and I wish you the happiest and healthiest of new years!

Speaking of which, what about you? What are your goals and hopeful joys for 2021? Please share in the comments below and as always, have a joyful day!

Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, wife to an amazing guy for 26 years, mom of two wonderful boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that plus she can quote most lines from Talladega Nights. Shake and bake!

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1 Comment

  1. Leslie Landry says:

    Happy New Year Laura! Glad to hear positivity for a change. Hopefully 2021 will be a JOYous year for everyone. God Bless

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