Are you starting the year with a new you? Did you make lots of new years resolutions or goals? How are they going? I am usually filled with inspiration and write down lots of things I want to achieve etc, some of which actually happen, some of which don’t. I checked my big goal list from 2012 recently and I ticked off about 50%. Not bad if I take the cup half full view (which of course I have to do to make myself feel ok about it!), not so great if I don’t.
This year instead of writing down concrete action-oreinted goals I am trying something different. Instead, I am making feeling goals (this idea is courtesy of Danielle LaPorte). Basically I have outlined how I want to feel instead of what I want to do. One of those feeling goals I have written down is “healthy”. Now this may seem simple as I generally look after myself and eat well but I want to feel really healthy, not just go through the motions of doing all the “right” things.
In essence, instead of thinking about what is “right”, I consider if the food I am about to eat or habit I have makes me feel healthier. This means that I can spend a day reading a book with absolutely no guilt as long as it makes me feel healthier. By the same token, it also means I will be busting a move 5 other days of the week because that makes me feel good. So does this mean a big change to my habits? Not really. I am moving more and stressing less, which is definitely a good thing. The big change is the way I think (or feel) about what I am doing, so instead of feeling like a chore, regular exercise feels good because I feel healthier (and I am not so worried about how many km I walked etc, rather that my body feels good, or doesn’t which is time to stop).
I have put down below a some of the other things that help me to feel healthier with the hope that you might feel inspired to make some healthier choices yourself.
- Go organic and free-range whenever possible. You can feel good about less impact on your body and the environment.
- If weight loss is your goal, choose foods that actually feel good, not only at the time of eating but half an hour later. Are there foods that make you feel awful after eating them e.g. too much bread makes me feel bloated so now I generally minimise the amount I eat and choose sourdough as it stops any symptoms.
- Take a moment. I have to admit that stress has been my number one issue. I have a habit of filling up my life so full that I don’t have a moment’s breathing space. Now I take a moment when I need to. It doesn’t have to be the whole day (see above re reading). Sometimes it is enough to get up half an hour earlier and play with the dogs and chickens in the backyard (my chickens don’t actually play with me but watching them scratch around gives me so much pleasure…and then I get to collect eggs!)
- Get enough sleep. Hello who doesn’t feel better with enough sleep? One of my particularly bad habits is to stay up late, just to have a moment or do some reading but the result is that I feel rotten the next day. So I have been consciously choosing to go to bed earlier and naturally there are so many benefits. I feel better the next day, I can spend time in the garden, I get to have my quite moment and I research shows that good sleep normalises appetite, decreasing the hormone grehlin and the desire to overeat. It’s win win!
- Stay well hydrated. This seems like a no brainer but really I get busy and forget. So I have started to create what I hope is a new habit and am carrying around a 1litre water bottle, ensuring I finish it by lunch and then refilling. So far, so good and I feel more alert and less weary around 3pm. Bonus: my skin looks really hydrated!
- Use good skincare. Now I know this is an obvious one for me but it just makes me feel so good to use organic/natural skin care. I feel like I am doing good things for the planet by minimising petrochemical use and for my body by using antioxidant rich nutrients on my skin.
These aren’t the be all and end all of goals, just the way I personally help myself feel healthier. Are there ways you can feel better?