Right off the bat I’ll say, I’ve never been a resolutions person. In fact, I never really focused on making any changes around the first of the year or reviewed the past years for clues to my mental, physical, or emotional health. Things began to shift after I became a Desire Map Facilitator. I began to see the value of reflection, introspection, commitment to oneself, and looking to the past for clues. Yet, I am still not making any “resolutions” anytime soon!
I’m sharing my five favorite things I like to focus on in January in hopes to inspire you to create small shifts that can have a big impact. I’ll give some examples of each category and the benefits too. I’d love to know if you do anything that I haven’t listed OR if you implement some things here- please share them with me!
Do these need to happen in January? No way! These can be done at any meaningful time for you such as new seasons, birthdays, or beginning/end of school year. Do what works for you. Now, on with that list…
1. Find a small way to impact your health
Rather than commit to a weight loss or fitness goal, I come from the perspective of knowing something small done consistently can have profound effects. For example, I understand the cascade of effects that getting better sleep can accomplish although I don’t focus on any potential outcome per-say. Let me give you some more examples of small shifts:
– Increase water intake and work to half your body weight in ounces per day.
– Get better sleep: commit to set sleep and wake times so you get 7-9 hours per night, take TV out of bedroom, turn off phone notifications, use essential oils and supplements to help your quality of sleep. If you’d like some suggestions please contact me.
– Meditate more. Start with five minutes each day. Set your phone timer and focus on your breath by counting each one. You can meditate first thing, last thing, or in your car before heading in to grocery shop or run an errand. For days when you have more time, use a free app like Insight Timer to play a guided meditation or combine it with a better sleep aspiration and do some yoga Nidra.
– Find a meal planning service to help you eat better. Take some of the time and guesswork out of eating healthier. There are TONS of options out there! One I use is Brittany Henderson’s service with Legacy of Results. You can find out about it here and feel free to ask me any questions about my experience with it.
– Start an at home yoga or exercise routine. For this one, I recommend finding a buddy who can commit along with you. My favorite free resource is Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. Every January she does a new free 30 day yoga challenge. What I love about her yoga is that its beginner-friendly AND doesn’t require a huge time commitment; most of her videos are less than 30 minutes, even during the challenges! Check out her playlist page for oodles of places to start like Yoga for Moms, 10-15 minute sequences, 20-25 minute sequences, etc. For those looking for a more western approach to fitness that is free, I like the Betty Rocker app. The app is full of body weight exercises you can do to get your heart rate up and not spend a dime.
– Take your vitamins EVERY day. Supplementation is critical now more than ever, even if you are eating super clean! Our soils have been depleted from poor farming practices, your produce is days or weeks old before you buy it, and you’ve got a full life that may not allow you to devote large amounts of energy to getting everything you need. I love taking doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality vitamin pack for a baseline every day and can even take them on the go.
Don’t choose all of these. Choose one for a couple of months and set yourself up for success, not overwhelm.
2. Find a focus word
This one took me a while to become agreeable to, but after finding my CDFs and helping others find theirs, I see the value in focusing on positive states of being, feelings and the like. This year, even though I still have my core desired feelings to guide me, there was a word pulling at me, asking me to acknowledge it and focus on it this year. My word this year is “possibility” and it inspired this blog.
Having a focus word or state can help you make decisions. It can help you grow by getting you out of your comfort zone when you let it guide the way. Maybe it leads you to some of the other items on this list.
Positive words can help us cope with stress better, handle problems more effectively, and increases immunity and overall health and wellbeing (who can’t use a little of that in the winter?!).
If you’d like some tips on how to incorporate your words on a daily basis, check out my blog about utilizing my CDF’s and while you’re there you can download a list of positive words to try on for yourself.
3. Surrender to what is
For those of us who consistently or occasionally recognize a tendency toward control this is a fantastic skill to work on. Why? Because the stress we put ourselves and those around us under when we try to constantly control is unhealthy. Because tightening our grip doesn’t leave room for the possibility of something happening in another way that hasn’t occurred to us. Believe me, it’s not easy but it’s worth it!
Surrender can happen in big and small ways. I encourage you to start small. This one definitely takes some discernment. Looking at your life right now, what is one thing you can surrender? Is it an expectation? Is it a disappointment based on an unmet expectation? Is it a new life circumstance or development?
If we want more peace and ease in our lives, surrender can bring us there. I’ve been bombarded with so many great examples of the power of this process over the last three months. The woman who finally stopped doing something she hated out of obligation because she thought no one else could do it (that person showed up the next day). The stories of mothers who surrender to the fact that they don’t have an answer to a phase their child is going through and the behavior eases immediately. That person who pushed for an outcome and didn’t get it and by surrendering had the outcome presented out of the blue.
In the surrender, we make space for that which we cannot fathom to happen. We ease up our stress.
To read a great article on the power of surrender on Psychology Today, click here.
4. Pick one essential oil or blend to wear daily for 1-2 months
The powerful properties of essential oil on our physical, mental and emotional health are being documented more and more every day. There are many reasons you can decide to wear an oil. Do you have a favorite you are always drawn toward? I encourage you to do some research on the properties of essential oils to help you figure out which one you will start with.
I only use doTERRA essential oils in my home and on my body. Starting with a blend may be the easiest place to start because many times, the name will point you to its properties and desired outcome. With blends like Peace®, Forgive®, Balance®, Serenity®, Elevation®, Cheer®, and Console® you can feel pretty confident in the kind of results you can expect in the short and long term. You can even look up DIY blends you can make yourself like the Superwoman blend, or Overwhelm be gone blend. I’ve chosen to wear a blend called Dream– my word “possibility” pointed me toward this particular mix. You can use your “word” or core desired feelings to show you the answer as well. Using these topically and aromatically daily is quick and easy. I have my blend in my bathroom and roll on my wrists, neck, and over my heart when I’m getting dressed in the morning. Not only does the chemistry go to work in your body and brain, but its a daily reminder of your intention to yourself.
5. Integrate a Self Care Ritual
Is this the buzz phrase of the decade? Tired of it? Simply put: pick something you enjoy doing that reduces your stress levels, and schedule it!
Do you like to read? Maybe a weekly bath sounds heavenly. What if you create a standing coffee/tea date with a friend every week or two? If weather is bad, use FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom in emergencies and still get some quality conversation. Use services like Pandora, Amazon music, or Spotify to find new music to sit and just listen.
Another way to make sure you are integrating is scheduling in time to make your schedule. This way it isn’t Monday morning and you don’t have a plan for the day let alone the week. Friday, Saturday or Sunday are all good days to block out 30 minutes to schedule your next week. You don’t have to run your own business or be employed to benefit from this habit. I like to start with work-related things and self-care then family time, one on one time, and even household duties. If you’re like me the household stuff can become easily distracting! Have you seen the viral video of the mom moving from task to task without getting anything done? That is my brain many days if I let it run free!!
Even if you don’t pick anything new here, one through four on the list are all self-care so now go schedule them, create a plan, find a buddy and get started on an amazing season of your life!
I’d love to know which of these you’ve chosen or already do and how it has impacted you and those around you. Join my private group and share your experiences with us- it would brighten my day.