-Striving to live a simple, healthy life one day at a time-

5 Simple Steps to a Happy, Healthy New Year

Each New Year brings with it a list of hopes and dreams.  We create resolutions because we want the next year to be even better than the year before.  By the time June is here, some of us might not remember those resolutions or feel let down if we didn't quite meet our expectations.  I don't really believe in making resolutions for those reasons.  I don't want to make unattainable goals that will set me up for failure and make me feel miserable the rest of the year.  Instead, I want to focus on making attainable goals; taking each day as it comes: learning all I can, being passionate, positive, and active; living in the moment, and having fun.

Currier & Ives 1876

Here are my 5 steps for improving your body, mind, and soul.  Not just for this New Year, but for each year after.

1.  Read
Yes, I said read.  I know for some reading can be dreadful.  Believe me, I know.  Up until 10 or so years ago I wasn't much of a reader thanks to middle school and the dreadfully boring book reports I was assigned.  Some of you may have had that same experience.  You might now be that person that lets your groovy, organic, raw milk touting and kombucha drinkin', natural mamma friend keep you up to date on the latest paleo eats, how to get the correct ratio of omega fats in the diet, or the best homemade toothpaste to use.  Let me tell you though that you are doing yourself a big disservice by not diving in and reading up on things for yourself, assuming you have similar interests.  For one, things can often be lost in translation, so it's good to go straight to the original source.  Also, your friends may benefit from things you have to share on similar subjects.  It's hard to have input and give your own perspective if you don't really know much on the subject.  Don't be the person that sits back while others feed information into your mind.  Be proactive and join in the research and fun!  You will be wiser for it and help others as well.  Remember: Knowledge is Power. 

2. Get Excited
Being excited and passionate about something can make a world of difference.  If you are looking to change your life, whether the change is big or small, passion will help facilitate the change.  It's the power of passion that creates change in us.  Decide what your goal will be (attainable of course) for this new year and beyond. Will you choose to consume less sugar, visit the gym more often, or create a tighter budget?  Whatever it is, begin with step one. Read.  Then you can create a plan of action and get excited.

3. Be Positive
We all go through varying ups and downs in our lives.  That's normal.  Problems can arise however, when you consistently have drama and negativity all around you.  If you have people like that in your life, it's probably best to stay away from them for a while.  It's really easy to be dragged down by just a few negative comments sprinkled here and there.  Think about your own attitude.  Is it upbeat and optimistic?  Do you try to see the good in things?  We live in a sinful world.  Bad things will happen.  We can let those things or people bring us down, or we can choose to lift our heads up and see the beauty all around us and be thankful for what we have in life.  Surround yourself with like-minded people, and you will begin to feel your spirits lift.   

4. Be Active
Our bodies are meant to move.  We have bones, muscles, ligaments, and a heart and lungs, which all work together so efficiently to help us get through our daily life.  With technology, we have lost our once active lifestyles.  This year make a point to get more activity into your life.  Exercise is so beneficial to the mind and body.  Yes, we all know this right?  We just need to do it!  This will definitely be a challenge for me.  Over the years I've really slacked off on exercise, so it's time to get back to it!

5. Be Present
Have you ever been in the house with your family only to feel lonely and like something is missing?  You are all physically together but there is no connection whatsoever?  This is the point where everyone needs to turn off their phones, iPods, iPads, computer, TV, etc.  What you need is some good old fashioned family time. Too often kids are left to fend for themselves playing with plastic toys made in China and watching countless episodes of their favorite shows.  What ever happened to freeze tag, making mud pies, and building forts? Be present with your family: play a board game, go on a nature hike, cook a meal, just sit and talk. Relationships are what matter most in life.  Cherish the people around you and remember time is the most precious gift you can give.  The dishes can wait.  Your house doesn't have to be spotless.  Take a deep breath and create some fun memories.  

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!!!


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