10 Steps Towards a Happier and Healthier 2015
Last month, we armed you with our top 10 apps to motivate you to achieve your 2015 fitness goals. This month, we present to you a holistic approach for a happier and healthier 2015.
Inspired by Arianna Huffington’s new book, Thrive, which redefines a healthier, more balanced outlook on the definition of success and wellness, we share with you our holistic approach to thrive in 2015.
1. Construct your value statement. This is your personal mission statement or personal constitution. Writing a value statement will allow you to establish what is important to you and set the stage with how you interact with the world in relation to your goals. By writing down your values, the baggage of the past and the noise of the present will be drowned out by that new inner voice. Weeding through circumstances and emotions will become easier, allowing you to make daily decisions and live with them. Look at your statement everyday and ask yourself “am I living my life with integrity and encapsulating these very core values that make me ME”.
2. Be kind. Always. Period. Honestly the easiest thing you can do is to be kind to others. Look people in the eye, talk to them, listen, understand. Treat everyone with this same respect no matter what his or her role in relation to you – your barista, your cleaner, your boss – everyone has a story. Make that connection and develop empathy.
3. Don’t take things personally. People may disrespect you, take advantage of you and dismiss you. This may cause you to react negatively, emotionally, and defensively. This is counterproductive and a waste of your energy. Chances are that person is not even thinking of you as they go about their own personal agenda. Please give them the benefit of the doubt. Kill them with kindness [going back to #2] and know that they are enduring their own personal struggle; their struggle that has absolutely nothing to do with you.
4. Stay true to #1. Although people have their own agenda, if you stick to your own core values and stand up for yourself when necessary – everything will fall in place. Sticking to your core values will allow you to live YOUR life with integrity and no regrets. And remember – who cares what anyone else thinks – these are YOUR values – own them!
5. Put away your devices. When it comes to quality time with your family and friends, technology should be placed on the back burner. Technology makes our lives easier in many way; apps that allow us to communicate, get organized, and provide us with useful information. We now stay in touch via multiple mediums – Whatsap, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, and the lists go on. On all of these? You are probably not making REAL human connections. Make time for personal, real contact [device free] and feel how much more connected and energized your feel by the very people in front of you.
6. Ditch negative people. People have the ability to either energize us or zap as dry. Consider which relationships make you feel good and nourish them. Make them flourish. Trust your gut on which ones these are and stay clear of the ones that make you feel bad about yourself. If you don’t know what I’m talking about – sorry you may be one of the emotional vampires out there. If you thrive on drama or negativity ask yourself why then go back to #1 and work on your core values and your own internal happiness.
7. Realize your happiness comes from within. My father always recited the poem Disiderata by Max Ehrhmann to me when I was younger. I distinctly remember the line “if you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself”. Don’t compare. Have hobbies. Be yourself. You cannot rely on any outside source or future circumstances for your internal happiness. Forget “I will be happy when I have the perfect partner, house, family career or [fill in the blank]. Today is today. You are NOT a victim of your circumstances or people. You have complete control.
8. Be grateful. You only have the here and now. So start now. Be grateful for a new day, a friendship, for the simple things. I always admire those that embrace all they have today. They are the personal best in their current circumstance. Start with today and tomorrow will come in the way it’s meant to present itself. The path is never straight and if we live for the future we will not embrace the opportunities that are right in front of us.
9. Health is your foundation. Make sure you sweat every day, sleep well, stretch, fuel your body with nourishing food, and meditate. Respect your body and it will respect you and continue to take you through life. A strong, powerful body is essential to a full life. A still mind will arm you with resilience, gratitude and compassion. The combination of strong body and still mind? Your greatest weapon against life’s adversities. You will be a better friend, coworker, mother, father, sister, brother, lover for it.
10. Love without fear. I saved this one for last. You need all of the above [1 through to 9] to truly LOVE. Value statement, kindness, appreciation, attention, positivity and most of all self love to truly love another being. Don’t let fear get in the way of picking up the phone, extending an invite, taking a leap of faith with someone or something – be it a passion, a dream or a friend. Approach love with childlike innocence. A scene from Home Alone, stuck with me over the holidays. Macauley Culkin asks his neighbor, Old Man Marley, why he won’t call his son after all the years from one small disagreement. The old man replies, “because he won’t want to talk to me”. Culkin innocently answers, “How do you know that if you never called?”
That in a nutshell, is our new approach to wellness in 2015. It’s not just about #9 – Health. #9 is merely a foundation on which the rest sits. I encourage you to strive for a more fulsome notion of wellness this year and create a movement where we encourage ourselves and others to thrive, flourish and make room in our hectic lives for love in 2015.10