THIS Is Why Your New Year’s Action Plan Must Include Body, Mind And Spirit
By Joanne Beccarelli
The frenzy of early January is behind you, so now it is time to be real. This is the time of the year when so many New Year’s resolutions fall off the bandwagon and get trampled in the dirt – don’t let yours be among them!
Use this simple action plan that includes ways to integrate and COMMIT your entire being to your action plan for the exciting year ahead of you and beyond.
Change seems to be the one thing that everyone wants at the beginning of a new year, but is also the thing most people resist. The status quo is easy and comfortable, yet wanting growth and improvement means that change must happen – and that a part of you actually wants it!
Success can be yours if you use an approach such as this that focuses on these 3 aspects: body, mind and spirit. Oftentimes, resolutions put all the emphasis solely on body in the areas of diet and exercise. However, the mind and spirit are usually the key driving forces of change.
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” – Buddha
Every action and change begins with your mind. Without addressing the mind, it is impossible to change anything long term. The roots of lifestyle are anchored strongly by your thoughts, therefore, it takes cooperation of the mind to make the future of your goals and dreams a reality.
1. Don’t make resolutions – instead, set your intention and theme.
Take 5 minutes to brainstorm all that you wish to happen in the next month, year and beyond. What theme do you see rising out of your dreams? Find a word that encapsulates your theme – this word then becomes your mantra to use to help guide you every day.
2. Believe that anything and everything is possible.
Beliefs are the navigation system that steers your way and shapes your journey. When you believe that something is hard or easy, it is. When you believe that you are happy, you are. Begin to change your beliefs by changing how you speak to yourself and about yourself, always framing your desires positively with the belief that it is already true.
3. Love yourself unconditionally to move past judgement of change.
Do you love yourself unconditionally? The clues are in your self talk. Before any improvements can unfold, you must first accept and love yourself unconditionally. According to Psychology Today, it is only when you stop judging yourself that you can get a positive sense of who you really are.
Try this simple exercise to work on your self-love. Stand in front of a mirror each day and sincerely say, “I love and accept you, just the way you are.” Squirm past the uneasiness of the exercise and repeat each morning.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohn
Most resolutions focus exclusively on dieting and exercise put forth by methods of deprivation and punishment. While changing food and movement habits are good for your overall health, the approach to these changes can determine their lasting success.
1. Leave behind sugar, refined foods, dairy and excessive animal foods.
With all the information available about foods that are leading you to diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity, it is important to remove these foods from your daily life, even if you later have some occasionally. Commit to removing added sugars, refined carbohydrates, dairy and excessive amounts of animal foods.
Move towards a mostly plant-based diet, embracing organic and non-GMO foods whenever you can. Comment below with your questions or search through the fitlife.tv blog history to find more answers beginning with “How to Change to Plant-Based Eating.”
2. Get enough rest and sleep to allow your body to recharge daily.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain, chronic disease and pain. This means that even small improvements to your sleep both in terms of amount and quality can go a long way. For more ideas and information on improving sleep, read “3 Steps to Better Sleep.”
3. Live actively, sitting less, being physical and stretching more.
One of the key lessons learned from people that live into their hundreds, as described in The Blue Zones, is to live naturally in an environment that nudges you to move without having to think about it. While movement, stretching and exercise are key, it does not need to be in the form of “working out.” Simply living more actively, walking more, doing more manual work, etc. are just as good if not better for the maintenance and stability of your health.
“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.” – Rumi
Having a sense of a spirituality is an acknowledgement that you are tied to something bigger. Being spiritual does not mean practicing a specific religion, but it does mean that you feel a connectedness beyond the here and now of today. Your sense of spirituality is a place where strength can be rooted and where guidance can emerge.
1. Gratitude heightens the quality of life.
As reported by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, people who regularly reflect on gratitude improve their health and mental well being. Starting simply, you can reflect on 3 things you are grateful for each night before bed or first thing each morning. And if you are looking for more ideas about how to build your gratitude muscles, check out these ideas from “The Gratitude Challenge.”
2. Meditation is known to reduce stress, sharpen concentration, increase happiness and improve health.
Taking time to sit and quiet the mind is no longer just for yogis. It is a practice now embraced by business executives, celebrities and everyday people. Beginning a meditation practice can be as simple as sitting quietly and listening to your breath for 2 minutes at a time, or it can be more formal.
A good way to start is by joining one of Deepak Chopra’s free challenges, attending a yoga class, or doing any activity that shifts your mind’s chatter and takes you out of your head.
3. Volunteering your time to help others helps YOU.
Volunteering gives back more than it takes. According the the Harvard Medical School, volunteering provides the benefits of better mental and physical health. It is a powerful way to connect to others socially, contribute to bettering the world and develop a stronger sense of purpose. At the same time, studies have shown that it can lower blood pressure, improve your heart health and help you live a longer life.
Most New Year’s resolutions falter or fail for one reason or another. Usually it is because you forgot about the power that the mind and spirit contribute to your successes.
This year, try this holistic approach, taking small steps and enjoying the overall process. Make these steps part of your lifestyle and soon you can find that you are no longer in a battle with yourself; you are on a journey and this is one part of road leading you through your glorious life.
Joanne Beccarelli is a holistic health coach, juicing junkie, writer, soon to be cookbook author and recovered emotional eater. Inspired by many great voices in the health-thru-food revolution, Joanne found her way out of hiding in shame (losing almost 100 lbs in the process) and stepped away from the corporate world. She now dedicates every day to helping others who are overwhelmed, overworked, and overstressed, find awareness, fulfilment and better health.
Joanne has a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from eCornell/T. Colin Campbell Foundation, and became a Certified Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She is also a member of American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), and the International Association of Health Coaches (IAHC).
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