With a new year often comes resolutions—those last-minute promises we make to ourselves and others to make improvements in our lives. We usually mean it, but most of the time it’s wishful thinking without concrete plans. However, by March or April, we’ve already forgotten all of those resolutions.
But this year can be different, and it all starts with attitude. Instead of calling it a New Year’s resolution, think of it as a new plan for improving your life: physically, mentally and emotionally.
Your goals can include statements such as “Eat healthy”, “Exercise more”, “Make new friends”, “Find a new relationship”, or something more intense such as “Stop smoking” or “Begin addiction recovery.”
Whatever your plan is, write down the necessary steps it takes to reach it. There are often counseling services or support groups to help you manage your goals, especially for those that involve substance addiction.
When it comes to improving our lives physically, diet is crucial. If the word “diet” makes you think of deprivation, then replace it with the word “nutrition.” You don’t have to sign up for a weight loss or nutrition class, but you can if you want to. The important thing is to start with your doctor to come up with a plan that’s right for you. If your plan is to lose 40 pounds this year, don’t think that you have to do it overnight. Take it one day at a time. Remember that making a mistake or two in your eating habits doesn’t mean you have failed. Just get back on your plan the next day and keep moving forward.
Physical activity is good for your mental well-being as it releases endorphins that occur naturally in the brain to make you feel good and energized. It gets the lungs working, heart pumping and blood circulating to all parts of the body. It also builds muscle, endurance, and stamina, which our bodies need to be strong and healthy.
And add an exercise routine that you think you will enjoy. If you’re having trouble deciding on a physical activity, think back to when you were younger. What did you enjoy doing? Swimming? Walking? Biking? Volleyball? You can still do those today. If you aren’t able to do them at home, then perhaps you can find a local fitness center or gym, like the Y. You don’t have to buy equipment in order to exercise. Instead, you can do sit-ups and jumping jacks in the comfort of your bedroom or living room.
Mental and emotional health
When undertaking changes such as nutrition and exercise, don’t forget that your mental and emotional health are just as important. Our body works like a well-oiled machine—all parts working together. Don’t shortchange yourself by omitting your thoughts and emotions. Find things to do that make you feel good and lower stress. Return to an old hobby. Visit old friends and loved ones. Take a vacation. Visit a spa. Get a massage. Learn to say no when you need to concentrate on self-care.
If you’ve been a negative-thinker before, realize that you can change your attitude to a positive one and it will help you reach your personal goals. If you find yourself thinking negatively about a situation, immediately replace it with a positive affirmation. Put it in writing. Read inspirational stories. Enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Swimming, yoga, and meditation can be wonderful ways to improve physical and mental health, especially for those in addiction recovery.
Remember, you are embarking on a journey of changes that will last a lifetime, so don’t get discouraged if you stumble now and then. Just make up your mind that you are worth the effort and you intend to see it through.
Photo credit Pixabay
Article Written by Ashley Taylor of Disabledparents.org
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