As we gear up to write our New Year’s resolutions, there’s a lot to think about. Who do we want to be in 2017? What do we want to eliminate? How do we want to better ourselves? How do we want to impact others? What do we strive to achieve personally and professionally? What do we want to accomplish both big and small?
Personally, living a healthy lifestyle is at the top of my priority list. It benefits all areas of my life and it’s what I’m passionate about. Therefore, a lot of my resolutions each year surround wellness. If you’re similar, or are interested in it, here are a handful of potential Wellness New Years Resolutions to consider for your list (and of course, there’s always the weekly wellness challenges which could be good, too!).
1. Love and take care of your body.
“If you don’t take care of your body, where else are you going to live?” is something my husband’s grandma (or as we call her ‘Gigi’) always says and I love that quote. Or as Mumford & Sons say, “In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die.”
No matter how healthy or unhealthy you are, please add this one to your resolutions as it will manifest differently for everyone. For example, you may need to change your eating habits because you’re polluting, abusing, or neglecting your body. You may need to drink less alcohol, quit smoking, give up the Xanax, move your body more, stop the compulsive extreme exercise, drink more water, drink less soda, stop depriving yourself, get more sleep, have more sex, go see that doctor you’ve been meaning to see but haven’t (here is a complete list of recommended annual doctors screenings), etc.
Whatever it is you need to do, you probably already know it. Be honest with yourself and write those things down so that the words stare right back at you. Then make the changes.
2. Be kind to yourself.
The number one relationship in this lifetime is the one you have with yourself so be kind. It’s easy to put ourselves down, feel less than, compare ourselves to other people, etc. but it’s time to shake that. Life is too short to spend it at war with ourselves. I know it’s easier said than done and some of this is deep-routed, so please take the right steps to get there. This may require therapy, meditation, medication, apologizing to people that you’ve done wrong to, owning your past and accepting it as a badge of pride instead of shame. Whatever it is that you are fighting with, work to fix it. You will be liberated.
3. Be mindful.
Mindfulness definition: mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
In essence, all this means is being present in your own life. When you’re sitting across from a friend, listen to them, connect with them, talk to them (aka get off your phone and stop stressing about the work you need to get home to afterward). When you’re indulging in ice cream, enjoy it! Don’t get stuck reflecting on your worries, fears, and regrets while taking each bite. Whatever it is that you’re doing, get off autopilot and be in the moment.
4. Schedule less.
We live in an over-programmed, over-scheduled world full of commitments. And as it turns out, a recent study proves that scheduling leisure time with friends—for movies, drinks, bike rides—can make these otherwise enjoyable activities feel like chores, which is often why we cancel them. The research showed that assigning a specific date and time for leisure can have the opposite intended effect, making it feel much like a chore. Additionally, the researchers found that both the anticipation of the leisure activity and enjoyment from it decreased once it was scheduled.
Reclaim your calendar by scheduling fewer plans and leaving more free time, which will allow for spontaneous plans that you actually feel like doing.
5. Clean up the toxins.
In my opinion, it’s really important that we all think about what we’re putting in, on and around our bodies on a daily basis. From the food we put in our bodies, to the cleaning supplies we smear all over our homes, to the beauty products that we fill our pores with, to the detergents/dry cleaning chemicals that line our clothes, to the air we breathe in, and the water we drink, the chemicals are REAL and they’re causing major problems including death.
I recommend making it not only a 2017 goal but a life goal to eliminate toxic chemicals where you can. It’s a continual process that takes time and we’ll never be able to avoid all the bad stuff, but taking control where we can is important. Here is a good post on how to clean up your beauty cabinet, here are tips on detoxing your kitchen and here is a post about how to clean up the food you buy. Little by little these changes make a big difference.
6. Surround yourself with people who inspire you.
This may sound corny but it’s true. The company you keep has a tremendous impact on your life so seek wisely. If you’re looking to grow professionally, find a mentor and lean in. This will require a lot of effort and an open mind/heart but it will pay off. If you’re a mom and really admire the way another mom you know parents, spend more time with them, ask questions. If there’s someone in your life who you really connect with, someone that makes you feel like the best version of yourself, make them more of a priority, let that friendship blossom. You get my drift?
7. Practice gratitude.
Please see this post and make this a part of your life. You won’t regret it, I promise!
8. Buy better.
I was recently at a dinner with the owner of Freda Salvador shoes and she shared that her 2016 resolution was to only buy vintage, consignment or local designers. Absolutely no fast-fashion or anything “new new.” I absolutely loved this idea given that it helps the environment, builds small economies and forces you to really think about, and often search for, every purchase you make.
I asked her how it’s impacted her closet and she shared that she has never loved hers more. It’s much more unique and special, so much so that she may stick to it past the expiration date of 2017.
This is an excellent one to add to your list, but instead of FULLY committing, it may be more realistic to strive to buy better (meaning more consignment, more local, etc). And why not? You’ll feel better about your impact on the environment and upping your style may boost your confidence.
9. Take up a new wellness practices.
Adding a new or multiple new wellness practices to your year can do wonders for your mental and physical state. What wellness trends have interested you that you haven’t committed to? Mediation, smoothie making, volunteering, single-tasking, stretching, better sleep, working out? Whatever it is, make it happen this year by doing the research and putting in the time.
10. Do you.
Above all when it comes to wellness, you have to do what feels right for you as an individual. Maybe the benefits of dry brushing aren’t worth the time it takes away from your kids in the morning, or oil pulling isn’t your thing. Know that while all wellness is nice on paper, just because it’s good for you doesn’t mean you have to do it all. Find the practices that work best for your lifestyle and what you’re trying to improve, and incorporate those.
What are some wellness resolutions you’re focusing on?