New Year’s resolutions typically center around eating better and losing weight, but what about your mental health and stability? Focus on becoming an even better version of you this New Year by starting these five healthy habits.
5 Healthy habits to start in 2011
Keep an open mind
Think you have it all figured out? Think again. Gabrielle Bernstein, speaker, life coach and author of Add More ~ing To Your Life discusses how your mindset can affect your mood. “Pay attention to the negative thoughts you replay in your mind,” she said. “Recognize how these thoughts lower your energy and overall life experience. Begin a practice of changing your mind by saying, ‘I’m willing to see this differently.’ This slight willingness will guide you to a new perception.”
Learn to forgive
Holding a grudge is bad for your health. “Holding onto resentment keeps you stuck in the past and affects your state of mind in negative ways,” Bernstein said. “Angry feelings weaken your thoughts, energy and physical well-being. When you forgive, you release negativity and open a place where happiness can come back into your life.”
Next time you feel overwhelmed and frustrated, take a minute to put things in perspective. No matter what your situation, it could always be worse. Choose to be grateful for your health, your home and your loved ones. Bernstein recommends making a gratitude list and reading it every morning for 30 days. “Focusing on gratitude activates an overarching sense of happiness and inner peace,” she said. Check out this article for more ways to achieve optimal health and wellness this New Year.
Take a step back
As moms, wives, daughters, sisters and friends, we lead hectic lives. Start the healthy habit of reflecting on yourself and your goals to achieve inner peace. This New Year, Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP, professional coach and author of Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide recommends women ask themselves what they’ll regret not pursuing in the coming year. “These goals should be ‘self-authored’ or ‘intrinsic,’ as opposed to goals that are adopted because you ‘should’ have them, or because they’re easy to accomplish.”
According to Miller, studies show that women are more unhappy than men for the first time in history. She believes that’s due to the fact that few women stop and assess their goals. “It’s been found that lack of pursuit and accomplishment of meaningful goals by your mid-40s is a sure ticket to regret and low mood,” she said. Click here for more ideas on how to love yourself inside and out.
Get with the girls
Between chauffeuring the kids to school, working and maintaining a household, most women aren’t left with much extra time for their girlfriends. According to Miller, that needs to change. “All women should be in a ‘mastermind’ group of proactive, positive women who meet regularly to share support, ideas and success,” she said. “The ‘tend and befriend’ research from UCLA has found that women actually need other women on a biological level to feel connected and competent, and if you rigorously select a group that intends to help each other, you vastly increase your chances of success.”
How to make a healthy habit change
When it comes to making life changes, it’s easier said than done. Miller suggests keeping these simple tips in mind as you begin making healthy habit changes in your life:
Set one self-regulation goal at a time
“Willpower is a finite personal resource that is used up by the end of the day. Therefore, goals involving willpower should be pursued early in the day, and everything you have should go towards that goal,” Miller said.
Surround yourself with support
“Cut out the people who aren’t supportive of your change, and whose behavior will be contagious in the wrong way,” Miller said. “Research by Christakis and Fowler has found that some behaviors are contagious, such as being happy, becoming obese and quitting smoking.”
Work it out
“Exercise is always helpful in creating behavior change because energy begets more energy, and the self-discipline that carries over from pursuing any type of regular exercise plan will assist you in making other changes, too,” said Miller. For more tips on getting back on the healthy-living track, check out this article.
Making behavioral changes can bring up a lot of funky feelings. To help you adjust during times of transition, check out Gabrielle Bernstein’s site, HerFuture.com. Create positive connections with like-minded women while discussing anything from clearing financial fear to overcoming food addiction.