We start out the New Year with the best of intentions. But as January comes to a close, it’s normal to let your 2018 resolutions—those goals that that seemed so fresh and exciting just a few weeks ago—fall by the wayside as we slide back into old, comfortable patterns. Hey, we’ve all been there. Whether you need a boost of motivation or are eager to press the reset button in February (it’s never too late), we’ve got the inspiration you need.
We sat down with Britt Peterson, a San Francisco-based Pilates, yoga, and dance instructor who teaches at The Pad Studios and The Assembly, to learn how she sticks to her resolutions and achieves her goals. Her overall message of self-love, which includes being gentle with yourself, is exactly what we needed to hear this time of year.
SS: How did you find your way into the health and fitness world?
BP: I’ve been inspired by wellness since I was young. My mother introduced me to the blood type diet when I was in high school for optimal energy and brain function. After feeling the effects of having warm lemon water in the morning and eating to my individual biology, I was hooked.
I suffered from severe cystic acne in college and tried everything under the sun to get rid of it. It wasn’t until my older brother connected me with a holistic health practitioner who encouraged me to try a clean diet for 21 days. When I cut out dairy, sugar, and grains for that time period, I had more energy, brain clarity, muscle tone, and clear skin than ever before. It felt like a miracle and is what encourages me to stay on this beautiful path of holistic wellness.
SS: What are some of your health or fitness-related New Year's resolutions?
BP: I kicked off my 2018 by trying to lessen my technology addiction and inspire others to do the same. I spent the first few days of the New Year without a phone and it was heavenly. Without all of the clutter of text messages, social media, and email, I was able to fully see, hear, smell, and feel the world around me. All of my senses were alive and heightened. It was the most human I’ve felt in a long time.
SS: What a great resolution. How are you staying inspired to keep working towards this?
BP: I’m doing a phone detox every Sunday that I’ve dubbed “No Screen Sunday.” I’ve let many of my close friends and family know that I won’t be answering messages on this day anymore— unless it’s an emergency—so that I can connect more deeply and authentically to myself and the world around me.
I am also trying to write more letters, have more telephone conversations, and in-person tea dates in 2018. Really, anything to get me back to that heightened human experience.
SS: What tips would you offer to clients who are trying to stay on track with their resolutions? Why do you think these are effective strategies?
BP: First, contemplate the reason why you made your resolution or intention. Make sure it’s truly for your personal benefit—not someone else’s—and that it’s a behavior you really want to change or invite into your life.
If it’s something that matters deeply to you, remind yourself of it daily by placing a Post-it on your wall or mirror, or anywhere you’ll be reminded of your intention each day. You can write your intention on it or simply have the blank Post-it be a symbol of your resolution. Eventually, you won’t need the sticky note anymore.
Most importantly, be gentle with yourself if you slip up. Life is a constant work in progress and our mistakes or slip ups are our biggest opportunities for growth. If you become upset with yourself, you’re much more likely to go down a destructive path.
SS: Any words of wisdom for someone who has fallen off the resolution bandwagon? It's easy to feel tired, bored, frustrated, unmotivated, or just over it!
BP:Yes! I can relate to that. Smile, forgive yourself, and think back to the “why” behind your resolution or intention. If the reason for the resolution doesn’t feel true to you anymore, then modify or change it. No sweat. There are zero rules or limitations for resolutions, except for the rules or limitations you create yourself. Therefore, try your best to be fluid and easygoing.
After all, we are all just human beings doing our best.
SS: That’s beautiful! What can students expect from your classes at The Pad and The Assembly?
BP: It all depends on the class I’m teaching, but a consistent theme for me is genuine care and kindness towards those who show up for me and my classes, as well as a mindful approach and deep respect for the yoga, Pilates, or dance practice itself.
SS: Thanks for sharing that with us. Tell us more about your teaching philosophy.
BP: My philosophy is to connect and inspire people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. When I first started teaching, I wanted to “help” people. But I quickly refined that to “inspire.” When people are inspired, they will help themselves. This seems to be a more sustainable and effective route for change. It can be overwhelming to realize that, as teachers, we have a platform that provides us with the ability to affect people in a positive way, whether it’s physically, mentally or spiritually. It’s almost our duty to use that for positive impact, initiating a ripple effect into the world at large.