How to Have a Happy (and Healthy) New Year

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

a lot of people Everyone seems to be making a plan to do or to be better in the New Year. I think that's great, and I think that's something we should do more often than just around January 1st. But since it's on the mind right now anyways, let's go for the obvious- I thought I'd share a few of my ongoing plans to work on my inner peace and overall well-being in 2015.

1. Respect Your Body. As my great-grandfather (pictured above) said, everything in moderation. In this day and age we indulge ourselves just a little too much, I think. So exercise. Drink more water. Drink less alcohol. Eat less processed food, less fried food, less red meat, and more beans and pulses as protein. Eat more greens- start your own garden, if you've got the space. When we put good things into our bodies, we feel good, as well.

2. Respect Yourself. Oftentimes, we are our own worst enemy, and mentally, our negative, overly-critical thoughts can wear on our minds and our spirits. So just stop. Stop calling yourself ugly, or fat, or stupid in your head. Talk to yourself {come on, guys- we all do it- we've all got that ongoing dialogue in our heads!} the way you would to any other person. Tell yourself you're worthy daily. Compliment your successes. Assess your mistakes fairly, and promise yourself you'll atone for them and deal with the situation differently next time. Beating yourself up, even about mistakes, is a waste of time and energy.

3. Lighten the Load. Over my 25 years I have accumulated my fair share of stuff- clothes, books, art supplies- I even have my fair share of notes and writings from the 8th grade- no joke. And I don't know about you, but I'm tired of it- it's got to go! So if you haven't used, worn, played with or enjoyed it in over a year- let it go. Donate it. Sell it. Trash it. Real Simple's January editorial has some great tips on ways to tackle the seemingly overwhelming task. You will feel so much better, and your space will look beautifully unencumbered, for what I am betting is the first time in a while.

4. Show Kindness to Others. Even those who are unkind to you. I very often take even the slightest negative comment from another very personally- don't do this. Realize that other people are humans too, with their own set of challenges, burdens and fears. Forgive them their flaws and their  burdens- and when the time comes to forgive yourself, it will make your own crosses easier to bear, too.

So those are my tips. Also on my more concrete list of goals for 2015: Pray more. What are your New Years Plans? How about your resolutions? Do you think I've missed any big points on how to live better?


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