by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
Who doesn’t love a new beginning. The question is, what are you doing with yours? We have some suggestions …
Ultimately, new year’s resolutions are created as part of the bigger goal to achieve wellness. We strive for that balanced state-of-being where we are physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy. Experts have determined some key elements of this journey toward wellness. If these are not on your goal list, add them!
Do not wait until annual vacations to enjoy a bit of luxury. Indulge in mini-breaks throughout the year. Enjoy dinner at your favorite restaurant without waiting for a special occasion. Treat yourself to a massage. Go away for a long weekend. Modify these treats to fit your schedule and budget. Go ahead and splurge! You always can counteract it by cutting back on donut-and-coffee runs.
A restful break from the norm should be your goal. You will return to your routine with a fresh attitude and renewed energy. Consider it an investment in your health and happiness (which may save you money and time over the long-term).
We don’t often associate altruism with self-care; however, there is a connection. Helping others improves our own well-being. Studies show those who support others through volunteering and informal acts of kindness improve their own lives as well.
Make it your goal to frequently show random acts of kindness. It does not need to be a big time or energy investment. In fact, when we are harried and stressed, we benefit most from helping others. Generosity activates the brain to produce positive feelings, which helps relieve stress and improve mood.
Put your fitness to use for others. Offer to run errands for a homebound friend. Shovel snow for an elderly neighbor. Make a healthy meal for a sick or injured friend.
Wow-Up Your Workout
Give your fitness program a makeover. New year; new workout. Expand your fitness routine to include something new. The Center is famous for variety. Set a goal to try a new sweat session every month. By year’s end, you’ll have experimented with 12 new ways to workout. Pick your favorites as you go, and make them a regular part of your routine.
Use money you planned to spend on an unhealthy habit (overly sweet lattes, a six-pack of beer, or other “weakness”) to purchase personal training sessions. Just a few sessions have a long-lasting positive impact on your workout. Follow up with your free quarterly reevaluations for continued momentum. You are investing in your workout success, which is surely one of your new year’s resolutions.
Some of the healthiest eaters are quick to add how they do not feel deprived. Become one of them. Learn how to prepare nutritious meals with foods and flavors you enjoy. Healthy eating should not be about deprivation. Meet with a dietitian, attend the Center’s nutrition seminars, and research healthy ways to eat.
Experiment with variety while learning to prepare your favorites in healthier ways. Don’t ban pasta and pizza from your menu. Amazing creations can be accomplished with healthier ingredients and the right spices. You won’t even realize the swaps.
Spend time on making a better life for yourself. Often, we rush through days without being mindful of our time. Then, we question why we cannot accomplish that which is important to us.
Think before you answer and act. If an obligation and loyalties are outworn, permit yourself to let go of them. Limit the time you dedicate to unwanted tasks, if you cannot be absolved from them completely.
When tempted to agree to unwanted responsibilities, consider this: For every hour spent on them, you misdirected your own personal growth. That time could be spent on your workout, mastering that healthy recipe, soaking in the spa pool, or helping a loved one. Prioritizing becomes easier as you begin to experience a life true to yourself and conducive to your goals.
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