2012 is here and with it brings us a clean slate. Ah. I’m sure there are a number of changes we want to make in our life this year, but sometimes it’s better to make gradual changes. Here’s a list of 10 things to try this year! Happy New Year!
1. Put Yourself First! I know we always talk about putting other people first, but sometimes it’s all about you! Your boss, your kids and your significant other can wait. Put your mobile device in a place you can’t see it and give yourself some TLC. Take a yoga class, read a book, see a movie, walk through the park, go to the gym, cook a meal; whatever it is, do it for you. Sometimes we all need a little break to restart our engines. You deserve it.
2. Build and Maintain Healthy Relationships! A healthy lifestyle starts first with loving and respecting yourself and second, by loving those around you. Studies have shown that people who have close relationships and are involved in social gatherings (temple, church, book club) lead happier lives, so whether it’s a coworker, a significant other or a family member, enhance those relationships! For example, if you haven’t spoken to an older relative in a while, call them (yes, I know…the dreaded phone) – they love hearing about your life and you will mutually benefit from this experience.
3. Take in Fresh Air! Fresh air provides you with a steady supply of oxygen, which is needed by your brain and every single cell of your body. If you stay in a closed in area for a long period of time, you will end up breathing in the same air over and over again. The oxygen content of the air will go down continually as you (and whoever else happens to be in the room with you) breathe out carbon dioxide and other wastes. I know it’s cold for us east coasters, but a little fresh air will do your body good, so next time you finish work, think about walking home; if you don’t have time, just open a door or window at least once a day.
4. Create Positive Thoughts! We all have bad days, rough situations and annoyances in our lives, and of course we’ve all had “bad childhoods,” but we don’t need to bring these experiences into our social situations. You know why? It’s no fun to spend time with someone who is always complaining and brings a negative energy to the room. So, the next time you feel that urge to burst out with something negative, try channeling your energy toward something you healthy, e.g., taking a yoga class, reading a book or listening to your favorite song.
5. Try Something New! Whether it’s a class at the gym or rock climbing, with the plethora of fitness facilities, yoga studios and everything in between, it’s the perfect time to try something new! And you never know, you may even make a new friend. In December, I tried Strengthen, Lengthen and Tone (SLT), a Megaformer class where you do just that, in only 50 minutes. It’s only $20 for your first class and you’ll be hooked.
6. Find a Workout Buddy! I remember back in 2004 when I had just moved to NYC by myself and didn’t know anyone, I had to make friends the way little kids do; at the sandbox. ;-) I took coreSati™ and intenSati™ at Equinox every Tuesday night and on occasion, I would take willPower & grace© on Saturdays. I started to see a girl every week and eventually we introduced ourselves and finally, we became ‘gym’ friends; we then made plans to take these classes together and it was so motivating! And we are still friends (outside of the gym, 7 years later).
7. Make a Mitzvah! Do something nice for someone else this year. This can be as small as holding a door for a mother with a giant stroller, or as large as donating your time to an organization which helps people. Sometimes giving money is the easy way out, so use the skills you have to make a difference. For New Yorkers, NYCares offers a variety of events to help others, from planting gardens to building houses to packing backpacks for children starting school.
8. See a Personal Trainer! They’re expensive, I know, but when you just aren’t able to make changes to your body, sometimes insight from a professional will give you that extra kick in the pants. It’s always nice to have something holding you accountable for that slice of pizza you had yesterday or that cardio session that you skipped. Yes, it’s like having a second mother / therapist….and it just feels better to have someone tell you what to do, right?
9. Get some Greens! We could all use a little more green in our lives. Take a look at what you’re eating for one day and see if you have greens as part of your diet, and I hate to break it to you, but a French fry isn’t a green. Sad, I know. What I’m talking about is spinach, kale, broccoli, collard greens, chards, etc. If you’re lazy, you can grab a green juice from a number of different places in Manhattan (Organic Avenue, Whole Foods (BluePrint), Juice Generation, to name a few), and you’re all set!
10. Drink Water! Your muscles that move your body are 75 percent water; your blood that transport nutrients is 82 percent water; your lungs that provide your oxygen are 90 percent water; your brain that is the control center of your body is 76 percent water; even your bones are 25 percent water. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. Drink up!
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