Slow Down Tonight

How fast do you get ready for bed at night?  Is it a quick routine you have become so accustomed to that you could do it with your eyes closed, or is it more of an experience you choose to be mindful of, using relaxation techniques?

Taking a few extra minutes for yourself at bedtime to pamper your skin, dry brush your body, or use a lotion infused with lavender oil to nourish your skin before you sleep — it can change your sleep patterns for the better.

What could you add to your nightly routine to make all the difference?

Re-Evaluate Your Priorities

What have you noticed lately that may be slipping from your grasp?  Have you been so busy you’ve spent less time with your kids, friends, family than you are comfortable with?  Are you working on a deadline and you’ve been cooped up in your office for weeks, with no free time?

It may not be that extreme, but chances are, there’s something out of line in your priorities that you’ve been hoping to change.  What is that?

Let’s just start with that first thing that popped into your mind.  The very first thing you thought of when you read this post.

How can you begin motion on changing that, starting tomorrow?

It doesn’t have to be some huge overhaul, which can feel very overwhelming.  But what can you start to do to make some changes that will last?

Don’t Wait Until Spring

Somewhere along the way, the need to spring clean was ingrained in us.  After the hibernation of a frigid winter, we start fresh with a deep cleaning of our living space.  Hopefully going deeper than that, also an adjustment of our routines, attitudes, schedule, relationships and more.

But I think to start that now before spring officially arrives has its benefits.  We just started a new year, which inevitably brings new resolutions and new ideas of what you want your life to look like.

How is that going for you so far?  What needs tweaking?  Start with that, and you’ll be on a spree by the time spring arrives, where you can tackle the rest of your list it full force.

If we arrive in the spring with our failed resolutions still in tow, we will likely put off the spring cleaning as well.  It doesn’t have to be that way, though, and your growing to-do list doesn’t have to feel like a failure.  Start with jumpstarting those resolutions you may have neglected from January and start a fresh track with one or two of those.  Your confidence will compound, and you’ll be ready to tackle more in the coming weeks with that momentum.

What’s the first thing you want to change in your life?

Do You Plan For This?

The new year brings resolutions to finally go to the gym regularly and to get your health in order.  It’s no surprise to you to hear that the vast majority of those resolutions are dropped by spring (or even late January, early February!) — but why?

I truly believe it is planning.  It’s the exact reason why my exercise routine goes dormant, and it’s probably why yours does too.  It’s tough to change our habits and routines, and most of all, it’s hard to fit one more thing into our schedule.  Don’t you agree?

That’s the thing.  If it’s not on your schedule, it’s not going to get done.  Do you have your exercise, whether it be walking, jogging, yoga, dance, a workout at the gym — is it on your schedule?  Is there a time for it, where you know that time is carved out?

If not, fit it into your schedule this week.  Make it achievable — if you’re slammed at work this week, write in a 15-minute walk on your lunch break.  Don’t give up altogether because you don’t have an hour and a half to hit the gym.  Good luck!

Have You Ever Asked Yourself This?

It’s not uncommon to be passionate about the Earth we live in, caring about what happens to it and striving our best to protect it.  Earth day comes around once a year and we plant a lot of trees, but what can we do on a daily basis to make an impact?

One of the most powerful things I’ve done for myself is creating a daily habit of being mindful of this.  The way I do this and consider my impact on the environment is to literally look at each thing I come into contact with on a daily basis, and wonder where it will go when I am done with it.

When you go for that bottle of water at the gas station, stop and think about where it’s going when you’re done with it.  Sure, you’ve heard me say how important hydration is, and that still rings true!  But actually visualize the plastic water bottle sitting in a landfill, and you’ll be motivated to not forget your reusable water bottle next time.  Making these changes are simple, but it takes time and practice.  So, how can you practice this today and make a habit of it?

How to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Come True This Year

Every year, we raise our glasses and proclaim the things we will change. And we start off with the best of intentions, don’t we? I’ll get in shape! I’ll get back into my skinny jeans! I’ll finally write my novel! We feel so proud making these statements. Then the clock strikes midnight, we hug and kiss, and we carry home a sack of promises to ourselves that we really want to keep. But time marches on and while we start off on the right foot, life seems to get in the way making for an easy out. You CAN stick to the changes you want to see for yourself. Here’s how to finally make your New Year’s resolutions come true!

1. Tell someone you trust about your resolutions
It’s one thing to declare them at your New Years Eve party; It’s quite another to tell your best friend or your parents your plans for resolutions for the upcoming year. They’ll support you too, which can be the difference in making it happen. Write them down and post them on your bathroom mirror. A constant reminder will help you stay focused.

2. Don’t make too many at once
Resolving to get in better health by exercising and eating right is fantastic. But setting a realistic timeline is crucial. For example, start incorporating more and more healthy foods per week. Then begin challenging your exercise routine a little bit more as each week passes. In this way, you’ll look forward to your goals and feel better about accomplishing them.

3. Don’t just stay focused on your end result
Getting there is half the fun. The journey to achieving your goal should be made as fun as possible given the circumstances. Set mini-goals to mark your path to the end goal. Reward yourself when you get there, and remember it’s a learning process.

