A new year, a clean slate! In many cultures, people jump into the sea or a local body of water-literally washing the slate clean. Although you won't find us diving into the Pacific this winter, we couldn't be more excited to jump into a fresh new year. This year is all about health & wellness. We took the first week of the new year to thoughtfully plan out 7 healthy resolutions to motivate us to rock this new year.
"Those boots were made for walking!" Make any and every excuse to get out and walk more. A brisk walk in some fresh air will help reduce your stress, burn calories, give you time to think, meditate, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure (especially after meals!), boost your immune function...the list goes on. Still making excuses not to jump on this resolution? Below are a few motivational excuses to get your butt moving this year.
- Buy a FitBit to help track your steps and reach daily goals.
Our mind is our most powerful tool and we want to use it to feel, be, and do beautiful things. According to Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist, meditating can literally change your brain. It can decrease stress, depression, anxiety, pain and insomnia. Meditating can increase your quality of life. The best part? It doesn't have to take much time. Take just 10-minutes a day away from those bagillion thoughts running through your head and commit to being present. Still feel overwhelmed? We did too and this super simple guided meditation by our girl, Marie Forleo, helped us conquer our fear and calm our soul.
It's amazing what a small note can do to brighten up a friend's day and remind you of what really matters in life. With a shortage of hours in a day we find ourselves forgetting to tell the people we love the most how much they mean to us. So this year, we're going to change that. Try out some of our spontaneous acts of kindness below.
This resolution will be fun for the whole family. Cut that snuggle date on the couch short and get out and garden with the whole fam. Gardening teaches a lot of important life lessons that may not be taught in a traditional classroom – like patience and responsibility. Start with a few square feet of outdoor grow space. With the long list of benefits to be had from fresh herbs, we recommended starting there.
A vision board is a collage of images, pictures, and affirmations of your dreams and goals. Making one will help clarify what your goals are and motivate you to reach your goals quicker. Although you can totally create a vision board on Pinterest, there is something about actually cutting and pasting together a collage of images and words that make our goals feel so much more achievable.
#6. Clear Clutter
It's now or never! Clear your home, clear your mind. The New Year is the best time to start fresh. Clean out that junk drawer or closet. We know you can do it. Not sure what to toss? If you didn't use it in 2015, we promise you're NOT going to need it in 2016. Having second thoughts? Grab some bins from the container store and store the clothes away. If you haven't reached for them in a few months, sell or donate it to a local charity! Feel like you need more actionable steps? We love this article on Clearing Clutter by Cristina Cleveland.
#7. Eat Less Refined Sugar
If you make one diet-related resolution this year, commit to this one. According to Dr. William Coda Martin, refined sugar is poison for our bodies and our brain. Refined sugar is not only bad for our waistline, but has now been shown to make us cranky, make us make rash decisions, and make us stupid. Now from a practical standpoint, giving up refined sugar is not going to be easy, it is in literally all processed foods – sweets, sodas, white breads, and pastas, virtually all "fat free" and "low fat" snacks, fruit juices, yogurts, energy drinks, most Starbucks drinks, sauces, and countless other packaged foods. To rid yourself of this toxin we recommend cutting out refined sugar for at least two weeks and taking note of how great you feel. To accomplish this, replace processed foods with fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, chicken, and meat, and whole-grain pasta and rice. This isn't going to be easy, but giving it up will literally change your brain.
Over 40% of Americans make resolutions and only 8% achieve them. So what's the key to accomplishing these resolutions? Make resolutions you truly believe will improve your life and commit to achieving them. Write them down and then post them somewhere you can see them every day. Remember you don't have to do this alone. Find a buddy and commit to checking in with each other once a week to stay accountable. Have a healthy resolution you want to share? Feel free to leave a comment below. Together, we can make 2016 our healthiest year yet!