13 Lifestyle Changes for 2017

Happy New Year Beautiful People!

It's 2017 and though many people commit, or at least try to commit, to New Year resolutions, they often make them unrealistic which sets them up for failure. If, instead, we thought of positive changes in the new year as lifestyle changes, it may be a lot easier to focus on with real commitment. Suppose there were 15 lifestyle changes that could possibly make your quality of life a lot easier. Would you consider them? Let's take a look at these 15 and see what works for you:
  1. Create a vision board: Write your vision...make it plain on notebook paper. Next, using magazine quotes, letter stickers and markers, add your vision to a thick poster board in any order that works for you using glue or paste. Once your vision board is complete, get a calendar and actually schedule the things on your vision board so you actually make time for your vision. Lastly, place your calendar and vision board in areas you will see daily. (I'm facilitating a Vision Board Session in 1 week, Jan. 8th at the ACC Library in Athens, GA at 3:00. Bring your materials and let me know via Facebook or email-cngeve@hotmail.com if you plan to attend.)
  2. Eliminate toxic people from your life: This is much easier said than done, however we keep unhealthy people around for various reasons (comfort level, like/love/infatuation/good benefits, etc.), though they constantly tear down our spirit and make us question everything we do even down to what we wear and how we talk. Insecure people that are negative prey on others, at times, because they need to feel like they aren't alone and they feel powerful being able to dominate others. It doesn't matter who they are, if they don't make you feel good or like they're rooting for you to be your best self...LET THEM GO! With the beginning of each new year, I often say, "Some people just couldn't make it to this new year with me." It sounds sarcastic, yet it's true. Not everyone is meant to make it the whole way of your journey. Accept it and be okay with that. Trust me, there's great peace in this realization!
  3. Get moving daily: Some people enjoy taking walks, running, swimming, working out with friends, doing housework with their fitbit tracking movement (which can be a lot of calories burned), playing sports or even my personal favorite...Zumba! Whatever you do, just MOVE! It's easy to complain about not being able to afford a gym membership or not having time even with a membership, yet you have to put fitness on your calendar just like you do everything else. What if you consciously committed to just taking more steps each day? Most smart phones have the health app and if not, there are several free apps available to help you track your steps. One thing that's working for me is not doing the exact same thing for fitness everyday. Today I may have a dance party in my living room where I imagine myself as a choreographer coming up with the perfect routine and tomorrow, I may keep my phone in my pocket while I clean up while occasionally walking out to the mailbox or up the street for fresh air. This keeps it fun and hey, I'm already down 11lbs. within the past 2 1/2 weeks! It's definitely a lifestyle change for me.
  4. Drink more H20 (water): There are so many benefits of drinking water that I could go on for days, yet I won't. Some of the benefits include: healthier skin, relieves fatigues, flushes out toxins from your body, assists with weight loss, improves your mood, helps maintain the balance of bodily fluids, helps energize muscles, helps your kidneys, helps maintain normal bowel function, treats headaches and migraines since they are sometimes caused from being dehydrated, aids in digestion and constipation, healthier hair, etc. Bottom line, if you replace sugary drinks and alcohol at least by 50%, you will notice how much better you feel. Try these methods: having water with each snack and meal, keep a bottle of water with you in your car/at your desk/in your gym bag, drink a glass water when you wake up, etc.
  5. Say "YES" to new experiences and adventures: We all have a million and one excuses for why we can't do something new or go try that new restaurant, yet what if we just said YES? Would it be so bad? We may discover new things about ourselves and expand our interests. Just say "YES" for a change! I'm re-reading Shonda Rhymes' book, Year of Yes. It's a great read! Check it out!
  6. Have more dance parties: I know we often feel a little silly if we don't do dance moves exactly like the professionals, but so what? In your living room, bedroom, bathroom, car or even your kitchen, you can put on good music and have a ball! It increases your activity and it makes you feel good! Create your own dance moves and share some with others if you'd like! Either way, your party can consist of a group of friends or just you! Trust me, you feel better when you dance!
  7. Step away for a moment to woosahhhh!!!: People sometimes ignore the importance of taking mental health moments to get away from everything and just exhale, yet it's incredibly important. You have to do what's best for you in order to maintain your sanity and peace. This doesn't mean clocking out and just leaving your job anytime you'd like, yet sometimes it may mean taking a break even if it's just to go to the restroom and have a silent scream until you can do the real one later. Sometimes you need to go and take deep breaths, count to ten, pace for a few moments, take a brief walk or maybe even going to the break room for a snack. At home with your family and friends, this is also vital. Your husband or wife, children and extended family members don't always mean to get on your nerves while pulling you in eight different directions, yet it happens and you can become frustrated, resentful and possibly say some choice words. In order to avoid this, sometimes you have to pre-teach to them that sometimes you need a mini break to your bedroom or bathroom or even on your back porch for a few minutes where no one speaks with you until you return. This may take a lot of practice, yet if you're consistent, it works because ultimately, your family wants you to be your best self.