4. Clear your mind
Even without significant resolutions, you must find time to decompress your mind. Meditate, walk, write, read, or otherwise do something that pulls you away from a blue screen and forces you to connect with your innermost self.

It’s all mind over matter, and what matters is you. You’ve got this! What is your resolution or resolutions for 2018? I’d love to hear what you’re dreaming up for yourself, and see how I can help you accomplish that.

What is your biggest goal for 2018?

Are you finally going to train for that 5k you’ve had your eye on?

Do you finally want to finish renovating your basement?

Do you hope to take a class to learn something new?

What is it?  What do you hope to achieve in 2018?

Leave a comment below and let me know.

I can’t wait to read each of your goals!

My top 3 goals for 2018 are:

  1.  Running my first marathon
  2.  Decluttering my home
  3.  Completing the Horrible Hundred bike ride

Remember, goals are inspiring and wonderful to have, but if you don’t have a plan to implement them – you may end up a statistic that sputters out by the end of January.  So not only do I want you to dream up your goals for 2018, be sure you think of ways to make these goals manageable and sustainable… so that you can achieve success and reach your goals this time around.  Best of luck!

Do you get grumpy when you are hungry, too?

Or, as some people say, hangry.

It’s a real thing… and I suffer from it as well.  Sometimes your day is a bit too busy and you wait too long to eat.

I’ve recognized this in myself, though, and I have started being more mindful about my eating habits to keep the hunger at bay.

Here’s how:

  1. Make sure you’re eating enough healthy fat and protein with each meal. This helps the breakdown of food release slower to keep you satisfied longer.
  2. Make sure you’re eating a balanced meal, with lots of fruits and veggies.
  3. Keep a packet of your favorite nuts in your desk and/or purse so that you have something healthy to munch on when you feel hunger coming on. These are great to use as a quick snack to hold you over to your next meal.

So tell me, does hanger strike you as well? 😉

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Bloating

Even with all those holiday meals

The comforting food of the holidays is something most of us look forward to every year. Those same meals are typically very filling and bloating, leaving you feeling sluggish. But there are ways to beat that bloat for the holidays. Here’s how to win the battle with the bloat!

Stay hydrated. Part of the problem when you feel bloated is that you’re not flushing out your body with water. On top of that, it’s tough to tell the difference between hungry and thirsty. If you drink enough water, you’ll be less likely to overeat.

Walk it off. Before you fall into that food coma, get up and go for a walk around the neighborhood. It helps you digest your food plus the fresh air will do you some good!

Eat with mindfulness. Another advantage to drinking enough water is that when the holiday meal is served, you’ll be less likely to overeat.
Coupled with chewing slowly and taking your time during the meal, you won’t feel that post-meal bloat.

Choose fruit. Between meals, it’s tempting to dig into the holiday platters and other goodies. But if you truly want to save room for Mom’s special apple pie at the big dinner, snack on fruit when you feel hungry. Fruits with more potassium are best to battle the bloat. Think bananas — yum!

Go pro. Probiotics that is. Start ahead of the holiday season by eating foods that are naturally probiotic. Try Greek yogurt, or if you like to spice things up, give Korea’s famous side dish, kimchi, a try. Probiotics help your natural gut bacteria do what it’s supposed to do. Getting it ready for the big meals ahead will help keep you from puffing up. Fill up on these holiday eating tips and you should find that this time around, you won’t feel more stuffed than the holiday turkey!

Do you have a natural tip to help with bloating?  What do you do?

Ways to Finally Create an Exercise Habit That Lasts

Our New Year’s Resolutions — we say them with the best of intentions. We may even begin delving into them, trying to better our lives. Then it happens. Somewhere around February or March, everything peters out, and you realize you’ve yet again fumbled your resolutions. So before your resolution to prioritize your health gets put on the back burner again, let’s talk about some ways to make your resolution to exercise more stick this year!

You need a ritual. It is said it takes three weeks to make or break a habit. So for the next three weeks, create a routine that is ritualistic around that exercise. Do it at the same time every single day. For example, maybe every day after you eat lunch, take a 10-minute walk around your office building. You can build from there but creating that good exercise habit is what’s going to make it stick. Also, who doesn’t want to get away from their desk for 10 minutes, right?

Start simple. If you focus on something smaller, chances are you’ll be more willing to take more significant steps toward your goal. So say you decide you’ll do 2 minutes of squats at your desk while you’re on hold. Guess what? You’ll be more likely to exceed 2 minutes. And you’ll be even more likely to keep doing it every day. Keep coming back. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest, and objects in motion tend to stay in motion. This is the law of kinetic energy. By this logic, if you keep yourself moving and driving yourself to stay active without missing your exercise, you will keep doing it.

Build your exercise habit. Once you make it as necessary in your mind as those other habits you have, you’ll find that you can’t miss it. Developing a lasting exercise habit is so vital for our health and well-being. If you take the time to nurture this ritual each day, you’ll find that you won’t want to miss your exercise.

What’s your favorite type of exercise? I love to run, walk, ride my bicycle, and do yoga.