As we sail out of 2016 into 2017, one of my inspirations and intentions in the new year is YOUR Health and Happiness: to help you look and feel your best naturally, from the inside out. As Billy Crystal said, “You look marvelous darling, and when you look good, you feel good!” I’ll take his quote one step further and say: When you’re healthy and happy, you look good and feel good—You look marvelous darling!
One of the things I love most about sailing is that it’s a process sport, you’re always learning something new. The weather, wind, and waves are never exactly the same each time you go sailing, so what worked last time might not work for you this time. And like sailing, I constantly strive to learn new things about health and happiness too, and love sharing healthy tips and tricks with you.
What will inspire you to improve your own health and happiness in the new year? How will you realize your intentions? Here are a eight ideas to help you get started on your healthiest, happiest year yet!
While some people set resolutions for the new year, studies show that setting intentions actually achieve greater results. Turns out that the difference between intentions and resolutions is more than just a matter of semantics. Intentions (like goals) tend to be more positive (“This year I intend to go to yoga more often”) and require mindfulness, focusing on the future and what you want to achieve, as well as creating steps to assist you in making your intentions come to fruition. On the other hand, resolutions generally focus on the past and tend to be more negative or punitive in nature (“This year I won’t be late to work any more.”) If you’re inclined to set intentions, here are eight tips to help you succeed in reaching your health and happiness goals this year.
Eight Tips for Greater Health and Happiness in 2017
- Learn, read, listen to pod-casts, watch webinars and TED Talks to learn as much as you can about your particular intention. Want to eat healthier in the new year? Then check out healthy recipes, learn about the importance of organic, non-GMO food, and what sugar does to your body. The more educated you are about your intention, the more likely you will be able to achieve it. If you can visualize what sugar is actually doing to your body when you eat it, you won’t be as likely to over indulge.
- Take daily actions towards your intentions. Want to feel more assertive and confidant? Do the Power Pose for two minutes every morning just after you get up. You’ll be surprised how this one little exercise can help you conquer your fears and achieve your intentions.
- Set small goals with rewards along the way to help you reach your larger intentions. Want to lose 30 pounds? Set weekly goals along the way, and reward yourself for achieving those goals. Aim for rewards that help you stick to your goals and don’t sabotage your hard work. If you’ve lost 5 pounds, reward yourself with new pair of earrings instead of an ice-cream.
- Healthy Wight Loss Speaking of losing weight, the one book that has helped more of my clients lose weight than any other is the Clean Gut, by Dr. Alejandro Junger, M.D. Clean Gut gives you an excellent overview of your body and your gut micro biome and how important that is in your overall health and wellness, and includes delicious whole food recipes. It’s not a “diet”, it’s a lifestyle change for the better. When my husband and I did the Clean Gut plan several years ago, we each lost 10-15lbs and have never regained it. When you learn the importance of eating clean, you don’t want to eat any other way.
- Keep a gratitude jar and fill it with gratitudes each day or when ever you think about them. Being grateful each day for the things in your life goes a long ways towards bringing you better health and happiness. Aim to write down three things you are grateful for each day. To create our gratitude jar I took a mason jar and decorated the outside with sharpies, we use multi-colored sticky notes to write our gratitudes each day or week, fold them up and put them in the jar. It’s a pretty addition to our counter and on New Years Eve we open our gratitude jar and read about the wonderful year we’ve just had.
- Review your day, and tweak as necessary. I borrowed this idea from Drew Barrymore and think it’s a great one. Each night before I go to bed, I review the day’s events, give thanks for the great stuff (see gratitude jar above), while I also ponder the things that didn’t go quite as I would have liked, or I wished would have gone really differently. I think about what part I played in those transactions or encounters, and what I could do differently next time to create a more positive outcome. Then I let it go and have a great nights sleep. I’m not sure who this quote is by but it’s a good one: “Remember your mistakes just long enough to learn from them, then let them go.”
- Tomorrow is another day for a fresh start. If you missed more yoga classes than you attended this week, or gained back a few pounds, don’t beat yourself up. Guilt doesn’t make any situation better. Acknowledge and give yourself a hug for all the things that went WELL today, or this week. Then maybe next week your intention will be to “practice yoga one more time than I did last week”, be here now and take things one-day-at-a-time. Remember that you are exactly where you are supposed to be at this moment in time, and that everything happens for a reason, you just might not know the reason…yet (The Universe works in mysterious ways!)
- Meditate, meditate, meditate… I can’t stress this one enough (and I speak from experience because we’ve been slacking off lately and I really notice the difference!) If you’ve never meditated, here are some easy guided meditations to help you get started. If you already meditate, keep on keeping on. More and more scientific studies are revealing the amazing health and happiness benefits of meditation.
Wishing you smooth sailing in 2017. Many thanks again for reading and commenting on my blog, I truly appreciate you!! Please leave a comment with your best health and happiness tip for the new year.