17 Dec A New Years Transformation
The good thing about living for yourself? You have the power to start fresh. New Years represents a time to check in with yourself, your goals and priorities, and of course your health.
With the holidays approaching, or rather having persisted since Thanksgiving, it’s easy to say most of us are in need of a cleanse. I’m not talking about a 5-day juice cleanse—often times juices are packed with sugar and only provide short-term results. I mean a total body and mind cleanse, one where you feel strong, rejuvenated, in charge and able to achieve lasting results.
The holidays are stressful: a circus of family and friends, an overwhelming social schedule and so much travel that you even may consider the airport to be your winter home. It’s hard to make time for yourself, and inevitably your exercise routine, food choices and sleep patterns take a hit.
It’s important to enjoy the holidays and give yourself a pass (without over-indulging of course!); yet, once you share a New Years kiss, it’s time to make some changes.
Here are some tips to make the most of those resolutions:
- Align Your Body and Mind Beforehand. Think about your goals and needs the week before. Jot them down so you don’t forget, and let the pen hold you accountable. How are you feeling in work? How have you been coping with stress? How do you feel about your energy levels and diet? How is your body image? Do you need to sweat more? How can you live for you better? Keep these questions in mind, and on New Years modify them based on your present state.
- Trust Your Intuition. Let your gut leads you; it’s usually right. Pay attention to your body cues and how you respond to life’s obstacles. If you feel that ordering a chicken parm over grilled salmon will make you feel guilty and bloated, then stay strong, even if your table is choosing fattening dishes. If you feel that a new line of work or a promotion request is something you need to do to feel more fulfilled, you have to honor it.
- Get Rid of Guilt and Shape Your Perception. Beating yourself up over past indulgences will only bring about a defeatist attitude and an exacerbation of your struggles. Change your perception: look at the holidays as a time of great memories and fun and your past mistakes for the year as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Apologize to those you’ve wounded and hope to make amends. Write down your gratitude for loved ones and send a card (or email) to share your words. Forgive yourself and promise to move forward—look at everything as a positive and stay optimistic during your transformation.
- Be Selfish at Times. You have to do things for yourself—if you don’t take care of yourself, you are unable to be there for others. Treat yourself to a spa day, full of manicures, pedicures or massages, or stay home at night to enjoy a hot bath with soothing oils and a glass of wine. Self-care connects you to your body and allows you to appreciate it. Love for your body motivates you to cherish it through whole foods, pampering, and exercise.
- Stick to Whole Foods. Explore new ways of eating and power foods you’ve only ever read about. Indulge in fruits and vegetables, rather than refined flour and sweets. Fill your plate with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, substantial protein—mostly plant-based for greater benefits—and whole grains, like quinoa and brown rice. My favorites include lentils, tofu, berries, grapefruit, apples, carrots, cruciferous vegetables, and leafy greens in the form of an afternoon green juice.
- Include Omega 3’s. Taking a fish oil supplement, between 1000-1200mg fish oil with high content of both DHA and EPA will both reduce inflammation and promote longevity. In addition, incorporate salmon, extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, flaxseed, chia seed and hemp seeds into your diet, as they are excellent sources.
- Take a Probiotic. Personally, I take a culturelle in the morning and an align in the evening. I also eat a siigis Greek yogurt with live active bacterial cultures daily. There are many brands to choose from, but try and find one that works for you in order to keep your gut healthy and bowel movements regular.
- Sweat it Out. Aim to develop a regular exercise routine, consisting of both cardio and strength training. Exercise supplies a boost of endorphins and betters stress management. It also been shown to promote creativity and productivity in the workplace. Exercise is key to preventing various diseases and it keeps your immune system high—a benefit that particularly comes in handy during both winter and allergy seasons. Set a target schedule for yourself, something that fits with your schedule, and don’t be afraid to take baby steps towards achieving an ultimate goal of days/hours/week.
- Make This Year Your Best Yet. Keep your resolutions, and adapt with changes in personal goals and lifestyle. Think of your past accomplishments and work to do better. Build confidence and cut yourself some slack when due. Trust your body, make happiness a priority and be proud of yourself.