So here we are, three weeks into the new year.
This is about the time when I usually need a start over.
A start over, start over.
See, I love goal-making. My husband and I both do. This often means that our new-year goals include major life changes.
1. Everyday, run 2 - 5 miles.
2. Eat 5 servings of greens daily.
3. Wake by 5:00 every morning.
4. Cut all processed food out of diet.
You get the picture. Extremes and absolutes. No exceptions. No wiggle room.
But over the years, we’ve learned something about ourselves. While these types of goals may work for some, we (my husband and I) were inevitably setting ourselves up for failure. So now we allow ourselves some space and grace in our annual goal-setting.
Because the truth is, what may appear a small change on the surface, may in fact be what makes a substantial difference in the end.
And this got me thinking, if The Doctor were to identify 5 simple lifestyle changes that could impact health, what would they be?
So, I asked him.
Some of these won’t come as a surprise, but they’re a good reminder, nonetheless. Others may be new to you. Maybe there is a small change listed here that you can make today.
The Doctor’s List of 5 Simple Resolutions
1. Drink Plenty of Purified, Filtered Water. Plenty.
Most of us don’t drink enough water, even though we know it is essential. But with water, it’s not just about quantity—quality matters as well. So, even if you are drinking enough (8 glasses), do you still need to purchase a filter?
2. Choose to Move.
You don’t have to run a half-marathon to get adequate exercise. Throughout your days, make choices that fight the sedentary lifestyle. Park in the back of the parking lot, take the stairs, do yoga poses while watching TV. Something that my husband and I have discovered as a HUGE motivation to exercise is to listen to audio books, podcasts, or audio Bible readings while working out—several which are free! Just download them to your smartphone, and you’re good to go.
3. Take a High-Quality Probiotic.
We’ve heard about the huge benefits of probiotics from yogurt commercials and health magazines, but it’s important to know that all probiotics are not created equal. When purchasing probiotics on your own, you need to do your research. Here and here are a couple helpful articles to get you started.
4. Sleep between 10 P.M. and 2 A.M.
For a self-proclaimed night owl, this goal has been quite difficult for me to achieve, but it is a good one. Did you know the sleep between these hours is typically more restorative than during other times? It supports our natural circadian rhythm and helps balance cortisol levels. For tips on quality sleep habits, take a look at this previous post.
5. Take a Daily Oasis Break.
This isn’t just putting your feet up at the end of the day; this is an intentional practice that decreases the stress hormones in your body, therefore having the potential to increase your overall wellbeing.
First, try to find a solitary space that promotes relaxation. Some people even designate a “sacred space” in their house for this specific purpose or defuse essential oils that are known for their de-stressing qualities, such as lavender, mint, or eucalyptus.
Next, give yourself 5 to 10 minutes to practice one (or more) of the following options:
~ Stretching or Gentle Yin Yoga.
~ Deep Breathing Exercises (like the one we highlighted last year).
~ Singing or listening to your “happy song” or a favorite childhood song that brings positive emotions.
~ Taking a “mental vacation”—mentally place yourself in a peaceful environment or your most happy/peaceful memory, then visualize that place & stay there for a bit.
~ Prayer, Meditation, or Gratitude Practice.
For more ideas or information on these 5 tips, feel free to visit our Pinterest board on the topic here.