I think we all know that “resolutions” don’t seem to really work. We start the New Year with the best of intentions to do better at self-care, eat better, exercise more, but by the end of January, we’re back to our old habits.
Here are some things that I’ve found have helped my patients make healthy changes that last.
I used to carry all my vitamins with me, back and forth, from the house to the office, thinking, “I’ll take this bunch at 11AM and my calcium after lunch”. It didn’t take me long to realize that approach did not work! At the end of the day, all too often, all the vitamins sat in the bag and none of them made it into my body!
After much trial and error I have developed this approach: once a week, I recommend you put on some nice music, gather all your vitamin bottles and some snack bags, and make up your daily doses for the week. People who take vitamins every few hours, even put colored dots on their vitamins, making it very easy to grab the correct bag of supplements throughout the day.
Now at the end of the day, I’ve taken all my color-coded vitamin bags! And it was easy to do it, too!
This is one of the easiest things to do to bump up your level of health, increase the amount of food you make when you make dinner at night so there is enough for everyone’s lunch the next day! When you are cleaning up the kitchen, have a family member assigned to “lunch packing duty”. While the kitchen is being cleaned, everyone’s food for the next day is put into a container, ready to go in the morning.
Bringing your lunch saves you money and affords you a greater level of control over the quality of food and portion size you are eating throughout the day.
CLEAN YOUR CLOSET
You might be thinking: “What does cleaning my closet have to do with being healthy?” Cleaning your closet is a metaphor for organizing and thinking about your life.
Here are the two parameters I use when for closet cleaning:
1. Does it fit?
This is the most important item of all. I’ve helped several women clean out and organize their closets and they’ve had wardrobes for 2 or 3 different sizes, and some of those sizes they hadn’t worn in 10 years! If you haven’t worn it in ONE season because it doesn’t fit, it’s time to donate it to a local shelter.
2. Does it make you feel beautiful and wonderful?
If it fits, but you don’t like it, or you wore it one time and had a “not great time” when you were wearing it, it’s time to donate it! Cleaning your closet is a metaphor for getting rid of what you no longer need or want!
Lastly, it’s important to remember that research has shown that it takes 18 months for new habits to become “second nature” to you. So keep at it, and by this time next year you will have made huge progress in becoming a healthier you!
TRIM YOUR SCHEDULE
We live in a fast-paced world, and between family and work obligations, before you know it, you’ve gone from “nothing to do” to not having a minute to your self -- seriously!
A patient recently approached me with her concern about how she was going to meditate for 45 minutes every day once she returned to work after a maternity leave. I told her she may not get to meditate for the amount of time she had been used to, but sometimes 10 minutes is all you get and that some how works.
Giving yourself 5 minutes to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and “de-stress” can go a long way to helping you feel like you are able to do all that is required of you for your busy life!