Six Principles for a Healthier New Year
As another year begins, we all look for ways to “start anew”, ways to improve our health and reach our personal goals. Here are some tools to help you shift your focus from "external validation" (such as the bathroom scale and the opinions of others) to that of "internal validation" and the true source of lasting change in your life, yourself!
- Positive Thinking! In order to get over old emotional blocks and self-sabotaging behavior, it is important to know that a lifestyle change always involves a positive mindset. Oprah Winfrey hit it on the nail when she said "My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment." Make each moment count with a positive attitude.
- Practicing compassion, acceptance and unconditional self-love through dietary transitions will lighten your expectations and give more room for learning and growth. When we practice compassion for ourselves we are able to understand that there are ups and downs to every endeavor. Don't be hard on yourself if you have gotten off track- just pick up where you left off and continue to do your best.
- Acknowledge your courage. It takes courage to identify and stop negative self-talk, and then commit to changing negative patterns. Be proud of yourself for stepping in the ring and “doing your work”, even if the challenges feel insurmountable. With every negative thought that you refuse to believe and replace with positive thoughts and actions, you will gain a greater capacity for self-acceptance and self-love.
- Remember all those symptoms you are trying to resolve! Physical: weight gain/loss, rashes, headaches, water retention, digestive disturbances, respiratory or perhaps immune system imbalances. Mental/Emotional: fatigue, sluggishness, mood swings, depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate or focus... Life feels SO MUCH better without them! Remind yourself of this often, and then re-read and recommit to Principle Number 2 and 3.
- Find support. Surrounding yourself with people who can support you can really make the difference. Friends and family are always wonderful to have on your side, but you can also find support in community groups, online forums, websites, and blogs. Many, many people want to share their stories and more often than not, they will resonate with something you have or are experiencing.
- Be creative in the kitchen and HAVE FUN! This website offers excellent resources to support you in adopting a healthier lifestyle, as well as introduce you to so many new and exciting foods and recipes. No one ever said that adopting a healthy lifestyle had to be boring! If you do feel you are getting bored of the new foods you are eating, chances are you are in need of a few good new recipes to change it up. An extra bonus: share your food in the household or at a gathering! More often than not, people love what you will have to offer and not even realize that the delicious dish you made was good for them!
“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else." ~Les Brown