New year, new you? I bet you’re pretty fantastic just as you are, but we all have room for growth and improvement! Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I have some in mind that will make this year extra fabulous if you make them happen.
- Listen to your inner voice and your gut. Listen to learn and try to understand, rather than simply to reply, especially if you disagree with someone. This listening, learning, and understanding will foster healthy boundaries, growth, and stronger character and relationships.
- Spend more time in nature! Whether it’s going for a walk or sitting on your porch, it’s good for you! Even just remembering to open your windows/doors so you can hear the birds can add peace and joy to your day.
- Weed your mental garden. Give the negative forces in your life the boot. This could be negative people, your job, your negative mindset about yourself and your life, regrets, guilt, anger, letting reasons become excuses…. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and bring out the best in you. They’ll encourage you in your efforts to cultivate positivity! These can be hard changes to make, so don’t hesitate to seek the professional help of a therapist for support.
- Eat healthier. No, you don’t have to eat only organic or never eat a sweet treat again. (Nothing wrong with those goals, though, if they fit your needs!) Look at the bigger picture. Drink enough water. Eat “whole”, unprocessed foods made from scratch as much as possible. Limit sweets and junk food. Eat proper portions. Avoid preservatives, additives, and chemicals. Watch your sugar and salt intake. Pay attention to how your body and cognition reacts to certain foods and ingredients, and then see if you feel and think better when you eliminate the ones that you think might bother you. Talk to your doctor if you think you see a pattern.
- Move your body. Whether you’re able to do a heart-pounding workout or simply begin your day with stretches in bed, be intentional about moving your body every day. Playing with your kids, getting up to walk when you need to sit for long stretches, yoga, strenuous workouts, housework…. Anything that fits your needs and abilities that gets movement into your day will benefit your physical and mental health!
- Those last two are a huge part of my next suggestion: self-care. Take good care of your health–physical and mental. It’s so easy to put “me time” and self-care at the bottom of the pile when you’re trying to get through the daily grind. You are worth the effort and time. Set aside at least a few minutes every day to do something that recharges you and brings you joy and peace. This investment in yourself will reap lasting benefits not only for you but also everyone in your life.
- Laugh every day. The health benefits of laughter are many! Find something that you KNOW will get you chuckling so you have something to pull out on those glum days. For me, that’s funny goat videos on YouTube.
- Be kind. Give yourself and others grace, compassion, and kindness. Your kids when they’re driving you nuts, your spouse when they forget to do such-and-such yet again, that grouchy driver that flipped you off, or the negative Nellie online…. Create a ripple effect of kindness.
- Be uncomfortable. I’m not talking about sitting on the saggy part of your couch! Get out of your comfort zone. Consider another side of a topic that you’re passionate about. Truly learn about it; talk about it with those that hold opposing views, face-to-face if possible. Try something new, whether it’s a new food, attending an event, a hobby, taking a class, or a new way to improve your health.
Here’s another way to think about it. Instead of focusing on things to lose or remove from your life, think about what you want to add. More truth, kindness, growth, joy, respect, movement, sunshine, adventures, laughter, healthy choices of all sorts, positivity, contentment, learning….
What do you want to add to your life this year?