The Natural Therapy Pages Facebook page is buzzing with New Year optimism. Many community members are setting their sights on weight loss. Some are planning on making a career change. While others have decided to get organised, once and for all!
To keep up the momentum and inspire you to be the best version of yourself in 2012, we've compiled these five top tips. Though of course there are many more natural therapies that can help boost your health and wellbeing.
Set achievable goals
According to some psychologists, when we set vague New Year's resolutions, we are setting ourselves up to fail. In a 2007 study, psychologist Richard Wiseman and his team at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK found that 78% of people fail to achieve their resolutions. Why? Because we set grand plans that are simply unachievable. We want to overhaul every aspect of our life, right now, and so the to-do list grows and we end up overwhelmed and over it. On a positive note, the study also found that the respondents who set smaller goals had an average success rate of 35%. So the key to keeping resolutions is to break a bigger goal (like losing 30 kilos) into smaller steps (losing a kilo each week), and rewarding yourself when each milestone is achieved. A life coach can help you set and achieve realistic goals.
Focus on fresh foods
Speaking of niggling kilos, if the holiday scoffing spree has left you feeling bloated and tired, it's time to clear out the cupboards (yes, that includes the novelty Santa chocolates and stocking-filler snacks!) and fill up on fresh foods.
Start simple, advises nutritionist Sarah Burkhart. "Small changes make the biggest difference to long term weight loss and maintenance." These include switching from full-fat dairy to low-fat options, buying takeaways less often and adding one extra piece of fruit to your daily intake.
Water is also essential to maintaining a healthy body. "Water helps maintain the integrity and health of every cell in our body. It also transports much needed oxygen and nutrients via the blood to our cells," advises nutritionist Amanda Fraser. She suggests drinking six to eight glasses of water each day. "Herbal teas can be included in this quota."
If the precarious paper stack on your desk is rivaling the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or your wardrobe is about to burst, it may be time to de-clutter. Getting things in order does more than just save time searching for stuff. You'll feel more relaxed and in control of your environment.
"A cluttered space reflects a cluttered mind. Devoting time to organising your living and working spaces will lift the energy and enable greater productivity and clearer thinking," says Feng Shui consultant Jane Langof.
"Clearing clutter releases a great deal of energy and getting rid of things that have no significance will help you to feel lighter and revitalised.
Taking more steps throughout the day can work wonders for your health and wellbeing. Exercise is key to managing weight, improving cardiovascular health and shaking off stress. Not to mention the euphoric feeling you get when those endorphins kick in! The good news is that you don't need to commit to mammoth workouts to benefit. The National Physical Activity Guidelines stipulate four easy ways to enhance your health:
- Think of movement as an opportunity, not an inconvenience.
- Be active every day – get off the bus a stop earlier, or walk over to a colleague's desk, rather than sending an email.
- Include a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity on most days. This can be broken up into shorter sessions throughout the day.
- Add regular, vigorous activity to steps 1 – 3.
A personal trainer can help you get back on track, by creating an individual plan to meet your fitness goals.
Make time for yourself
It may seem indulgent, but taking time out each day to enjoy a hobby, read a book or simply sit in solitude can help you find focus and recharge your batteries. Studies have found that meditating regularly, even for just five to 10 minutes a day, can help re-wire the brain, regulate mood, reduce blood pressure and boost your overall health and wellbeing.
Want to learn meditation? Read the article "How to Meditate".
Share your health improvement tips and keep us updated on your progress by posting on the Natural Therapy Pages Facebook wall.Originally published on Jan 19, 2012