You can tell me if you've already fallen off the wagon -- because I have too!
Lisa Sharkey: Okay, so we are already in the last week of January ... and we're past the amount of time
experts say you need in order to turn a new practice into a daily habit. So if you actually did go to the gym every day or even thrice a week since we rang in 2010, congratulations.
Same goes for quitting smoking, being nicer to your spouse and kids, etc. I actually made an accidental New Year's Resolution this annum: to go gluten-free, hoping that cutting out what I crave most might actually work. So far, the gluten-free thing is working, insofar as I have not eaten any gluten (except for that empanada at the baseball game), but the scale only shows a three-pound weight loss.
I asked Ariane De Bonvoisin, author of The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier, for simple tips on how to get started making those positive changes, regardless of the day, month, or year.
Here's her take on my top ten most popular change list. You can always find more help on her incredible website, First30Days.com.
10 Positive Changes for the New Year
Begin a Healthy Diet
Add some fresh vegetable juice daily, or a shot of wheatgrass if you can. If not juice, drink two big bottles of water a day. A healthy diet is more about liquids than it is food. We always think of food when we think of diets. Think of liquids this time. Your body isn't hungry, it's dehydrated. You aren't sick or overweight, you are dehydrated. Add healthy liquid. When you think you are hungry, have some water first!
Start an Exercise Program
Tell your colleagues, your kids, your spouse or partner, your friends, and your parents. That kind of support and also leverage is more likely to keep you motivated. Tell them they have permission to help, inspire, and to ask you about how you're doing.
Organize Your Household
Instead of thinking about it as "organizing," think about it as throwing things out. Every week, look around your household for, say, 10 things to throw out (or give away) -- magazines, old medicines, clothes, makeup, paperwork, mail, whatever. You'll feel better, and the cleansing nature of de-cluttering will make room for more positive energy to come into your home.
Gwyneth Paltrow recently revealed that this is her 2010 goal, so you're not alone! Just try not to think of it as meditating -- that word scares people. Think of it as me time, alone time, doing absolutely nothing time. Just sit with whatever is going on, observe your thoughts, your feelings, your intuition, feel into your body, where are you tight, why, what's coming up. It doesn't need to be in the same place, or even with your eyes closed. It can be during a walk, on the subway ... just no iPods, no reading, nothing ... just sit with whatever is coming up.
People avoid meditating because when you meditate, you face the truth ... and most of us prefer to avoid that for as long as it takes.
Be a Better Mom
Stop trying to be a better mom and start doing things that make you happy. No, that's not selfish. Your kids want to see and know you are happy. It's what they most crave; a busy, overworked, rushing around, tired mom isn't a gift to them. Do whatever it takes ... take a class, learn to paint, go away for a weekend ... even if it means spending time doing something without them. They will only benefit. Get back in touch with what you love. It's more important for you to do that than spend another hour feeling guilty if you're not with them.
Turn Off the Electronics
Never sleep with a cell, BlackBerry, iPhone, or laptop in the same room ... the radiation emitted is not good and disturbs your sleep patterns. Keep all of that out of the bedroom. There's more and more evidence to show that having them around you ... in a bag, a pocket, or up to your ear ... is toxic -- so just as a precaution, keep the time on them to a minimum.
Have Better Sex with Your Partner
Better sex is about each partner being happy. Do what you need to do to be happier. Ever notice how women who are irresistibly attractive, and have that certain energy, are usually doing something they love with their life? That's when the passion is re-ignited. That's when your partner suddenly wants to have a lot more of you.
Finding a Job
Think about something you want to do for the next six months, maybe twelve months -- not the rest of your life. What's something you'd want to try? Chunk it down into a much smaller time frame. The world is changing so quickly, you don't need to figure out the whole career progression right now. And maybe think of finding two jobs, not only one. Who knows, two part-time jobs may be a lot better than one.
Live Life with More Gratitude
Keep a small gratitude journal ... or a grace journal. Write down everything that you feel is working out -- little things, big things, how life is helping you out, what you notice. Direct your attention to looking for more things to write and acknowledge during your day. Bring it with you everywhere.
For more information about these and so many more life changes, please visit Ariane at her website, First30Days.com, and sign up for her daily tips; they often help start my day off in a magical way. Change is good, and it's constant -- so embrace it with your eyes and arms wide open!
|Lisa Sharkey is Senior Vice President and Director of Creative Development for HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide. Sharkey also served as Senior Producer for ABC's Good Morning America. Lisa and her husband, architect Paul Gleicher, completed one of the country's first total Eco Houses, a "green" brownstone in Manhattan where they reside with their three children. They are the authors of Dreaming Green: Eco-Fabulous Homes Designed to Inspire and have a web site DreamingGreenBook.com|