Got any New Year goals? How did you go last year? Tick any off? I have been reflecting on this New Year goals "tradition". Actually, the more I reflect on it the more I realise it isn't a tradition but an industry hype. "New Year, new me" is one example of industry hype. With each such thought they are seeding the idea that you are the old you and hence there is something undesirable with that. What is needed is a new you. What isn't declared is that the old you cannot be fresh, awesome, thin, strong, healthy (insert your own weak spot) without some diet, some bootcamp, some product or service. Of course they are because that new you industry has brought in a whopping revenue stream for its masters. And, as you may know it is based on a lie that you are not ok as you are... shame shame, no wonder it is a hard slog keeping those goals or indeed keeping up with fashion but that's another story.
In my opinion, what is needed is acceptance. Where you are is a result of what life has thrown at you. Yes, the sum total of great dinners, maybe you like to party, or stay up late or read books or oops, you have been sick or broken that leg, been let down... but that happens too. How has that decade treated you? Whoa, wasn't it a ride? I bet you put in a lot and got out a whole lot too. Be proud of that. Do you cry over your worn runners or do you think back on that breathtaking hike or the magical holiday instead? Or maybe it is about your morning walks that bring joy to your day. So it is a time of reflection and celebration, definitely no room for shaming.
Of course if you need help because that year or decade has also left you with some lower back pain, a dodgy shoulder or hip, I can help you with that. It's still not a goal nor is there any shame in that.
For this and every New Year, instead of shaming I would like to leave you with a few ideas that I find are useful in supporting me no matter what life throws up. I bet if you stick with them for a while they will become your daily habits that keep you healthy in the most basic but important way.
1) First thing each morning, pour your self a tall glass of room temperature filtered water. Add a squeeze of lemon/lime/orange and over the next 15 or so minutes drink it. Don't gulp but rather easy it down with many sips. It is important that it is at room temperature and never refrigerated (or warm to hot on those cold wintery days). It will gently rehydrate you and help your body out of the many hours of rest that is the nightly sleep cycle. The citrus is delicious and it supplies enzymes that help your liver detox. It will ready you for breakfast and the greater day ahead.
2) Carry a water bottle, fill it with filtered water and drink at least two over the course of each day. More if you are jogging, running or doing sweaty work. And, even more if the day is particularly hot. Again, if the weather is mild to hot use room temp water or if it is cold and wintery use warm to hot water. Don't drink in big gulps and definitely not along with your meals but rather before or after your meals. This will keep your organs hydrated and working at their best. Give fizzy drinks a miss no matter what the advertising claims, humans have thrived for millions of years without sugar or fizz there is something in that.
3) Our days are busy and noisy so balance that by spending time in quiet contemplation (30 mins on the average) in nature be it your park, forest, beach or your room to put everything back into perspective. It also calms your nervous system and your hormones - very important for long term health and sanity.
4) Walk, ride, dance or swim at least 30 minutes each day. Whatever brings you joy. Movement makes the body function better and in our sedentary jobs we just don't do enough of that. You may very well get your best ideas or solutions whilst out walking not to mention moving your blood, bowels and lymph - incredibly important to for immunity.
5) Sing in the shower. This is a long forgotten habit of ours and it brings joy into our lives. Start with humming or whistling of a catchy song and if you break into a song so be it. It not only brings joy to you but to everyone within earshot. Did your dad do it when you were little? Maybe your bestie's dad or mum. How did it make you feel? Yeah, bring that back.
6) Having more than one coffee a day is something to reflect on. Are you pushing so hard or staying up way too late? Think about it and work on cutting it back. If you enjoy feeling hydrated, coffee will take that out from you. It may also make you feel anxious so see what makes your day nicer for you. Coffee is like a cake, nice on occasion but it quickly turns problematic much beyond that. The opposite is also true, the less you have it the more you will enjoy it when you eventually have it again.
Want your life to change? Maybe this article on Visioning could be just the ticket.
Three cheers to the beautiful you.