This Year, Make and Keep Your New Year’s Resolution!
Once a year, on New Year’s Eve, we, as a society, look back at our successes and failures of the previous year. It is the only time of year that we publicly give ourselves permission to assess our shortcomings, and “resolve” to do things differently in the coming year.
According to Dictionary.com, definitions of the word “resolution” (noun) include:
1. a formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization, a legislature, a club, or other group. Compare concurrent resolution, joint resolution.
2. a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
3. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
4. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
Based on the above definitions of the word “resolution”, one would assume that a New Year’s Resolution is a pretty serious affair, that we had made a true commitment to ourselves to do something. Yet, sadly, it has become the societal expectation that resolutions are made to be broken, and that your resolute determination for positive changes in your life is little more than wishful thinking. This is because we bravely decide on what our New Year’s Resolution should be, often without much thought on how those changes will be accomplished.
While our earnest desire for a more prosperous career, a new relationship, better health or a “better” body is a great place to start, our dreams will never materialize into our reality without a well thought-out PLAN. Yes, a RESOLUTION, “a firm resolution to do something”, requires a PLAN.
So, say your New Year’s Resolution is to get “in shape” this year. What steps will you need to put in place in order to honor your resolution? While a gym membership or the new pair of running shoes may be necessary tools that can help you accomplish your goal, it is your “firmness of purpose”, determination, and commitment to yourself that creates the foundation of your plan. And that commitment is dependent upon understanding what it means to be “in shape”. It is dependent upon your understanding of the importance and absolute necessity of physical exercise to every aspect of your health- your heart, your lungs, your immune system, your endocrine system, your bones, and both the quality and quantity of your life. Far from being a frivolous cosmetic attribute reserved for those in their 20’s and movie stars, physical fitness and being committed to being “in shape” is one, if not THE, MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Once you have that understanding, and have that desire to feel both energized and de-stressed that comes with physical exercise, the next step is just determining what it is that you like to do. Running, walking, mountain climbing, weightlifting, racquetball, cycling, tennis, yoga, Qigong, tae kwon do, the number of ways to stay physically fit is nearly limitless, but all you need to do is find one activity that you like.
The next part of the “get in shape” Resolution Plan, or any Resolution Plan for that matter, is to Get Support. When our spouse, children, parents, and friends can offer us love and support in starting something new, we can find the courage to overcome our doubts and fears because someone believes in us. The importance of Getting Support, no matter what your New Year’s Resolution or goals may be, cannot be overstated. Many of us were raised to be “independent”, with the idea that we have to “make it on our own”. Yet those that have achieved amazing things, from athletes to actors to world leaders, always give thanks to those that believed in them and supported them through their challenges. So share your resolution with your family and friends and get support for your goals. If your resolution is to find a physical activity that you like and to make a commitment to improve your health, invite your spouse, family or friends to join you on a daily walk, at the gym, at dance or yoga classes. Make your exercise routine be a time to better connect with yourself and those you love, and this year’s resolution may just be the one that lasts for years to come.
If your New Year's resolution is for a healthier lifestyle, you may want to try:
10 Simple Steps to Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle
Today there are fifteen thousand diet books in print, most of them are something you go on for a while knowing at some point you will go off it. Unlike many diet plans that are blindly followed, adopting a healthy lifestyle requires understanding what your body needs to be healthy.
Despite our individual differences, there are ten simple steps to a healthier lifestyle that apply to most people. Before starting any program, however, be sure to speak to your qualified health care professional to see if this program is appropriate for you.
1. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of clean, filtered water. Coffee, tea and soda all weaken your body by removing water and valuable nutrients.
2. Pay careful attention to keeping your insulin levels down by avoiding sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juices, refined carbohydrates, and processed grains.
3. Be sure to have at least 1 ounce of high quality organic hormone-free protein like egg, poultry, beef, wild game, wild-caught seafood or vegetable protein like beans or nuts at every meal.
4. Consume healthy fats such as organic butter, animal fat from pastured animals, coconut oil, avocados, and raw nuts. Avoid processed hydrogenated fats like nearly all commercial vegetable oils that are high in omega-6 fats, such as canola, soy and corn oils.
5. Include plenty of higher whole carbohydrate foods, like organic leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, beans, beets, sweet potatoes, squashes, whole grains, etc.. Be sure that your cooked vegetables still maintain most of their nutrients by cooking them using the waterless method (not boiled or microwaved).
6. Eat plenty of raw organic vegetables like salads, and naturally fermented foods like homemade sauerkraut or organic Greek yogurt.
7. Manage your stress through spiritual connection, time to play, hobbies, and positive relationships and be sure to get support when you need it. One of the best ways to reduce stress is through regular and safe exercise. Try alternating short burst high intensity exercise along with moderate aerobic activity, which is how your body was designed to perform.
8. Get sun exposure to optimize your vitamin D levels by spending an appropriate and safe amount of time outdoors without the use of sunscreen.
9. Limit exposure to toxins of all kinds- from pesticides in foods, additives, artificial colors, household cleaners, and body care products- by replacing with natural and non-toxic products.
10. Get plenty of sleep to allow your body to repair, recharge and reset.
This common sense approach to a healthy lifestyle is a good way to produce a healthy body, mind, and increase your longevity.
Best of all, YOU have the power to change your own lifestyle!