  8. More bubble baths with candles: If you've never done this, try it today. Light your candles, put on relaxing music (I happen to love Kem's music during this time), fill up the tub with lots of water and bubbles, put your cell phone on vibrate underneath your pillow on your bed so you're not disturbed, turn off the lights, get a bath pillow to put behind your neck and just relax until you're wrinkled! It's the best feeling in the world! By the way, kids should probably already be in bed and your significant other needs to know that this is your moment for peaceful relaxation.
  9. Meditate: There are many many scientifically proven benefits of meditation. Some benefits include: improves focus/attention/ability to work under stress, improves information processing and decision-making, provides mental strength/resilience/emotional intelligence, relieves pain, helps manage ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), decrease in depression, regulating mood and anxiety disorders, reduces stress and general anxiety, increases grey matter concentration in the brain, improves psychomotor vigilance, reduces alcohol and substance abuse, improves learning/memory and self-awareness, etc. If you're unsure of how, look some of the guided meditation videos up on YouTube. Just press play.
  10. Tune out from all forms of media (TV and Social Media) more: We all love staying connected to everyone via social media and tuning in to the juicy story plots on a lot television series, however if we calculate the number of minutes/hours per day spent doing these things, we'd be surprised to see that we have more than enough time to get other things done that could improve our quality of life such as spending time with family and friends, getting in more physical activity and even sleep. We need rest to remain energized! I'm not saying to stop altogether, yet let's cut back from all forms of media just a little each day and watch how much time you have for things and people that really matter. 
  11. Make healthier choices with food and liquids: We all love a good cheat day with cheat meals that include a good cold soda, yet some of us have had cheat years where we've eaten whatever we've wanted whenever we've wanted them. This may or may not have affected our waist lines, yet it catches up with us in major ways. Imagine if you drank two 12 oz. sodas per day for 7 days which contains about 150 calories per can. That's 300 calories per day of high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, caffeine, phosphoric acid, coca extract, lime extract, vanilla and glycerin. That's 2,100 calories per week, 63,000 calories in a 30 day month and about 756,000 calories in 12 months. Remember about 3,500 calories equals 1 pound so that's about...216 pounds for one year, give or take. We haven't even considered our food intake. This is only what we're drinking. In Weight Watchers, we often say..."let's not drink up all of our points," because it's so easy to do. A Big Mac from McDonald's alone is 563 calories! That's not including the fries or the drink. I'm more conscious of this now because I'm 35 and have had a few cheat years so I'm doing these lifestyle changes with you. Nothing happens overnight, yet maybe we can begin making small changes together.
  12. Save your money more than you spend it: It's easier said than done, however a lack of money management can get in the way of many goals and dreams of home ownership, starting a business or even buying a car because everything is connected to your credit. It's imperative that you monitor your credit score and see what's affecting your credit. You can do this for free at www.creditkarma.com. I've also heard great things about credit sesame. Let's say you have great credit, yet you spend frivolously. Life events happen and sometimes they cost a lot of money to fix or repair. If you've spent without regard to how much or even on what you're buying, when you're in need of money, you will have nothing there to use. We have to think of it like this, I have x amount of dollars budgeted for bills and monthly expenses and though I have x amount left over to play with, let me take some of the play money and put it to the side for a rainy day. It's helpful for some people if this money is automatically deducted from their monthly income and sent to a separate account at a different financial institution. Whatever it takes, do it and DO NOT TOUCH IT unless it's a serious emergency.
  13. Don't be afraid to say "NO": This needs no explanation. We all say yes to things we shouldn't and become somewhat resentful to those people we should've said no to. There is power in saying "NO" to things and people that do not deserve your yes. Think of it like this, saying "NO" to them is sometimes the best way to say "YES" to you!
Have a Happy New Year beautiful people and stay tuned for biweekly blogs at Blog Life on www.celestngeve.com. 

Serenity, Sunshine & Love,
Celest Divine