Sometimes they are so big that we set ourselves up to fail. Rather than setting grandiose plans to change, think of little ways you can live a healthier and more fulfilling life. These little changes will help you feel better and move you in a positive direction. From there, you can take that momentum and put it towards bigger changes you wish to make.
I focused on different lifestyle areas, keeping tips infused with wisdom from yoga practice and theory. Rather than considering these hard and fast rules that result in punishment if you don’t adhere to them, think of them as suggestions to ease into your day. Big changes can happen through little habit shifts, just as they can happen with a sudden change, like waking up in the morning and deciding, “Today is the day I stop eating sugar!” Start small, with increased awareness, and over time the cumulative affect will result in overall positive change.
Also, I’ve intentionally made them small. If you can do more, great! But if you only have the energy to make a few small shifts, these will give you some ideas:
Drink lots of water and healthy water-based drinks, like tea. Eat unprocessed foods as much as possible and whenever you can, eat food in its raw form or moderately changed, like sautéing vegetables. Cut back on red meat and increase sources of alternate protein like fish, nuts, beans.
Get up from your desk regularly throughout the day. Take the stairs. Take 15 minutes a few days a week to go for a walk. Stretch for five minutes when you get out of bed. If you’re looking for ideas, pick a video online (I have quite a few) and use it to guide you through a short sequence.
Take 10 minutes each day, put your phone on “silence” mode, step away from your computer, close your eyes and take several deep breaths. Let your mind wander. Daydream. Connect to how you feel in your body. If you notice negative feelings, either physical or mental, see if you can connect the dots between how you feel and the trigger.
Notice how you feel after spending time with the people in your life. Stay in tune to the signs your body is giving you.
If you’re in a job you hate, use the mindset that you’ll avoid judging whatever occurs. This tip from A Course in Miracles is a great way to immediately relieve stress both in the moment and in the short term. In the long term, work to find a different job but until then, stop creating frustration by judging things around you as “good”, “bad,” or otherwise. Put your efforts into doing the best you can and looking for another job.
Regardless of how much money you make, save something. If you can do it via an automatic transfer to a savings account, do it. Otherwise, go low tech, get a mason jar and stuff a few dollars in there each week. Saving small is a real “feel good” action because it shows you value your work effort and are rewarding yourself.
Pick one topic you’d like to learn more about, a place you’d like to visit or a class you’d like to take. Identify 3 small steps you can take to make it a reality and start there. If you can jump right in (go to that class!), go right ahead! You can look at the start of the New Year as a way to harness the collective energy around making positive changes and start to live the life you want.