As a new year begins, I like to set a few intentions for myself. Statements like, “I NEED to get healthy this year” are vague and have no plan of action. Or “I’ve really GOT to lose weight in 2022!” sounds punishing and self deprecating. So let’s avoid them! Instead, set a positive goal in one or more of these categories for yourself.
1. Spiritual/Self Care: Try a 5 minute meditation or breathing exercise in the morning and light a candle and write in a gratitude journal for 5 minutes before bed. Do 10 minutes of yoga stretches in the evening–your body will thank you after hours hunched over your computer. Schedule a “Sunday bath at 8:00pm”–put it in your phone to ensure it really happens. Light candles, put on a soothing playlist, and lock the bathroom door! Download a memoir about someone you admire and read a chapter a night. Make a Saturday morning walking date with a friend–instead of meeting for coffee, you can walk and talk. That is a win/win!
2. Physical: Walk 1 mile before or after lunch everyday (bring your phone but do NOT use it!)–this works for in person or remote jobs. You can be back at your desk in 15 minutes and have more energy and focus for your assignments than before you left! Try a workout you have never done—Barre or Boxing?—you decide. Enlist a friend to make it less intimidating, and more likely to happen! Buy a foam roller and actually use it after your workouts. Stretching is so important and we rarely carve out the time to do it. Book a few sessions with a trainer with a friend who is also looking for a challenge–it is more affordable and a little healthy competition is an added motivator at your workouts.
3. Nutritional: Prepare only “meatless menus” 1 day a week–try that 3 Bean Chili or Lentil Stuffed Peppers recipe you downloaded last year. Try a new recipe once a week—it can be as simple as a new smoothie or salad dressing. See how few packaged foods you can buy on your weekly grocery shop–stick to the “perimeter” of the grocery store and avoid the middle aisles which are mainly boxed and packaged items. Watch your coffee consumption–experiment with some tasty herbal teas in the afternoon and cut off caffeine before lunch.
Your goals are yours and yours alone. Pick things that excite you and will keep you motivated to continue. Resolutions always have an association with giving things up, while intentions or goals urge you to move towards a positive outcome. And the results bring YOU joy. Welcome 2022!