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New Year Goals

New Year, New Goals

As we approach a brand new year, many of us are taking some time to figure out how we can improve our lives in a healthy and productive way. After all, a new year is a great jumping off point for new focus, new aspirations, and new energy.

I’m so pleased to introduce a guest writer for this post; Cassie Brewer:

Build a Stronger and Healthier You this New Year

Our plans to completely transform our bodies, our habits or our lives are often too ambitious at the start of the new year, leading most of us to fail by giving up on our resolutions soon after we get started.

Rather than overhauling your whole entire life by simply listing goals, you can try to adopt lifelong habits this new year, so that you can become a stronger and healthier version of yourself, without having to resort to extremes like crash diets or end up suffering from severe exhaustion.

There are several things you can do to turn your life around and be the best version of yourself this new year and for the years to come, but the following are the top five habits to adopt:

Eat When You’re Hungry

If you’re ending the year emotionally exhausted from yo-yo dieting, then think of turning a new page this new year by foregoing dieting, and instead, choose to listen to your body. Rather than figuring out the best diet for you, try to understand why you are hungry. Do you really need to eat something or is there an emotional issue that you want to forget with food?

Don’t make 2017 another year where you use food as a crutch.

new year meditation

Adopt a Meditative Ritual

Unless you live on a farm with no Wi-Fi, then chances are your life is bound to get busier. Adopting a meditative ritual such as meditation first thing in the morning or yoga a few times a week will help you to find stillness despite your busy life. Download an app to guide you through meditation or chant the mantra you feel most connected to.

When it comes to yoga, you can join a class or even do the poses at home — no matter how hectic life gets, you can always sneak a few minutes of yoga to de-clutter your mind.

Find a Skincare Regime (that works for YOU)

Skincare is not something that you start worrying about later in life when much of the damage has been done. It is essential to find a quick but effective skincare regime with high quality products that are right for your skin. While the regime will vary, depending on your skin type, there are certain products our face will always need, such as sunscreen (even on winter days!) serum, eye cream and a good moisturizer.

Tap Into Your Creativity

We all have our versions of what creativity is, but most of us tend to lose this trait because of an overwhelming work/life schedule. Creativity is essential to drive us to be better at work and in life, so it’s important to go in search of inspiration throughout the year. Read books that challenge you creatively, learn something new, or go back to doing something you used to do when you were very young and let your mind find its way back to being spontaneous and perceptive.

Go Offline

Finally, learn to switch off and take real breaks. It has become the norm to be constantly on and having something to do, but doing nothing has its many benefits, too. Go for long walks in nature, have tech-free weekends and start your morning without checking your phone. Only by quieting the noise of the online world can we understand what is going on inside our mind, so we can understand what we are doing, how we are feeling, and where we are going.

“Just as good sleep hygiene was the hot topic of 2016, digital detox plans will be trending in 2017.” –Jennifer Browne

Happy New Year! Cheers to a new and improved you, and an amazing 2017. xo


About the Author

Cassie Brewer is a makeup professional in Southern California. In her free time, she enjoys writing about her passion (makeup of course!) and everything beauty related. Nothing makes her happier than helping other be the best version of themselves they can be. You can read more at cassiebrewer.weebly.com and follow her on twitter @Cassiembrewer.

 

5 Ways to Improve Gut Health TODAY

Key to healthy digestion

It’s no secret that if you want to strengthen your immune system (something we all want to do at this time of year), you have to start with your gut. Your intestines are the key to great health, and when you provide a good home to your good bacteria, you’re subsequently telling the bad bacteria to get lost, pronto.

While there are many factors that determine just how healthy your gut is at any given time, an ideal ratio of good to bad bacteria is essential. That is, you need more good than bad—and that can be difficult to attain at this time of year. Wintertime is full of bugs, booze, and baking: things bad bacteria thrive on.

So let me help you out. Here are 5 ways to increase the good guys, decrease the bad ones, and give your gut a great start to the New Year:

  • Begin taking probiotics. This is SUCH an easy way to increase the good guys. A daily dose of good quality probiotics can make a huge difference in your gut health. Tip: buy probiotics that are displayed in a refrigerator, and make sure to keep them cold at home, too. These supplements are full of living bacteria, and have a very short shelf life once they reach room temperature.
  • Stop consuming added sugar. Excess sugar depletes the immune system. It’s completely unnecessary, and over consumed by just about everyone. Food that contains naturally-occurring sugars are fine; things like fruit and whole grains. But abstain from candy, baking, chocolate, alcohol, fruit juice, and anything else that is loaded with added sugar. Believe me, you’ll thank yourself for this move: you’ll feel better, have more energy, clearer skin, and a much healthier immune system. (Not to mention losing a few post-holiday pounds!)
  • Eat less. This has nothing to do with losing weight. When you eat more than you need to, it creates strain on your digestive tract and throws your organs into a panic. For good bacteria to do its job properly, it needs to work what’s in its limits—and overeating on a consistent basis does not help these guys. If you want the good bacteria to thrive, then feed it what it can handle. Tip: Don’t eat until you feel full; eat until you don’t feel hungry anymore. When you reach 80%, stop. (This is also a good tip for those with IBS.)
  • Add fermented foods to your diet. I DO NOT MEAN BOOZE, PEOPLE! Fermented foods come in the form of sauerkraut, good quality, plain Greek yogurt, kombucha, organic miso, organic tempeh, and kimchi. By adding these probiotic powerhouses to your meal plans, you will increase the number of enzymes you consume, which will aid the good bacteria.
  • Make sure you stay regular. Yep—I mean in the bathroom. When you become constipated and stool backs up, friendly bacteria becomes completely overrun with the bad guys. Bad bacteria LOVE poop. Don’t let them have it—make sure you are using the toilet at least once a day to keep the bad guys in check, and the good guys happy. Tip: Upon waking, drink one liter of room-temperature water before putting anything else in your body. This will kick-start the digestive process.

There you have it! 5 ways to improve the health of your gut, ASAP. xo

A New Year's Reinvention

While spring is often associated with new beginnings and fresh starts, I would like to argue that the perfect time of year to reinvent yourself and create your line-up of both personal and professional goals is January first. While the month often brings frigid weather, and dark afternoons, the fact that it’s still a brand new year is motivating and inspiring. Instead of waiting until the cherry blossoms are out in full swing, why not take advantage of the slowness and limited daylight to hunker down and create a new situation that, in the spring, will already be well on its way?

Here’s what I recommend: decide what kind of life you want. Even if it appears unattainable, write it down. I’m talking about the end result. Factor in family, money, aspirations, intentions, dreams, wants, and needs.

Then, work backwards. How will you get there? We’ve all heard the saying “when there’s a will, there’s a way.” Implement that. Will it. Then DO it. Figure out what you need to achieve the “unattainable” and begin the process. You may not get there right away, but if you don’t begin, you’ll always be wondering about what would have happened if you did.

The difference between someone who has achieved and someone who has not, is usually just action. To achieve, you must act.

Happy New Year, and here’s to a happy, new YOU. Cheers!