Life has taught me many lessons, most of which came after the death of my late husband in 2009. Before his death I didn’t notice my lessons, I didn’t tune into the greater musings of our universe. Ironically, death taught me to be alive for perhaps the first time in my entire adult life. I keep relearning many of these lessons again and again. When they are thoroughly learned maybe, they will stop presenting themselves, and I can move on toward bigger and better lessons.
Below I’m sharing with you some of my lessons and the top ten things you should consider giving up going into next year.
#1 - Processed Foods
People underestimate the power of nutrition in their lives. Everyone is running around, looking for a quick fix for their weight and minimizing the importance of proper nutrition. If you just gave up processed food in 2017, not only would your weight improve but so would your health!!! Giving up processed food is not as difficult as everyone makes it out to be. Just eat real food (lean proteins, veggies, fruits, nuts, etc.), in their natural state as much as possible. You will see and feel the difference!
#2 - Sitting
Moving is key for your health and well-being. Flood your mind and body with positive endorphins every single day. Despite what many fitness professionals will tell you, there is no one perfect way to move that works for everybody. Do what you love because that is what will stick for life. The key is simple movement. A body in motion stays in motion. Aim to sit less in 2017 and move a lot more! Swim, walk, run, lift weights, do yoga or go for a hike. It doesn’t matter what you do, just keep moving.
#3 - Procrastination
When I finally hit rock bottom in 2009 with my personal weight, there was one key element that made all the difference. I gave up my excuses, and I gave up waiting. What I learned in the process is that it was so much more work to hate myself and make excuses than it ever was to do the hard work to change. When I stopped putting off my health and fitness, I learned it took much less time to buckle down and live fit than it ever took to procrastinate and hated myself daily. Stop waiting on the things you want to happen in your life.
#4 - Busyness
We are all so busy in life, but one thing I’ve learned is that much of my busyness is self-created. I put so many unnecessary things on my daily schedule, and that leads to being overwhelmed and being unhappy. Simplify in the New Year, remember that NO is an acceptable answer and cut the busyness. Change your priorities and put the critical stuff at the top like your health and fitness, your family, your interpersonal relationships and your happiness. Don’t be busy with things that don’t improve your life.
#5 - Regret
We all have regret in this life but if we focus on what could have happened or what we should have done then we can’t find joy in where we are. Don’t live your life with the “should've and could've” because you can’t go back and change the past. Make peace with each day and pat yourself on the back for all you accomplished. Living with regret is useless and a waste of your present moment. Do your best each day, improve where you can when you can and then give up the feelings of guilt and inadequacies.
#6 - Pleasing Others
I’m a people pleaser by nature, but I’ve learned that there is no way I can make everyone happy. Not everyone is going to agree with me. Not everyone is going to like me. That’s okay. My personal motto is to be a good person, do the right thing but also do what makes me happy. Own your life and learn that pleasing everyone is just not realistic.
#7 - Fear
We all have fears in this life, but when we let fear rule our lives, we limit our full potential. Give up the fears that take your energy and remember you shouldn’t stress what you can’t control. My loss taught me to let go of many fears, and it’s also taught me to live my dreams despite the things that scare me because life is short and we should live it.
#8 - Being Inside
Nature is a healer, but we tend to spend so much time indoors we forget that feeling better can be as simple as stepping outside. This year, aim to head outside and take in the fresh air, the beautiful views and the healing power of nature. Combine your daily movement with your time outside for a double benefit and leave the electronics at home. You will find that the time in nature will allow you to hear your inner voice if you don’t drown it out with artificial noise. While you outside try deep breathing several times for full body cleansing.
#9 - Clutter
The weight of stuff takes so much joy out of our lives and makes us feel heavy. Declutter in 2017 and find your comfort in having less. When your joy comes from purchasing stuff, you will find that you are never truly satisfied. Your brain gets the immediate stimulus of a new object that fades quickly. You are consistently trying to up the ante and keep that stimulus going. Instead find joy in giving to others, purging your life of clutter and spending time improving your life through fitness, nutrition, and self-growth.
#10 - Comparison
Social media has helped our society in many regards, but it has also hurt our collective communities. We are consistently comparing our lives with the lives of others. Remember that people only put their highlights on social media. You aren’t getting the full story. I’m here to tell you, no matter what you read on social media, nobody has a perfect life. Everyone has difficulties, everyone has problems, everyone has pain.
Just these simple changes can lead to a fantastic and healthy 2017.
I hope you have a great New Year!