The holidays are a festive rat race where joyous indulgence often take the priority over mindful balance. For us, this indulgence usually leads to some ‘uh oh,’ moments before we make some extreme health goals where we plan to flip our egg nog sipping, ginger bread snacking ways a full 180 to some ideal post card physique and ohm soaked mind set.
We love goal setting and the new year is a great place to re start, re boot and re energize. Here are some of our favourite health goals to start the year.
1 - Start with Setting Goals
Our first goal is to take time to set some goals. Our main goal is to set goals that are achievable. There’s no point to setting overly ambitious goals that you can’t achieve. We like setting reasonable goals and growing towards some more lofty goals. Some people need that extreme flip to get going, but usually the more extreme goals are less sustainable. If getting back to the gym is a goal… 7 days a week might not be the best place to start. Somewhere in the 2-3 days is a good place to start. We like to write our goals and place them somewhere that we will see them everyday so that it stay at the top of mind. We had Christina from Fox and Flourish write our goals out in calligraphy so we felt good whenever we saw them. We like to use the buddy system for setting goals too. Share it with a friend. It will make you hold yourself more accountable if verbalize your goals with a friend or two. Lastly, It has to be fun. If you make it fun, perhaps even a bit silly, you will have more of a desire to see your goals though. If you’re game to make some 5-10 year goals we love getting together with Goal Making guru Jacqueline Jennings for a proper sit down, plan the future session.
2 - Get out in Nature
Getting out in nature is number one for our wellness. It’s good for your physical and mental well-being. Most of us have a nature deficit disorder… as in we don’t get enough of it. Whenever we step into the forest, or down by the beach, or hit a mountain trail, we feel an almost instant relief, an instant sense of clarity, an instant hit of energy. A study at the University of Kansas found that people who spent time in nature showed higher creativity and cognitive abilities. Similarly people in hospitals who can see a natural landscape have been shown to get better faster. Finding balance in nature can lead to balance in other aspects of your life; having a connection to the environment and our environmental foot print. Spend some time in nature and see where you’re mind goes. You might be surprised with the liberated space for free thinking that you find or the conversations that you share. You might just get hooked on it. If you can’t make it outside… even picking up a good nature read can do the fix. Two of our favourite are the Golden Spruce by John Vaillant or Wild Trees by Richard Preston.
3 - Eat more Plants
This one is our motto. We’re all about the plants. Simply put, eating plant based is good for your health, and lowers your risk of most major health concerns (we’re not scientists, but if you google health benefits of eating plant based…it’s a long list). Eating more plants also makes weight loss easy (hello new years resolution), plus It’s good for the environment. 1.5 acres can produce 37,000 pounds of plant-based food. 1.5 acres can produce 375 pounds of meat. In terms of water consumption; 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef. Each day, a person who eats a plant based diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 . If you’re making mindful decisions with the food that you’re putting into your body and you’re eating a plant based diet, this will create a balanced healthy body and it will also result in a positive agricultural impact that will have a positive effect on the environment. So simply put, balanced bodies and balanced minds create a balanced environment and world. Lastly, eating more plants will save you money. Have you seen the cost of beef lately?? We’re not saying that you need to become a vegan or a vegetarian. Start with adding some greens, root veggies, nuts, seeds and fruits to your daily routines. For some inspiration head to Netflix and watch Cowspiracy or sign up for a class with Colin from Feed Life.
4 - Commit to Movement
Touch your toes. Go for a walk. Climb a tree. As humans, we are made to move. Sitting at desks, spending time on laptops, scrolling social media…it’s all counter intuitive to what your body wants. Movement boosts circulation, eases tension, stimulates your metabolism, releases endorphins, boosts libido… we got to keep on moving! You don’t need to run for hours on a treadmill or become a gym junkie. Find what works for you and make it a habit. Just like brushing your teeth, movement should be part of your daily routine. Choose a movement, a routine that you can be consistent with. Take a hike or head to one of the many amazing independant sweat spots in our city (see Tight Club, The Distrikt, Movement 108, Ride Cycle, Eastwood and Strech Yoga)
5 - Commit to Stillness
This goal can go hand in hand with goal #2. There is something about stillness that allows room for all of the good stuff. Relaxation, clarity, creativity. Meditation or stilness can look a lot of different ways. A mantra, a ritual, or an experiment. Find something that works for you. For us, we like finding a quiet place in the woods. Everyone has had an experience at some point in their life, on a retreat, or a trip, or a hike where we get lost in the silence and feel ourselves lifted up to a place where we can hardly imagine the things that make us fret or stress or the circumstances of our day to day. Stillness takes some work, but once you get going its not a space of emptiness but a space full of possibility. If you need a jump start we love the meditation classes by Carolyn Budgell + her playlists are the best) or The Social Yoga or even check out the app headspace.
Bonus. Commit to Kindness. Do it. Make it a goal to be mindful, to be nice, to offer service to others and to do things for the sake of doing good. Give it a try. You might just feel great along the way.
Those are a few of our goals for 2016. Each year is a fresh slate, a new page, a chance to make your year what you want it to be. We hope 2016 is the year of years for all of you!