Every drop of the New Year’s ball seems to mark an occasion for newness, or change. “NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!” Blasting all through health magazines and online media. Let me be the first to say: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH WHO YOU ARE, WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW.
In my line of work, I have people who come to me and say, “I’m just lazy,” or “I can’t commit to anything”, or “I try but I fail”…….Answer me this: By what standards??? Who set the standards when it comes to bettering yourself as “pass or fail”? Who set the standards of what laziness is or isn’t? Who decided what qualifies a certain change in life and how long you stick to it? The media? A magazine? A new diet book? Those aren’t standards, those are social pressures. And I have come to the understanding that most of us are simply living to meet the expectations of social pressures around us rather than living to optimize our health. Not only that, we seem to be living our life in this system of things as a way of survival. We are doing our best with the issues we are facing, the energy we have for each day, and the stress that we muddle through. Sometimes our choices are not the most optimal, but they are the choices that get us through each moment so that we can live into the next.
Regardless of whether some may see them as “poor choices” or “I failed again” mentality, I see it simply as stressed-induced people doing what they can to stay afloat in this pressurized world we live in.
So I say, instead of trying to create a “New” you this year, and living up to expectations of others, why not just try something new, and embrace who you are, where you are? To help you do this, I’ve compiled my three top tips…
3 SOLUTIONS not “resolutions” to a more optimized, healthier you:
- What worked for you at your best? Remember a time you felt “better than ever”? Let’s go back to that. What were your habits that kept you on track? What was your defining moment that helped you push past your fear and make health happen? What did you avoid? What did you fill your plate with, and not just your physical plate, but also your “Life” plate (i.e. just enough on your plate so that life wasn’t overwhelming)? What routines, endeavors, and goals did you set? When you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work, it’s time to put your detective hat on and ask yourself, “Why?” What’s different compared to when I felt my very best? Chances are you already know the answer(s) to this question. Once you have inner knowing, you can begin to implement those habits, routines, plates once again and get back in sync with yourself.
- Build your tribe. A wise book, the Bible, tells us that “Bad association corrupts good intentions”….This holds true for the fact that when you surround yourself with like-minded, positive-influencing, healthy individuals, you build a tribe that sets you up for success and action. Conversely, when you keep allowing negative, sabotaging, toxic individuals to take seat in your daily life, you will most likely find yourself unable to stick to decisions you know are beneficial for you, habits that are healthy, and a positive outlook. How you choose to build your tribe, or network of like-minded, healthy individuals is of the utmost importance if you are going to move in the direction of your ideal optimized version of yourself.
- Make a commitment or a new permanent routine into your life, and one that is DOABLE for you. Do something you love, a want to not a have to. And remember that nothing in life will elicit change after doing it one time only. You simply won’t be able to do one workout this year and expect to get the body of your dreams. It’s going to take commitment and effort and most of all, CONSISTENCY! However, if you do something that you enjoy, then you may find it much easier to make it a habit, rather than throwing in the towel after just a few trials of it.
This doesn’t simply apply to fitness and nutrition but honestly, how we do anything is how we do everything. Meaning, when you make a change in one area of life you may be surprised how much easier it is to fit in other areas of shifting towards better lifestyle habits. Cleansing your colon? Notice how u might also start cleaning out closets more often. Purging your cabinets of food that keeps your energy low? Next you might find yourself purging your car of all the trash it’s been collecting as well. I see this happen with a lot of my clients and it’s a very powerful way that you subconsciously take control of your life. Once you feel the difference physically, you start to resonate with what it would feel like to make some mental and emotional “life changes” as well. It’s a quick, healthy road to the most optimized you, you have ever been.
And finally, to really hold true to who you inherently are, without the pressures of a stressful society, make time for healthy habits by eliminating the ones that bring you stress. If reading your Facebook feed gives you anxiety, then don’t do it. If magazines with the hottest celebrities make you feel inferior, put them down. You don’t owe the world any of those things, and you certainly don’t need any more stress than what life already entails. By taking less time to engage in stressful activities you will have amassed more time for stress-relieving actives, like getting outside, relaxing with a good book, preparing a healthy meal, and so forth. Slow down, stop living up to what the media says you should be doing or what you should look like and live up to yourself, your dreams, your own expectations, your passions, and your purpose. And this new year, you will be the same you, only better.
As a meditation of love, read the lyrics of this song by Billy Joel in your mind, and imagine your Creator wrote this just for you.
“Don’t go changing to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don’t imagine you’re too familiar
And I don’t see you anymore
I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times; I’ll take the bad times
I’ll take you just the way you are…
Don’t go trying some new fashion
Don’t change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care
I don’t want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are
I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me?
The way that I believe in you?
I said I love you and that’s forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way are.”
- Billy Joel, Just the way you are