This new year is the time many people reflect back over the last 12 months and decide what it is that may need changing. Change is the only constant they say. Many feel the newness of a fresh start, a do-over, a clean slate. A promise of better things to come, of bettering oneself and one’s circumstances is the attitude of many this time of year. It is good to have moments like this, to stop “life” and bring into clear precise perspective what you are, what you want to be, and how to bounce over to be … well, whatever it is you inspire to be.
Habits are formed early on in life. Most are just circumstantial. We get up in the morning and get something to eat or drink to break the fast of a hopefully a good night’s rest. If you are school age, school attendance is the common day’s activity, for adults it is the “job” we have chosen. You may not realize this but you have actually chosen where you are right now, either a tradesman of some kind, teacher, carpenter, banker, office manager, delivery driver, baker, writer, salesman, farmer, rancher, or stay-at-home mom. Your choices culminated to produce your life as it is.
I will interject here that the housewife/stay-at-home-mother is the most honored and important of any profession. Not because I was/am one, but because of the herculean task that it is. The task is nurturing copiously curious minds and bodies into reasoning, caring, God-fearing, intelligent young people who move on to become adults in our society. The mom who stays home is the “keeper” of her home; is responsible for the atmosphere, the condition, the peacefulness, the safety, and healthfulness of her home. She seeks no accolades, no prideful prestige, no recognition from statesmen or dignitaries, no honor of any kind. Her job is done mostly behind the scenes in quiet loving sacrifice. Anyone choosing this is truly the one who should be “making the big bucks”. However it is a job that is not paid in coinage, but in the knowing she did the best she could with what she knew, in seeing the outcome or fruits of her labors. This is also true of the mom who works outside the home. She does however have less time, energy, and focus to devote to the family. So hats off to moms!! She deserves twice the salary of Tom Cruise!!
Wow that was a side trail. Habits. That is the train track I was on, so I’ll get back to it :). Yes, habits are formed early in life. How we take care, or not take care of our belongings, how we speak, how we, well do anything is formed early. And to our detriment some of our habits are bad ones. We tend to think of smoking as an example of a bad habit, and so it is, but what about a frown on our face all the day long. I have met people who I think must not smile for days on end, and that is sad. Our attitudes are also habits formed. Habits can change, that is the great news!!!! We can change. We can change anything we choose to change. However we need some basic “tools” to proceed and perpetrate a change.
The number one New Years Resolution is to lose weight. That is a good goal and one that is in the right direction. However, the goal of just losing weight is bound to fail. There are certain factors to be implemented for a plan to succeed. And you must have the right plan in the beginning. Weight loss is not the right goal. Moving the whole body into a healthy state should be the goal.
Let’s say you wanted to build a new house. There are of course many aspects to consider, many other people to employ, and countless decisions to make in implementing your ideas of what is wanted into reality. If you focused just on what the outside walls will be and the color of them, what will be the result? If you ignore the foundation, plumbing, roofing, rough-in carpenters, light fixtures, flooring, wiring, insulation, cabinets, and so on and so on, a probable failed attempt at a new house is emanate.
Weight loss is just one aspect of moving toward being healthy, having vigor, pep, and stamina. So before you begin a “diet” that will probably fail either in the middle or end, think about this: LIFESTYLE CHANGE IS THE KEY TO BEING HEALTHY! Going on a diet is not sustainable. Because when you go “off” the diet the weight will pile on easier, believe me. Do yourself a favor and NEVER use the word “diet” again!!!!!!
How does one set about changing one’s lifestyle, you ask? Well the first thing to do is take stock of where you are now!!! This is your starting point, the beginning. You can’t go back, you can only go forward! Lay out what it is that is most important to you and work on changing that this month. Maybe it will be something like not drinking soda at all this month, only on Sunday Dinner with the family will you allow one soda to be enjoyed and savored. Replacing 1 hour of TV watching with walking, yoga, cleaning up a mess that has been darkening some remote corner of the house, (don’t ask me how I came up with this one 🙂 ), or just deep breathing and stretching is very wise. Choosing to eat for your mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack a couple of cups of veges or fruit is quite smart.
Healthy living involves the whole life circumvented and evaluated, removing those things that are hindrances to gaining health. Here are some ideas:
- Change the way you think about food, Eat to live do not live to eat. Think “Will this bring nutrients to my body?” This is the number one key in my opinion.
- Allow some cheat days, Sunday is mine. Sunday Dinner is the one meal I eat whatever I want, and dessert too!! Notice I did not say HOW much I want.
- Limit your portions to a reasonable size
- Lower your meat consumption to three to four servings a week that are about the size of a deck of cards
- Clean the house and take measures to maintain it (whoever lives with you be it children, siblings, or others should be required to pitch in)
- Remove anything that you have not used in 2 years or more
- Take time to breathe deep and move the body with some form of exercise at least 3 times a week, for the ladies I love Ellen Barrett (this cleanses the tissue and helps organs function better)
- Search recipes that are healthier, the internet such as it is gives no one an excuse
- Switch the regular snack food with healthier choices – nuts, fruit, veges, granola, oatmeal all organic if you can
- Plan what to do with your time the same as you would a monthly budget
- Budget your money – Dave Ramsey is a superb resource to use. Money is a resource that should be controlled by you, not you controlled by it!
- Set reasonable goals that are attainable
- Don’t try to change too much at one time, little changes that stick are better that changes that don’t
- Say “I Love You” more often
- Purge the people who won’t support what you are trying to do from your daily life – not altogether just limit time spent with those who are a hindrance
- Serve others – true joy comes from serving others
- Grow some outdoor veges this year, in pots is you have to!
- Buy some fresh herbs and use them in cooking
- Use herbs for healing instead of over-the-counter pharmacy drugs
- Pray, give thanks, and serve daily
- Get sunshine when you can, put sunblock on after you have been in the sun for 15-20 minutes
- Enjoy where you are right now!!!!
- Laugh more
You can see what I mean by all this, a lifestyle change is what is needed to be healthy and weight loss is just one aspect of that. Actually you could say it is a result of it!
So my resolution is to be healthier for myself and my family!
Hope this is helpful and gives hope, Happy New Year!
Love Life and Breathe Deep,