Healthy Habits: Our 2018 Goals and Reflections

Looking forward to a better you

by SHFamily | Thu, December 28, 2017

By Kimberly Ashton

It’s that time of year again when we start thinking about where the year went, how quickly time flies, and all the resolutions we want to make for 2018! So let’s dive into it and get ready for a healthy year ahead, by taking a look at some key areas that can help you achieve this; and yes – of course – we will cover some food and healthy habits.

Review

Start by asking yourself the following:

1. What happened this year that went well in terms of your health, work, life, and achievements? It’s important to take time to reflect during the winter months; learning what our body needs requires us to pause and observe how we are living. Much like mindfulness or meditation – which everyone from CEOs to school kids are doing now, and it’s wonderful to see – health can be applied in this context as well.

2. What are you really proud of and why? For example: you were proud you lost weight and kept it off, you improved your digestion or immunity, or perhaps you got a promotion at work. Review why this happened, and identify the reasons so you can work towards repeating these positive occurrences again. Also, think about what some of the health and wellness lows in 2017 were. Why did they happen?

3. Assess how many times you did something that you felt guilty about (for example eating too much, binging, or foregoing your gym membership) and ask yourself why did this happen. Be specific with yourself and write down all the reasons that affected this happening; the more information the better so you can prevent these patterns from happening again.

Refresh

Over the Christmas holidays, ensure you have a break and proper rest – no matter if you are the breadwinner in your family, head of the house and kitchen, or kids of any age. Christmas holidays are a time for rejuvenation, rest, and restoring the body and mind. Take a moment to enjoy your downtime and remember to put your phone and tablet down! They need a rest too.

Renew promises

With the end of the year – and review and rest – comes the realization that things may need to change in the New Year. So this is a great time to renew your personal promises, goals for health, wealth, and happiness.

Take a look at what needs to be updated and be realistic with what you can achieve, especially on a daily or weekly basis; set your goals high but not unrealistically over the top. Identifying new ways of doing things, or how to make life easier, for healthy options are the main mission of this step. Some examples for me include renewing my personal goal for more meditation and slowing down. This year I did much better than 2016. I’m doing yin yoga one to three times a week, more yoga, saying no to some projects, and not taking on everything that arrives on my plate. I’m making progress, but I’m not satisfied with my daily meditation. This is something I reviewed, identified, and am renewing with myself, and it requires a reduction of other things in my life; which is the next step we’re going to discuss.

Reduce

One of my biggest challenges, along with many other people, is reducing extra work, activities or projects, and learning to say no.

So what are your areas that need reducing? Perhaps it’s junk food, so drinks, commercial processed chocolate (I much prefer raw chocolate), beer, wine, red meat, ice cream, pizza, working hours, mobile phone addiction, stress (or at least the inability to manage it), or how many thoughts are in your mind. For me, over thinking and constantly having new ideas is a big one, too much of a monkey mind sucks up your energy and is a cause for underlying nervous system issues.

So how can you reduce your unhealthy habits? Identify them first, then work on what you would like them to be instead, and how will you get there. For example: over thinking. One way to deal with this is to learn how to breathe, and I mean breathe properly and mindfully. Also train your mind to focus on one thing at a time and let go of thoughts (especially worry, anxiety) that don’t serve you, or that could be for no reason. Many of us are overly worried and over think. We could save so much energy for life if we weren’t always thinking, so let’s try to reduce this. And even worrying about what healthy food to eat is one that I’m working on!

For reducing unhealthy food, I coach many clients to pick one food at a time, say chocolate, and identify why they are craving it. Are they bored at work? Do they need the sugar for energy? Do they rely on the caffeine? Also look at what time of the day, if this is a pattern, and other factors of their health – such as sleep quality, and quantity, what kind of nourishing foods they are eating from each macronutrient group; protein, carbohydrates, and good fats.

If all the aspects of life and unhealthy foods that don’t serve you can be reduced, imagine how much lighter, better, de-cluttered, and healthier you will feel and be. For Christmas, remember to reduce the food, don’t overeat, rather try to stay true to yourself – and your health – and I guarantee your body will thank you for it.

Ready for action

Once you have identified the four Rs you can start to see your patterns, negative areas, how to improve, and what you need to work on next. Now you can begin to take small steps and take action. The action plan, or being super mindful of how to react when things come up, is the last step – and equally as important in this process. So set reminders for yourself to work out, meditate, cook something, buy healthy foods, take a day off, slow down, and reduce how many cigarettes you smoke or milk teas you drink. Breathe – and you’ll start to notice these small but powerful changes and shifts in your life. Pursuing better health, nutrition and well-being is a lifelong journey, but the good news is you can start and make enjoyable and rewarding changes in 2018. Looking forward to sharing and supporting you in the New Year!