If you’re like me, the downward slide starts around Halloween. Parties. Bowls of candy. Cold weather and comfort food or hot cocktails. Head towards Thanksgiving and we start baking. Eating more. Then comes Christmas, the season of parties, shopping and quick dinners that are based on convenience rather than healthiness because we’re so busy. Before you know it, your pants are tighter and you feel sluggish but you’ve had a TON of fun and good times. It’s time to focus on your mindful intentions.
You tell yourself, I’ll wait until the holidays are over and I’ll get back on track. “But not until after New Year’s….”, right? I’ll start eating healthier again and get back to the gym. It’s cliche, but it’s legit. I say no to resolutions, because I feel like I’d be doing them, under pressure, just to not be a quitter. I prefer to just live more mindfully. Think about what I put in my mouth. Remind myself how good I feel after a gym visit.
Then I remind myself of all the things I’ve not been doing because I’ve been busy finding the perfect gift, busy baking everyone’s favorite cookies, busy wrapping up client work so I can take the two weeks off mostly. I make it a point to get them back in my schedule no matter what, reprioritizing so I feel better about myself and life in general.
This year, I actually made a list. No, I won’t refer to it on a daily basis…or at least I hope. I want to commit it to memory instead, my list of commitments to myself actually: feel better, do better, be better. But how do I get there?
Setting Mindful Intentions in 2020
- Regular visits to the gym: no pressure to go daily, but at least a few times a week. Don’t forget ending it with a sauna!
- Meditation: tell Alexa to put on some meditation music and light a candle. (Yesterday, I changed it up a little and multi-tasked. I laid on an acupuncture mat for 15 minutes. Best of both worlds….except I almost fell asleep!)
- Take supplements: zinc and magnesium, because I suffer from horrible leg and feet cramps. Multi-vitamin if you need it!
- Eat three meals a day, and a few snacks: great for my metabolism and I don’t feel deprived when I practice portion control.
- Read every day: usually, I read fiction but I also vow to get caught up on the SEO and social media marketing book stack in my office, while adding in some recommended networking and entrepreneur books.
- Make time for fun: whether it’s binging on Netflix shows, playing a game on your phone or going out with friends, you need to laugh!
- Date night with the partner: I really credit these as a big reason the husband and I have been married almost 26 years.
- Meal planning: this makes my grocery shopping easier, cheaper and we eat better if we’re not scrambling to find something to throw together.
- Keep healthy food available: produce, fun snacks that don’t break the caloric bank and ingredients to throw together a smoothie or delish protein balls. I’ve added hemp seeds, collagen powder (for a good bulletproof coffee), and MCT to my pantry, bought for less on Amazon! Last year, I wrote this post on clean eating and how to make it easy.
- Stay active: the husband made sure we all had new ski gear this year so we can spontaneously head up to Mt. High in Wrightwood and we already went night skiing during the first real snow of the season. We also go hiking and head to the beach when we can! We can do this as a family or as a couple, because as the kids grow up, they more frequently have their own schedules, but we’re so lucky that they still want to do things with us.
- Get crafty more often: clear the schedule, break out the dusty stuff, make a mess. Repeat. (And if you don’t have a craft habit, get one!)
- Say no more: this is CRITICAL. I started it last year and it’s so freeing. No more obligations that cost you money and time away from those you love, things that you don’t want to do. (And things you want to do won’t be obligations!) And it’s not just saying no to time-wasters and obligations. It’s saying no to: being the butt of someone’s joke so others laugh, guilt trips, tolerating sarcastic snark from family and friends, being the last resort, ‘conversations’ where all you ever do is listen, living up to others’ expectations that aren’t yours, being used, always being the one to fix the tube of toothpaste, you know all this, right??
- Get outdoors more: even if it’s just a few minutes, get away from the desk. I plan on actually taking the laptop out back more, once it warms up, and getting my stuff done while enjoying the gorgeous backyard we designed. It’s actually 72 here right now, the heat is off, and the doors are open. It’s so nice.
- Tackle a project I’ve been putting off: this week, I’m working on busting through a ton of magazines I’ve let pile up, tearing out ideas and recipes. I’m almost halfway through and it feels great! Up next, putting together our renovation spreadsheet and design program so I can choose colors. We’re doing a massive remodel in May, after we return from a trip to France and Italy. (And Disney Paris OMG, I’m so excited!) The remodel is pretty extensive, including the kitchen, all new flooring, whole-house indoor painting, updating all three bathrooms and more. I can’t wait to get going, but first, we have a lot of decisions to make and we’ve been procrastinating.
- Stretch: this sounds pretty simplistic but for reals, can you touch your toes without pain? I can but only because I work on stretching regularly. Thing is though, my lower back has been hurting more as I’ve been stretching less. Time to get back on track and incorporate more yoga and pilates moves into my workouts. Even 5-10 minutes a day can make a big difference!
- Daily devotion: whether you’re spiritual or not, there are devotions available that only take a few minutes a day to help you get in the right mind frame. Positive thinking is not my strong suit, and I’m determined to make a difference in that this year.
- Think business: reach out to a possible new client, add a new resource for your existing clients, post something helpful on social media. This year, I’m adding a newsletter to the blog and to Thunderbolt Social Media clients. Some freebies are okay, because there’s room for everyone to succeed while being unique
There’s a lot more you can do to make getting back on track a habit and not a resolution or ‘goal.’ Call it self-care if you want, but mindful intentions can be as inclusive as you like.
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Stay tune for a new blog post series on this very topic, where I’ll be sharing ways I’m finding to de-stress, get in shape, eat healthy and enjoy life. I’ve got some great books I’m going to review, services I’m going to try (like a float tank, for starters) and more. Hope to see you around!