Friday, January 15, 2010

Healthy New Decade

We have not only arrived at a new year but a whole new decade, welcome 2010! I'm sure many were more then happy to bid 2009 good riddance and are looking to the teen years of the 21st century to bring us all better luck.  There is also plenty we can do to help move our lives into more positive, happier and healthier places this year so that by this time next, we can look back and know that we did our best to make it a great one ; ) Here are a few things that might help kick start the new year on a good note!:
  • Do the best you can to adopt healthier eating habits.  Food is your medicine and watching what you eat both in portion size as well as what is and isn't on your plate is the best way to stay healthy.  Try to increase your veggie intake on a daily basis as well as whole grains and complete proteins while decreasing your sugar, fat & animal product consumption. Your body will thank you as will the earth!
  • Fit in fitness wherever you can.  Be it a 20 minute walk after dinner or a dance class a few times a week, find ways to get the blood pumping and it will help you cope with stress and might even be something you look forward to every day. Especially when you make your exercise social like a class our group hike!
  • Go green as lightly as you can. Some people are able to go green easier and faster then others but every little bit helps. Recycle bottles, cans and bags at home; watch your water and electric usage and try to carpool, ride your bike or walk when you can. Making a difference doesn't happen over night and no one expects you to live completely off the grid - yet ; )
  • Watch your spending. 2009 was a financial bust for many so let's learn from that and make 2010 a more financially responsible year by implementing healthier money habits at home. Cut down on impulse buys and services you don't really need or use; make a list of what you can and can't do without and find alternatives (i.e. quit your Starbucks habit & make healthier lattes at home - you can save up to $150 a month this way!); see how you can barter services and/or items for things you need (i.e. baby sitting for house sitting, etc). Get creative and see the savings!
  • Make this the year you go for what you love. 2009 also taught us that sometimes we need to adjust our lives depending on our finances. Many folks lost their jobs and used that to their benefit to start their own business.  If you've always wanted to be a chef, look into affordable classes. If you want to start a home business, make time to do the research on what you need to get started - and don't be afraid to ask for help. Be the Phoenix that rises from the ashes of 2009!
  • Surround yourself with a good support system. No matter what you situation, nothing is worth having without being able to share it with people you love. Remember what is truly important in life & no that when times are tough, you have people to lean on & that you can be supportive to others. Bad times shall pass and we can all be, and use, a hand to hold for better or for worse; )
  • And as Ghandi once said "Be the change you want to see in the world"
Here are some sure fire ways to not only implement your best resolutions but also how to keep them!:
  • Be realistic - The surest way to fall short of your goals is to make them unattainable.
  • Plan ahead - If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mindset that particular moment & might not afford you the time you need to make it happen.
  • Outline your plan - Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have one more cigarette.  Find positive ways to reward yourself when you meet your goals (try your best to not make them food or over spending related!)
  • Make a "pro" and "con" list - It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Visual aids help you stay accountable.
  • Talk about it - Don't keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better.
  • Track your progress - Keep track of each small success you make toward reaching your larger goal.
  • Don't beat yourself up - Obsessing over the occasional slip won't help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take each day one at a time.
  • Stick to it - Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity, such as exercising, to become a habit, and 6 months for it to become part of your personality. You can do it!
  • Keep trying - If your resolution has totally run out of steam by mid-February, don't despair. Start over again! There's no reason you can't make a "New Year's resolution" any time of year.
Here's hoping 2010 is a great one and that we can all look back fondly on the beginning of this new decade next year!