My New Year’s Resolutions for 2012 not only include improvements to my own health but are also set towards encouragement of others to maintain a healthy mind and body. Setting goals is easy but the only way I can achieve them is rigid discipline. Less of “I should” and more of “I will” is on my agenda.
Goal 1: Increase Activity
A dedication to activity a few days a week is the most challenging of all my goals. There always seems to be a convenient excuse to skip the gym or outdoor exercise options. “Traffic is too bad”, “my favorite show is on television”, and “I will do it tomorrow” are a few of my favorites. I will put these excuses to rest in 2012.
My activity goals will include three levels with a minimum number of days to achieve each goal: Low (3 days per week), Medium (4 days per week), and High (5 days per week). Each session will consist of a minimum one hour commitment. The activities will include options such as yoga, swimming, hiking, bicycling, long walks, and lifting weights.
Goal 2: Healthy Eating
In 2012 fried foods and starchy foods will get kicked to the curb (for the most part). “Go Grilled” and “Go Green” are my food themes for 2012.
At home and out to eat, I plan to choose grilled options as often as possible. However, I am realistic in understanding that grease constantly tempts my taste buds and a few times a week I will give in and choose to treat myself to a little of the greasy stuff.
Green vegetables are proven to have many health benefits (high in vitamins and anti-oxidants) and I am sold that they can contribute to my well being and help prevent sickness. Breads and starchy foods will take more of a back seat to greens such as broccoli, spinach, and bok choy.
Goal 3: Relaxation
Traffic, deadlines, mobile devices, social media, email…. Occasional breaks from all of this mental noise are mandatory. The gym is a great escape but an increased commitment to effortless relaxation is also on my radar.
Massage is an absolutely great way to heal a sore body and dissolve those nasty chemicals in the brain that cause stress. My goal is to get at least one 30 to 60 minute massage every week. Time permitted; lunch break is a great time to do this during the week.
I find meditation is another great way to relax but rarely get time to do it. So, next year I will commit more time to clear my mind. A few of my successful approaches include taking an extra 10 minutes after a yoga session to meditate or going for short breaks throughout the day; find a peaceful spot, close my eyes, take a few deep breaths, and focus on soothing thoughts (no mobile phones allowed to enter).
Goal 4: Get More Sleep
What constitutes a sufficient amount of sleep varies for most people. I need 7 to 8 hours of sleep to be at optimal brain function. Most days I do not meet my goals in this area.
Therefore, in 2012 I plan to reduce caffeine consumption during the day, shut off the computer earlier at night, and rely on the calming effects from increased activity to catch some extra rest.
Goal 5: Encourage Others
Who wouldn’t want to hear about proven ways to feel better and express a more positive attitude?
I plan to be a health evangelist (in a fun way of course) in 2012 and help others benefit from the success of my New Year’s Resolutions. Friends, family, and new acquaintances will all get to hear about my new health goals and positive results. I will encourage them to set and execute their own goals so they can harvest the benefits of a healthier life.