2020: The Year of Health

I may sound cliche to start the new year focused on health and it certainly is not new for me, but it is different this time. Let me tell you why.

In the past my focus was to loose weight. I would make a New Year’s resolution to exercise and get thin but the motivation was really vanity. I didn’t understand how powerful mind, body and spirit wellness was back then. The resolution would last 2, maybe 3 months and then I would fade back into my old patterns of behavior. Today I no longer make resolutions; instead I make a list of new year’s manifestations. These manifestation can be anything I want to come into my life in the new year. I decided 2020 would be a year of health.

My year of health manifestation list has a lofty number of health related items I want to enhance my life. They are mind, body, and spirit related, for one cannot successfully be well without balance in all these areas.

It is day 4 in my year of health and I already feel a shift in my mood. I find myself making healthy decisions and I keep slowly incorporating items to bring about overall wellness.

On Jan 1st, I started the day hungover from a New Year’s Eve party I attended. I find this very embarrassing to admit to. So, my first healthy initiatives were to give up alcohol and sugar. Next I went back to intermittent fasting. This is an eating strategy that limits the time you can eat during the day. It has many health benefits but my primary use of it is weight loss. I have gained about 30 pounds in the last 4 years and it is affecting my energy level and ability to do things. Losing weight is not about vanity for me this time. It is about being comfortable hiking, having the energy to kayak and reclaiming my connection with my body as a divine being.

Then I decided to start tracking what I eat. This is about mindfulness. So now I know what I am putting into my body and why. I am using the “My Fitness Pal” app to do so; although there are so many apps that can help you with it. I have anemia, so it helps me track my iron intake, something that is important for me as a pescatarian. I also find that tracking what I eat, makes me less likely to do the mindless noshing that can occur when I am bored.

Yesterday I decided to start drinking 1/2 my body weight in ounces of water. I feel this is helping purify my body from all the toxic things I have put into her in the past. Also, yesterday I recommitted to moving my body. Getting at least 10,000 steps a day. I even started running a little again. I plan to improve my fitness condition in order to participate in 5K events. I really enjoyed these in the past. My daughter, Liz, and I have also done a couple 1/2 marathons together and we are toying with the idea of committing to do another one of these.

Today I am starting on my commitment of “52 Hikes” during 2020. I have seen others make a commitment to this in the past, but never got on board because of the frozen tundra where I live. I know I feel better when I get outside and be “in” nature, so this is another part of the mind and spirit commitment for me.

My husband and I continue our pursuit towards financial wellness. Yoga and meditation are on my list of items to incorporate. I find that adding (a little) something new daily is helping me stay motivated and not feel overwhelmed. I’m just slowly incorporating, the items I want, into my year of wellness.

I know it is only day 4 but I already feel clearer and  more upbeat. I am more connected with my body and the aches and pains are starting to subside. I have lost 4 pounds and even reclaimed my right to be a runner.

Would you like to join me on my journey into the year of health?

Come along! It won’t always be easy but it will be totally worth it!

I love you! May your year bring you every happiness.

The Burden of Having Stuff; 4 Ways to Lighten Your Load

It has recently come to my attention what a burden having things can be. Do you have a lot of stuff? Do you feel safe, because you have all of it, or does it weigh you down? I used to be afraid to get rid of stuff because I thought I might need it. The energy of keeping all this stuff can sometimes be more burdensome than having to repurchase it. Do you have an emotional attachment to stuff? This can also cause difficultly.

There are lots of different techniques out there to to help you clean out your stuff. Here are a few I have heard about.

  1. According to the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, the way to declutter is to only keep items that give you joy.  If they don’t give you joy, get rid of them.
  2. The 3 container method. This is where you separate stuff into a keep, get rid of, and emotional attachment box. I usually use 4 when I do this method and split the “get rid of” pile into garbage and donations.
  3. Have a friend or family member help you. It is much easier to get rid of someone else’s stuff. When my daughters come over I usually find myself weeding out more things than I would if I was going it alone.
  4. Pay a professional. There are professionals who you can pay to come and go through your things. This can be an extreme but sometimes an extreme solution is just what is in order.

Whatever it takes, whether you do it in one big day or in small bite sized pieces, one room at a time. The more you get rid of the extra stuff, the more free you will feel. The weight will be lifted off you shoulders. I know a wise young man. Everything he owns will fit in his car. This may be an extreme amount of pairing down for most, but for him, this is the ultimate way to live. He is free to pick up and go anywhere and at any time.

No one can tell you how much stuff is the right amount of stuff for you. For starters, try just keeping enough to feel safe but not weighed down. When you bring something new into your home then get rid of something old. If you know someone who needs something more than you do, gift it to them! You may be surprised to find how free you feel.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you find your load light and your spirit free, as if by magic.

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