It’s always a good time to do something that improves our health and happiness.

Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves at the beginning of a new year and make such grand promises about losing weight, going to the gym or saving money?  Statistics show that the majority of us are not thinking about the resolutions come Valentine’s Day when we dive into that heart-shaped box of chocolates.   How can we change this?  What can we do differently?  Here are some simple steps we can take to keep the energy up for creating new habits.  It will be difficult, you will want to stop.  But don’t.  Keep going!  This is the year for big changes and we’re starting with day one.  

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Break down your big resolutions into smaller, baby steps

It won’t be so overwhelming.  You’ve heard the old saying, how do you eat an elephant...one bite at a time.  Meaning, take one step at a time.  Don’t let that overwhelming feeling ultimately be your downfall. Don’t let it stop you.  If your goal is to lose 50 pounds, start by telling yourself you will lose three pounds this month and take it from there.  This works with everything from growing your bank account to exercise.  Start small with realistic goals and challenge yourself.


Commit to your goals

Don’t give up!  Focus on taking care of yourself, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and eating more plant-based foods that will give you energy. You deserve this.  Exercise daily, even by doing little things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  Park in the back of the parking lot and walk.  It won’t be easy and it won’t always be fun, but the outcome of reaching a goal feels better than anything.  Keep your physical body in good health, too.  Don’t forget your regular doctor and dentist check-ups!  


Celebrate your achievements

Did you reach a goal?  Celebrate!  Are you on track?  Celebrate! Celebrate all of your small victories, if you keep moving in that direction it will turn into giant victories.  You create a momentum and will keep moving towards your ultimate goal.  Don’t undermine yourself, though.  If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t celebrate by getting ice cream.  Be excited about your achievements and show yourself some love.


Learn from your mistakes

Know your limits!  Set boundaries and stick to them.  Don’t let the first setback make you want to quit.  Sometimes we don’t know our boundaries until we are passed them.  If this happens, learn from it.  Do something differently.  Are you feeling too tired to work out?  Maybe you need more sleep.  Sleep is necessary, it’s not an option.  Maybe you didn’t eat the best dinner and you feel awful.  Plan for the next time you need something to eat fast.  Their is always a solution to everything, you just have to want to hear it.   Also, find an outlet for your stress.  Begin a new hobby, take time to meditate everyday or if needed or find a professional to talk to.  Stress can sneak up on us and turn ugly.  Help to manage your mind so that when the stress of life hits you, you can handle it gracefully.  Having an outlet for creativity, exercise, yoga classes or even cuddling with your pets can greatly reduce stress. Be proactive. 


Be thankful

This is my favorite.  Be thankful, express your gratitude.  We are quick to say the things we don’t like, but how often do we talk about the things that make us happy?  Being grateful is more than just saying thank you.  It’s about expressing your happiness towards someone or something.  Be joyful and appreciate all of the big and little things in your life.  By expressing love we are spreading those positive feelings around.  Love will grow around you.


As we begin 2019, resolutions or not, spend some time to take care of yourself everyday.  Read everyday.  Laugh everyday.   Stop for five minutes everyday and do something nice for yourself like pet your dog, go for a walk, create art, meditate or simply tell someone why they are special to you.   Connect with your friends either for a night out or plan a weekend away.  Taking time for yourself is rejuvenating.  Make 2019 your best year ever.  


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