2016 is coming to an end!
2016 has been the year of kale, Kayla Itsines, intense workouts (instead of steady cardio), healthy fats, Organifi, and the microbiome. Last year, I blogged about my Top Health Habits and this year, I’m excited to do it all again! I’m counting down the Top 7 things that have made the biggest impact on my health, energy, and happiness in 2016…
I have found a new favorite fitness class. If you are bored with your strength training routine, try out Les Mills BodyPump. No coordination required. This 60-minute addictive class targets all of your major muscle groups through different variations/tempos of basic moves like the squat, chest press, deadrow, clean and press, lunges, bicep curls, etc. You can find a BodyPump class near you. The key to making strength training a habit is to find something you love! If you don’t enjoy BodyPump, perhaps Nike Training Club, TRX, Hammer and Chisel, or P90X could become your soulmate workout. 😉
#6 Guided meditation
This year, I’ve finally developed the habit of meditating. The key to making meditation a habit: letting go of how you think it SHOULD be done. I thought the “right” way to meditate was sitting on the floor & listening to your breath, preferably first thing in the morning… That is not a pleasurable experience for me. Instead, I do my version of meditating. I lay down (typically in my bed) and put on one of Tara Brach’s free guided meditations. Sometimes I lay on my sleep induction mat for an added bonus! It relaxes your muscles using acupressure points. Do I meditate daily? No. Do I meditate at the same time every day? No. But this is the first year that I’ve truly enjoyed & noticed the benefits from meditation.
#5 MediClear Plus
My new favorite nutritional shake is MediClear Plus (checkout all the amazing ingredients). It has just 1 gram of sugar and is flavorless. I like to mix it with coconut milk, spinach, berries, and cinnamon. My naturopath recommended it to me for its anti-inflammatory properties & to help prevent skin breakouts. When I drink it consistently, my skin looks better, I have more energy, & my digestion is improved. Not to mention, the brand that makes this supplement powder (Thorne Research) is very high quality:
“Thorne Research products do not contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) nor any binders, coatings, disintegrants, fillers, or lubricants (including magnesium stearate) that could impair absorption. In addition, Thorne Research has received the prestigious NSF International general Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Certified for Sport certifications.”
The key to making MediClear Plus a habit is adding it to your lunchtime or morning ritual.
#4 The ONE Thing
If you have a lot on your plate, I highly recommend the book “The ONE Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. I’ve always been a to-do list person & good at prioritizing, but this book taught me to constantly ask myself, “What’s the ONE thing I can do such that everything else will be easier and unnecessary?” Everything is a distraction until the ONE thing is done. Harsh, but true. Instead of focusing on doing more, focus on doing what truly matters and doing it well. To upgrade your work performance, take some time to do the exercises in the book so you know your ONE thing.
#3 Bedtime Ritual
Developing a bedtime ritual is a simple way to wind down before going to sleep. I used to be guilty of using my electronic devices up until it was time to go to sleep. My mind would be on overload and I would lay there for over an hour some nights trying to fall asleep. I finally took all the health experts’ advice to develop an evening ritual. These days, I like to take a bath and then lay on my sleep induction mat while reading. It doesn’t have to take a long time… your body can get a clue that it’s time to relax pretty quickly if you have a routine. Do you use your electronics at night? Invest in a pair of blue light blocking glasses. Read more about how blue light from your laptop, TV, or iPhone can affect your sleep here. To develop a bedtime ritual, start by shutting down your electronics 15 minutes before bed and replacing that time with something you find relaxing.
#2 Intuitive Eating
I am a recovering perfectionist in pretty much every area of my life. I’ve always had a nagging voice in my head whenever I “mess up” at work or in my personal life. The voice also appears if I’m eating something that I know may not make me feel my best. However, Geneen Roth’s books, Isabel Foxen Duke’s blogs, and being more trusting of my body using many of the Intuitive Eating Principles has been incredibly helpful in quieting down the perfectionist in me.
There is no food that would be more poisonous to your overall well-being than the constant stress and anxiety that comes from feeling like you need to be food-perfect. The key to making intuitive eating a habit is to not treat it like a diet (i.e.“eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full…or else.”), surround yourself with great resources on the topic (see above), and be patient in re-gaining trust in your intuition.
#1 The School of Greatness
I LOVE podcasts. In 2016, I have especially enjoyed listening to “The School of Greatness” hosted by Lewis Howes. He provides bite-sized personal development tips. By listening to this podcast, I have a better understanding of how to manage fear, how to develop an online business, how to go above and beyond, how to increase creativity and productivity, how to create a vision/goal/purpose, and so much more. Listen to Lewis to get fired up about life! To make personal growth podcasts a habit, pair it with your daily commute to work.
I hope you’ve had an amazing 2016. Let’s hear what health habits have helped YOU the most this year in the comments below!