• Third Thursday Tips

Best Year Ever

Did you know that I love change? I used to live in Hawaii, and as awesome as it was, I really couldn't stand the thought of living there long term, because I LOVE the change of seasons.

I think one of the reasons that I like it so much is because each change of season is a chance for a new start, or a "reboot" of sorts. And what better time to set goals and strive for a new start?

Each year as I decide on the goals and directions that I want to accomplish, I always tell myself that "This is going to be my best year ever!" And do you know what? It almost always is! Maybe it will be my best year in my business, my best year in my family relationships, my best year in my health - there are so many options!

One thing that I like to do is imagine myself a year in the future, and visualize the things that are different. Have I gotten healthier this year? Have I improved my relationships? Did I launch a new division in my company? In order to accomplish any of these things, the first step is to decide what you want and then visualize the positive changes that will occur in the next year. I find that too often people can readily list the items that they don't like about their lives. It is critical to take all that negative energy and convert it into positive thoughts and energy that will help us create what we want for 2017. I'm WISHING YOU YOUR BEST YEAR EVER!

How to Survive the Holidays

As much as we all want to relax and enjoy the holidays with our family and friends, preparing for visitors and accomplishing everything on our lists can create stress and tension. The following tips might be able to help make your Christmas and New Year's celebrations more enjoyable:

1. Don't Skip Your Workouts

Exercising may not be your favorite thing anyway, so with so much going on it's tempting to take a few weeks off. But getting exercise is one of the best ways to burn off tension, get focused, and boost your energy and mood. Since time is shorter, you might want to simplify your routine at the gym. Give yourself some extra time to lounge in tub or steam room. If you can't get to the gym, take a walk or jog around the block to take a break from the family and enjoy some time to yourself.

2. Get Sleep

You may be busier than ever, but getting enough sleep is essential for keeping your stress hormones in check and your weight from creeping up, especially with all the Christmas treats in the break room or being dropped at your door. Lack of sleep can affect hormones and your body may actually store extra fat when things get stressful. Do everything you can to create a bedtime ritual that helps you unwind and relax. I like to lay in bed and read a good book to draw my mind away from problems and planning. Other ideas: try a light stretching workout, take a hot bath or have some hot chocolate or herbal tea. And don't be afraid to take a power nap during the day if you're not getting enough sleep at night.

3. Learn How to Say No

Saying "no" under usual circumstances can be difficult, but during the holidays you have even more activities and items clamoring for your time. You're supposed to buy the perfect gifts, wrap them beautifully, help decorate the house, help plan the party, go to all the other parties /events /choirs /concerts scheduled, take care of work and regular daily chores, plan for travel or visits by family members (some of whom aren't your favorites!).

Make yourself a priority and then prioritize the rest of your tasks around that central theme. Decide which functions you must attend and which tasks you can skip altogether or delegate to a loved one. Don't be afraid to decline activities that only add more stress. Remind yourself that the holidays are about enjoying yourself and your family, not pleasing everyone else.

4. Reward Yourself

Finally, when the holidays are over, reward yourself for a job well done. Or mostly well done. Or at least not burning down the house. There's always a letdown when the holidays end, so pick yourself up with something enjoyable to welcome the new year. Ideas include scheduling a massage or other spa treatment, planning a night out with people you enjoy, going to your favorite restaurant, buying that book that you've been wanting to read, listening to music or building birdhouses or shelves or whatever else you like to do.

You survived the holidays ... well done! As Sydne said, it's a brand new year and you can make it whatever you want.

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